ITALY – SaloneSatellite: Craftsmanship & Design together for industry

ITALY – SaloneSatellite: Craftsmanship & Design together for industry

The theme of the 2013 edition of SaloneSatellite was dedicated to two key components of the design world, today closer than ever, and with the same objective: design and craftsmanship, both at the service of industry. The theme is particularly relevant today, and underscores a new necessity: to re-establish the value of the artisanal contribution behind the object, to consider not only those who design and manufacture it, but those who build it. The theme responds to a need that today’s young designers feel strongly, which is to integrate the tradition of craftsmanship with the technological possibilities offered by contemporary industrial planning and production.

The artisan, with his masterful hands and traditional techniques, becomes part of the dialogue between designer and manufacturer upon which the success of ’Made in Italy’ is founded. Indeed, there are many companies that rely on craftsmanly know-how for the realization of the final prototype.

Two venerable artisans from Cantù, a master glassmaker who participated in past editions of the SaloneSatellite, and a technician from a digital lab alternate demonstrations, interacting with the public and inviting them to provide ideas to realize on site. In the Wood Workshop, a simple lathe recounts cut, seasoning and classification; in the Metal Workshop, ideas merge with the most varied materials, while the Glass Workshop perpetuates a millennia-old technique, unaltered over the centuries, where the blowing pipe meets the skill of the master glassmaker. Lastly, the Digital Workshop becomes a virtual showroom of the future, where projects are selected, personalized and 3D-printed in real time.

To the theme “Design & Craftsmanship: Together for Industry” were also dedicated the “Design Talks” moderated by Gianluigi Ricuperati, that took palce on Wednesday, 10 April.

As always, the heart of the SaloneSatellite was its selection of designers and international design schools. The former, which this year numbered 700, were selected by a prestigious Selection Committee, composed of key international figures from the worlds of design, architecture and the media – Carola Bestetti, Living Divani; Carlo Colombo, architect; Carlo Contin, Designer SaloneSatellite 1999; Beppe Finessi, architect/critic; Paul Makovsky, Metropolis magazine, foreign press; Patrizia Malfatti, Image & Communication Director, Cosmit; Antonio Morello, Della Valentina Office; Gianluigi Ricuperati, Domus, freelance, Italian press; Elisa Storace, curator, Museo Kartell; Alessandro Vecchiato, Foscarini; Marva Griffin, curator and organizer, SaloneSatellite.

There were 17 international design schools represented. From Europe: Tallin University of Technology (Estonia); Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (Finland); l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Decoratifs (France); Burg Giebichenstein and Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (Germany). From Asia: Beijing University of Technology – College of Art and Design (China); Osaka University of Arts (Japan); National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan). From the Americas: Savannah College of Art and Design (United States); Universidad del Desarrollo (Chile); Universidade de Caxias do Sul (Brazil); Escuela Internacional de Diseño (Puerto Rico). And of course, from Italy: Accademia Italiana Arte Moda Design, Libera Università di Bolzano, Politecnico di Milano, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, Università Kore di Enna.

As in the last three editions, the SaloneSatellite held the SaloneSatellite Award, a competition based on the product categories of the biennial trade shows that accompany the Salone Internazionale del Mobile – specifically, for this edition, Euroluce and SaloneUfficio. Participants in the SaloneSatellite were asked to present, along with their qualifying prototypes, one or more additional designs belonging to the product categories of the two biennial shows. These projects were selected by a Jury composed of important international figures.

Last but not least, a special feature of this edition was the superhero mask project titled “Blind Pills” by Andrea Segato, NABA (Milan) and WDKA Willem De Kooning Academie (Rotterdam). More an experience than a product, the project featured four masks that turn ‘normal’ people into superheroes by limiting their vision, thereby heightening the remaining senses through electronic sensors, with the aim of encouraging greater awareness in the use of all our sensory apparati.