Juli Capella

I want design to save the world!

"I want Domus. To help change the planet."

I want design to save the Earth.
Because at the moment it's ruining it with all its stupidity. I want a new car design to stop killing over 1.3 million people a year in road accidents. I want Raymond Loewy to be resuscitated and, on seeing the outrageous consumer panorama of a supermarket, to change his mind and say: "Yes, ugliness certainly sells." I want to be urgently appointed to design a psychiatric hospital.

I want design magazines to stop publishing the same old reports, by the same authors, with the same (lifeless!) photos and the same drawings and all those incomprehensible, interchangeable articles. I want to grow ivy over all the global world's suburbs, but with nobody in them. I want architects to start designing again with pencils and always to have a rubber handy. I want air conditioning never again to come down the back of my neck.

I want the Milan Fair to be officially named the Museum of Horrors, and this year to be frozen exactly as it is, with all its contents, for the future derision of the trade and as a warning to generations to come. I want Starck to stop telling so many ingenious lies and, as he promised years ago, to place himself and all his talent authentically "at the service of society".

I want the prices of expensive things to plummet tomorrow morning and the prices of cheap stuff to be tripled, and then to see what happens. Every hairpin 20 euros. I want to live among affectionate chairs and affable lamps, funny shoes and mountebank tables. I propose that for a whole year we stage a verbal strike and don't write the word "design" in vain. Not even for serious things. Not even for fun. For nothing. I want buildings to stop leaning over backwards and twisting and turning without any manifest reason or justification for doing so, and otherwise to be authorised only with the consensus of an eminent psychiatrist. I want politicians, arrogant princes, not to be infatuated any more with star architects. And these not to whore.

I want the owners of all buildings with more than three floors to be fined for usurping visual air space, unless they cut them in half. I want architecture competitions to be won by drawing lots under the strict supervision of a notary. And the official title of architect to be awarded by chance in a bingo hall.
I want Mendini to come back as the editor of Domus again when he's 100. I want everybody to eat Jabugo ham for free all the year round. I want all statues to step down, start dancing and then climb up again onto a different pedestal. I want to sleep placidly without a guilty conscience about having done ugly things. Because I have copied so much. Because I am not a genius. Because I have defrauded my father by failing to come top in everything.

I want all the critics and theorists of architecture to experience having a client, to make him ill, create a project and discuss it with him, with the client's wife who is a decorator, and with their daughter who is studying architecture. I want them to develop designs, comply to regulations, draw up master plans, and go once a week for a year to the building site, talk to the project manager and the building constructor, the engineers, the inspector and the municipal bureaucrat responsible for issuing the final permits. And then to write an article criticising their own work. On these very pages, in Domus.
I want Domus. To help change the world.

Juli Capella
Architect and designer

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