Droog Design and Scott Burnham have assembled a team of some of the most innovative designers and architects from around the world to create 13 newly designed interventions, tools, toys and objects that are temporarily placed along a route on the central IJ-riverfront in Amsterdam. The event was called Urban Play, and above is the temporary installation by Sagmeister, Inc., entitled Obsessions Make My Life Worse and My Work Better.
Stefan Sagmeister’s installation was made up of 250.000 eurocents placed on the floor, covering more than 300sqm on a square in Amsterdam, and spelling out the title of this piece, which is part of his larger series Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far. The idea was that the design would disappear over time, as people rearranged the coins or took them. The coins were painted blue on one side, which would identify them in the future as having been part of the installation. Instead, here’s what happened:
Within 20 hours of completion, the entire installation was disassembled by the authorities. Read all the details and see more images of the project on the team’s blog.
A few sidenotes. Stefan Sagmeister is the closest thing the field currently has to a rock star, and his recent involvement in public projects [what I would call civic design] has been inspiring to witness. Sagmeister is a joker with a big heart. This installation, and the larger event of which it was a part, touches on some of the pranky urban interventions that really interest me [like this but larger in scope]. But, the fact that this installation was made of money, precisely at the moment of economic meltdown, and that it was confiscated by the police in order to protect the work, adds more layers of irony than we perhaps need right now.