The project, activated under the Martino Gamper’s direction on order of Confartigianato and CNA Vicenza under the project Valore Artigiano, was able to combine international designer’s creativity and venetian artisan’s work. A “report” about human and professional matters, about relationships and exchanges, which has created an original production of objects and accessories, unique or in a little series pieces, characterized by style and quality. FROM-TO was conceived not to be another “object exhibition”, but to give a meaning, commercial too, to the designers-artisan companies relationship, to the stories that tell thought and realization of a product and that every object hides.
FROM the designer TO the artisan, FROM the artisan TO the designer, FROM the Vicenza region TO the world, FROM the idea TO the making - all of these are journeys that require an exchange. This exchange of knowledge - the moment when the thinking informs the making and the making informs the thinking - was the starting point for this project.
The challenge was to combine the processes of thinking and making, rather than separate them. In order to address this challenge we asked a series of questions: how can 11 designers and 12 artisans work collectively on a project? How can both the designer and the artisan create products, objects, and situations that have a lasting impact beyond an exhibition? And how can a situation be developed that nurtures both the thinking and making processes during a time when the crafts are dying and bottegas (Italian artisan workshops) are closing? One could say one hand feeds the other - the hand that feeds the other is also the hand that creates and makes, and without this making and creating we will be surrounded by objects that don't have much to tell us.
This story is what interests me as a designer. It’s the little stories behind every object that reveal the thinking and the making of a product - these moments and details communicate that objects are more than just materials and shapes.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this project will evolve and ultimately how many designers will continue to work with artisans in the future.
The project “Valore Artigiano” (The Value of Crafts), a project sponsored by Confartigianato and CNA Vicenza – two associations representing 20,000 small businesses – has been developed following three main themes: Design, E-Commerce, 3D Printing. This project was launched in September 2013 with the support of the Veneto Region, the contribution of the Chamber of Commerce of Vicenza and of EBAV (Ente Bilaterale Artigianato Veneto). After a start-up phase including three workshops carried out on the three themes mentioned above, the project “Valore Artigiano” got to the heart of the activity involving businesses within the framework of events that we have called Workshops, a term that conveys the flavor of the productive activity of craftsmen, as well as the design that has to be carried out before production. This applies in particular to the Workshop on Design.
What happens when 12 craftsmen coming from different fields - stone, marble, mechanics, ceramics, glass, printing, wood - meet 12 international designers? What happens when the local manufacturing world meets global creativity? These questions stimulate curiosity and show that what is happening is something new, an experiment that may feature endless combinations and lead to different “outcomes”. The involved designers live in the major capitals of the world, are able to interpret the needs of the market, and have the creativity to imagine new products.
Craftsmen master the production techniques, love and care for details, know the characteristics of the materials. The ones need the others. This is the commitment of Confartigianato and CNA Vicenza: promoting a new way of expression of the local excellence, supporting and reinterpreting the craftsmanship that belongs to this territory, repositioning craftsmanship within the map of the value thanks to the design, connecting two substantially distant worlds to face together the international markets: FROM—TO...
An orange bus crossed the Venetian countryside. In the bus there was a crew of well-established international designer, coordinated by Martino Gamper, hungry not of Italian food but of the mastery of making things. The bus stopped in factories, workshops and private houses to meet local craftsmen and to get into the secrets of their trade. The designers asked a lot of questions, took pictures and notes. The craftsmen were agreeably surprised by the interest of the designers and they start to show all the details of their art. English has not been a barrier since the passion of both designers and craftsmen for the quality of making took over.
In those meetings, designers and craftsmen not only knew each other but understood their complementarit