In the past years, many creatives have started to rethink their role, renouncing to the traditional relationships with companies and opting for alternative production paradigms that “adopt a self-sufficient vision of making”, explains Emilia Petruccelli, the Italian design entrepreneur that, together with the Italian design curator Domitilla Dardi, co-initiated EDIT Napoli, a design fair that will take place in Naples from the 6th to the 9th of June 2019.
To be effective and attractive in terms of communication and at the same time be consistent with the movement of the designer-makers, of which it wants to become the ambassador, the project had to offer an alternative fertile context to the Milan’s Salone del Mobile, which has always been the only showcase, renowned at international level, dedicated to Italian design and savoir-faire. With its rich past, the craftsmanship tradition that characterises it and its connection to the Mediterranean region, Naples seemed the ideal anchor point for the show. Because “in a globalised world where everything has been seen, creativity needs to explore alternative paths”, affirms Emilia Petruccelli.
The project, which was created with the aim of making up for the lack of events dedicated exclusively to the world of designer-makers and their new design and business approaches, intends to support them by “building a wide web of relationships with international buyers, press and enthusiasts at large, as well as professionals from cultural institutions and the design industries such as interior designers, architects, developers and shop owners”, continues Petruccelli.
The EDIT Napoli's team also launched a one-month residency program, that took place in June 2018, to create a strong connection with the heritage of the Campania region, of which Naples is the chief town. Encouraging the exchange with the territory and its inhabitants, Petruccelli and Dardi invited three international design studios to collaborate with local artisans to develop a series of products branded as “Made in EDIT”.
“As I explored the centre of Naples and discovered the complex historical layers that define its architecture”, explains the Lebanese designer Khaled El Mays, “I started studying its various architectural scales to create furniture pieces that are not only useful, but that also capture a part of the city’s soul.” The result of El Mays' research is a collection of three customisable stools - combining different materials such as leather and glass - that convey the eclectic architectural language of Naples, from Roman to Islamic horseshoe-shaped arches.
Strong of their design approach, which combines field explorations with the curiosity for materials, the Amsterdam-based Italian duo Faberhama collaborated with De Negri & Za.Ma, an old textile company, based in San Leucio, a small village famous for its long silk weaving tradition. “We were inspired by the history of the town”, explain the two designers Paola Amabile and Alberto Fabbian. During their research, they focused on the birth of San Leucio - also known as Ferdinandopoli - and the factory, both conceived by the king Ferdinand IV of Bourbon as a sort of social utopia that put the needs of the inhabitants/workers at the core, but that at the same time allowed him to have a strict control over his subjects. “Trying to interpret this contradiction, which effects are still visible today within the territory’s local identity”, the duo conceived a double-faced fabric, marked by the deeply symbolic character. Bacchantes “that reflect the liberation of instincts over rules here represented by geometries” and silkworms “that can finally escape artificial control and become a free butterfly instead of dying inside the cocoon" populate the two sides of the piece respectively.
Lastly, known for his colourful patterns inspired by the graffiti found across the streets of New York, where he lives, Venezuelan ceramic artist Reinaldo Sanguino teamed up with the Ceramiche Fes workshop in Minori to develop a collection of vases that express his personal sensorial experience of the unfolding landscape of the Campania region.
The appointment is in Naples at the end of spring 2019 to discover these and other collaborations and to deepen the knowledge of the handicraft reality of the Campania region and its potential on the Italian and international scene.
- EDIT Napoli
- 6-9 June 2019