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„Homemade adhesive, Gummy bear glue“, Photo: Marco Casino

Connecting something so that you can take it apart again if you need to? When things involve designing and manufacturing, there is barely any larger or more diverse domain of such critical importance. Whether you’re dealing with an improvised bricolage or a sophisticated engineering marvel, there is always something that must be connected to something else. Anyone who wishes to develop and construct something must consider how two or more parts can be connected stably and securely, be that in design, in architecture, in a trade or at a planning firm. Sometimes a project can even fail because the right connection cannot be made. As a result, there exist connections in all conceivable forms, shapes and materials. The spectrum ranges from standardised joints to new methods developed from scratch. “U-Joints”, a project by Andrea Caputo and Anniina Koivu lasting several years, is devoted to the immense variety of connection possibilities. The current exhibition at the Gewerbemuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland, is the third presentation of U-Joints after an initial appearance at the Salone del Mobile 2018 in Milan and a show at ECAL in Lausanne in 2019.

The Winterthur exhibition presents the latest results: adhesives and fusions. These connection techniques, which are usually used as discreetly as possible and often considered mundane, are now being put in the limelight. The show provides extensive insights into the performance of conventional and innovative adhesives and bonding agents used in product design and architecture as well as sports, the food industry and medicine. “U-Joints or the Art of Connecting, Part III” will also investigate the field of “fusions” alongside “adhesives” from 7 March 2021 to 9 January 2022 (with free admission for all on 6 and 7 March from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. instead of an opening event). Fusions range from traditional welding to melt splices and techniques such as plasma brazing, stereolithography and 4D printing, which are trailblazing and now growing in importance.

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