Capitalism is over is an exhibition by Raumplan and Cascina Cuccagna for Milan Design Week 2017, 1-9 April 2017

New times New rules

In a design market dominated by manufacturing and distribution giants, the role of small and medium-size entrepreneurs as catalysts of talents and ideas is marginalized. The need to minimise the risks arises from many factors, above all the discouraging sales’ data. Research and experimentation are thus forced to develop in hyper-specific niches. Contrary to what used to happen in the post-war boom, innovation of product design is not one of the main focuses of market logics and the classical designer-company engage is becoming hard to reach and even uncommon for most designers. At the same time, the possibility of independent production and autonomous distribution is opening up new horizons, and seem to question the traditional paradigms of twentieth century capitalism. What is the real scope and significance of these new practices – considered by some as a secondary stopgap, and by others as part of a revolutionary process – and whether they will be able to constitute a widespread and sustainable system are some of the questions that the exhibition wants to raise by dialoguing with exhibitors’ experiences.