HEX M8 M6 M4

Curated by Atelier Mobile and LPCA - Laboratorio Permanente sulla Città e l'Abitare at Bunker, Turin, 2017.

HEX is a term used in the fields of engineering and construction as an abbreviation of ‘hexagon’ –a 6-sided polygon-, which is used to define a set of keys that drive bolts and screws with hexagonal sockets in their heads.

Hex keys are also known as Allen, Brugola, Inbus or Unbrako keys and their standard metric sizes are sometimes referred to using the designation "M" followed by the size in millimetres of the tool or socket. In this way, M8, M6 and M4 describe hex keys that cover hexagonal sockets of 8, 6 and 4 mm.

The arrival of hex keys in the first half of the 20th century meant a democratisation of the constructive procedures, managing to put laypersons in contact with assembly tools without any particular prior specialisation. Soon afterwards, the democratisation of the means of production through the figure of hex keys resulted into the development of the DIY philosophy or the recent IKEA phenomenon, where this Swedish manufacturer offers low-cost furniture by delegating the assembly process to their buyers, a democratised assembly process through their own line of hex keys.

M8 and M6 Hex keys are therefore the standard sizes used in the industry of scaffolding to drive the clamps which connect and fasten metal tubes. On the other hand, M6 and M4 Hex keys are the standard sizes used to assembly furniture provided by IKEA.

HEX M8 M6 M4 was a design and building workshop for students of Architecture and Design from the Politecnico di Torino, curated by AM6 & LPCA and held in Turin, whose goal was, on the one hand, to reflect and discuss on the democratisation of constructive procedures through the vision of art, to raise an awareness towards a collectivisation of the means of production and, on the other hand, to construct collectively something based in space within the area of the Scalo Vanchiglia as a result of an application of a particular mode of assembly: the use of M8, M6 and M4 Hex keys.

HEX M8 M6 M4


Design and Building Workshop, curated by AM6 & LPCA - Laboratorio Permanente sulla Città e l'Abitare, Turin.

Pictures by Sebastiano Pellion Di Persano