PARADOX is celebrated in the film Sådan Set er Byen  (‘In a Way the City Is’), which contemplates the strangeness and absurdity within the familiarity of urban life. The film is constructed around an excerpt from Inger Christensen’s poem Det (‘It’), which itself portrays the city as an ever-changing space loaded with paradox. Rather than translating her poetry directly into a vision of the city, Sådan Set er Byen willfuly loses its way in continual misinterpretations of the poem’s verse.

The kaleidoscopic, Chinese box vision of the city in Sådan Set er Byen uses the everyday spaces of apartments, back-yards, elevators and metro stations as a backdrop against which the city’s diverse dreams are played out in enigmatic cycles of adaptation and reinvention, culminating in a sombering endgame of squaring the circle.

“One of the qualities we want to bring out in ‘Saadan Set er Byen’ is the city’s need to continually transform and reinvent itself. The film’s sets are comprised of a limited number of components: an apartment and a metro station. These spaces are opened up and recombined in a way that suggests endless configurations. We see it as a positive quality that there is no single solution that will complete the puzzle and make sense of the city. In some way it relies on its dead-ends and absences – like the empty and overgrown train station – as a way of maintaining its vitality. We love Munari’s toys for the same reasons. Labirinto has up to 1000 solutions and the alphabet becomes a playground, with strict pedagogical restraints, where  the building works are never completed.”


“While cities vainly attempt to direct your physical movements, museums will attempt to direct your gaze. Artefacts are meant to be viewed from certain angles and even in a certain order. Some things are meant to be admired, some things to be invisible. In a way of course it is a matter of forgetting and being forgotten. But even absences can be seen and felt. Though Scania disappeared out of Danish national history with the Battle of Helsingfors in 1710, it is still visible across The Sound. Byzantium and Constantinople lie in state in the bustling streets of Istanbul. In the same physical space it is possible both to see Israel and to feel the absence of Palestine. Like a paradoxical drawing by Escher, the world lets us wander through labyrinths of inaccessible rooms and closed circuits, baffling us with impossible perspectives that somehow all manage to be true.”

“[…] phenomena may have a powerful presence in people’s lives precisely
because of their absence […] The duality of absence and presence is contained within the confrontation with the incomplete: that which shows absence not as an entire existential emptiness, but as a defective continuity, something that is in need of completion or from which parts are missing”


Bruno Munari’s teaching games celebrate creativity and inventiveness.
The game “Alfabeto e fantasia” lets the child create complex shapes from simpler ones. All the while the objective of the game is to recognize and recreate the letters of the Latin alphabet. With “Labirinto” it is possible to assemble and reassemble a labyrinthine house from cardboard pieces. Both are examples of Munari’s long-lasting collaboration with Milanese plastic manufacturer Danese.

In addition to numerous children’s books Munari later in his career successfully developed the concept of the pre-book, books made with small children in mind containing sensory stimuli instead of words. Together with the more well known works from his impressive oeuvre, these all reflected his philosophy that design should be beautiful, functional and accessible. A designer, seen from Munari’s point of view, is as a planner with a sense of the aesthetic.