DIY for everyday: DIY is an exhibition of functional objects and homemade devices made by amateurs and professionals. Tools and technologies might be made to solve an immediate need, but they also tell stories – about the person who made them, or the situation they’re responding to. One person’s ‘everyday’ might be a comfortable home, an office or studio, and another’s a shack, the street, or a prison. The tools they make could be for survival or convenience, legal or illegal, simple or complex – the bare minimum to meet a need, or full of ornament and excess meaning. What distinguishes them from mainstream, commercial design is their capacity to reflect the individual circumstances of their makers, and this is also what makes them interesting story-telling devices. Objects like these are part of a growing contemporary interest in amateurism, in making, and in alternative paths for design and technology than consumption and mass-production…

Download the call for submissions

DIY for artists and designers: DIY is an exhibition of functional objects made by artists and designers, as well as by everyday people. Contemporary art has a long relationship with functional objects, whether found or original. They may be surreal sculptural puns, or practical, activist technologies; intended for contemplation in a gallery, or for use in the street. The type of designed object this exhibition looks to are those with different intentions to mainstream or commercial design: that engage with inquiry, speculation, provocation and criticism. For both functional art and critical design, the ostensible use of an object may be only one of its functions, no more important than its functions as story-teller and carrier of ideas. The stories they tell can be provocative, dystopian, humorous, cynical or sympathetic. They can provide real assistance to the user, or merely suggest function in the service of their message. They may provoke the comfortable, or equip the vulnerable…

Download the call for submissions

Please submit work to the project – we are collecting work for the online archive. The project was officially launched in December 2014 at Atlantic House in Cape Town. We are fund-raising and planning for an exhibition of selected work from the archive in 2015, and the more time we have to arrange for objects to be exhibited, the better.

Please note – art, design and the everyday are present in the exhibition as themes rather than strict divisions. Artists and designers can submit objects that are their functional responses to everyday situations, and anyone can submit work that is critical and conceptual.

DIY is curated by Ralph Borland [,] in partnership with Atlantic House []