True stories of people who have turned their hobbies into businesses outside the box and company and market rules; stories of people who invest in their future and look fearlessly to new technologies; stories of crafts traditions that can be reinvented.
World Wide Rome rendered palpable the creativity spread throughout Italy; unstoppable enthusiasm just waiting for a sign so that it can explode into infinite and unsuspected streams. Fashion, design, architecture, crafts, marketing and technology; the made-in-Italy makers move through these areas. Managers, artisans, entrepreneurs, designers and professionals of all ages: innovators and visionaries who write new success stories, who focus on creativity, who generate new products and media, especially new business models, starting from digital fabrication, open-source production and collaboration between people. The result of their progress is the ongoing redefinition of the relationship between material production, technology, design, innovation and society.
The roles of entrepreneur, craftsman, designer and customer become fluid, almost interchangeable; the consumer becomes increasingly aware and active.
In Rome, there was not the death of industry, nor the invalidation of professional designers but rather the proud rediscovery of doing and making with one's own hands and head.
There is the story of Riccardo Marchesi in the textile machines business who, with the Florence-based Plug and Wear and Inntex projects, reinvented his job, creating intelligent fabrics (luminescent and water sensitive) used in a wide range of fields from interior design to fashion to medicine. Or Enrico Dini, who with D-Shape, wants to revolutionize the construction industry thanks to a 3D printer that mixes sand and salt to make rock. His dream? To build houses on the moon. For now he focuses his attention on maritime hydraulics for the protection of coral reefs.
It emerges with irrepressible force in the discussions of the leaders of this new industrial revolution; starting with Chris Anderson, editor of Wired Us as well as maker and successful 3D Robotics entrepreneur.
There is no nation in the world where the word "design" has such strong meaning as here. And this is the right time for Italy to become the bearer of democratic design, Anderson said. Even large companies should embrace the influence of the makers, accepting their open and collectivist philosophy.
There is no nation in the world where the word "design" has such strong meaning as here. And this is the right time for Italy to become the bearer of democratic design, Anderson said
The former told of her experience at CIID, the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, devoted to education, research and consultancy. Beauty applied to experience and culture permeate the projects that develop in a fruitful dialogue between students and companies. Embracing the logic of making also has its advantages for the big brands — thinning the line between thinking and doing reduces the time and costs of R&D.
And even Arduino, the Italian heart of this revolution (according to Riccardo Luna), was born in a fertile context like the ever-missed Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea as a tool for students and designers. Over the years, the role of this tiny circuit board has changed a great deal; thanks to Giorgio Olivero and the ToDo office, Arduino (along with its packaging) has been transformed into a true design object.
During the Salone del Mobile, we will see more results of the ongoing revolution: the winners of the Autoprogettazione 2.0 competition will be on display at Palazzo Clerici in Milan from 17 to 22 April.