PennySmash Launch

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Motherbrand proudly presents PennySmash, a project that hijacks the familiar souvenir penny press to produce truly affordable works of art. For just $2.01, visitors to Come Up To My Room 2009 were the first to purchase new work by Douglas Coupland, Marian Bantjes, Burton Kramer and Paul Butler created with a custom-built penny press situated in a fairgrounds inspired environment.

Marrying conceptual art and accessible design, PennySmash aims to bring back content and local production – a humble counterpoint to the one-size-fits-all, made-in-China souvenirs of our time. Pressed pennies are unique in the sense that you actually take part in the production process. The memory of this experience forms a genuine connection between the souvenir and the place it was made.

John Ryan adds, “We gave the designers complete freedom to respond to the medium and while a couple of the designs explore the concept of memento, none are souvenirs in the traditional sense. Instead, they’ve treated the press as an artistic medium, which is exciting”.

The machine was recently added to the permanent collection of the Design Exchange in Toronto. Want to destroy some pennies, head there.

Click to see the pennies and more.

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