Design Balneare (Seaside design) concerns “the set of structures, often ephemeral, that are composed of signboards, lettering, beach equipment, ranging from the life-vest to the cabine, from the trampoline to the dustbin, from the paddle boat to the showers, from the boat to the speedboat, from the bucket to the jukebox, from the playground to the mini-golf." [Gillo Dorfles]
Design Balneare develops in the meeting point between natural landscape and man-made interventions, between local context and tourism, between permanent habitat and temporary housing, between culture and consumption, between real human needs and invented needs.
From the beginning of the 80s to the early 90s the municipality of Cattolica is active in researching how to renew its apparatus of signs and materials, for the definition of a new seaside culture. In 1983 it launches the ‘Design Balneare II’ competition. The process is coordinated by Ugo La Pietra, who is joined in the jury by Bruno Munari and Gillo Dorfles.
In the context of MADE LABS in Siracusa we invite the applicants to think about the seaside environment, starting from the categories that Ugo La Pietra, in his summary text, indicates as the research topics on which to base a future observatory of the seaside culture.
A) The seaside industry (economy, work organization, land resources)
B) The seaside environment (sea, beach, flora, fauna, ...)
C) The seaside food
D) Spontaneous seaside architecture
E) Seaside architecture
F) The bathing behavior (vacation, organized vacation, memories, pleasure, rest, sex, evasion, adventure, risk, ...)
G) Seaside fashion (clothing, games, gadgets, ... rituals)
H) Bathing music (songs, singers, orchestras, dance halls, dancing, night clubs, nights, whiskey-a-gogo, etc., rituals)
I) The seaside sport (activities, objects, tools, ... rituals)
L) Seaside design (objects, environmental furnishings, ornaments, decorations, etc.)
We attach the short text that Bruno Munari writes as comment to the competition, which contains a list of suggestions for themes not yet developed:
Notes, disappointments, ideas and snacks for the next competition on seaside design. What can you do with the sand other than the famous castles and slopes? Assembly boxes for structures made of wooden slats and nylon veils to build other models of castles, houses, skyscrapers and volcanoes. Adjustable shade canopies with layers of fireproof gauze, sliding by hand, on cinnamon-colored pvc rails, to dose the tan of elderly ladies who are afraid of losing the face-lift with flit and go haywire with the lift. Underground cabins, cool and ventilated by ventilation antennas and cold lighting. See examples in Arab countries. Free beach. Raised showers in transparent crystal booths with colored water jets to encourage tanning and colorless cold steam drying. Sodium vapor lights for nighttime baths. Balloons held up in different shapes and colors, held at twenty meters high, as a signal, for sailors in order to find back their own beach. Silent loudspeaker system, to be used in the hours of rest, so as not to disturb swimmers with advertisements. Sandwiches with English mortadella, thin as breadsticks, for snacks for ladies with a narrow mouth. Musical chaise longue with small speakers located in the batten where the head rests. The knobs will be on the armrest, the appliance can accept any type of cassette, the intensity of the sound is minimal, so as not to disturb the neighbor. Seat for short permanence (like that of the milker, but with a handbrake to prevent the single leg from sinking into the sand). Adjustable to several heights, to be worn over the shoulder. Object of fantasy, it could also be incorporated with the bag. Series of floating objects as mattress furnishings: ball bearing (polystyrene) headrests. Pneumatic parasol with helium gas, adjustable in height, braked on the water tied to a water-repellent wooden fish, inclinable at will. Bedside table with top opening for personal items. Small waterproof bookcase for books and newspapers. Underwater bottle-shaped ashtray, only the mouth protrudes above the water level, dirt cannot be seen. Halogen lamp for night time. Smoke lamp with acoustic signal like fog horn, for special signaling. Carpet-type floor mat to place on the sand when you get off the inflatable mattress.
- Slot 2