Double Signature. A dialogue between design and artisanal excellence

An achievable utopia

crafted with love, designed with talent, presented with pride

Text by Franco Cologni

Chairman, Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art

There are borders that are not inked on any map yet are very much present in our minds: the line between kitsch and authentic beauty, for example. Or the vast expanse between a hastily made object or cheap imitation and an artefact crafted with love, designed with talent and presented with pride. The Salone del Mobile, for which this exhibition was originally conceived, is a place where such lines converge: tradition finds originality, craftsmanship meets intuition, and creativity leads to innovation. With Doppia Firma we have once again sought to create a space in which vibrant design and flawless craftsmanship can bloom into something new and eloquent. We asked designers from eleven European countries to meet Italian artisans whose ateliers are located throughout the country – from Friuli to Sicily. These multifaceted artisans, whose talents are often out of view, opened their workshops, welcomed new ideas, made unforeseen friends, and created surprising projects born of a dialogue. The value of dialogue, cross-fertilization and exchange has dimmed in a world too easily dazzled by celebrity star power. 

It reminds us of what good design should always be: a culturally conscious way to express an original form of beauty. In the eyes of the designers and the hands of the artisans, this form takes on a bright new face.

To help light a different path, the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art has joined forces with the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship and with Living Corriere della Sera. With this project, we envision a kind of Utopia, one that is composed of beautiful objects which can make our lives better and add meaning to our days. A land where know-how and talent come together and a place where an artefact has cultural value as well as economic value. 
A very achievable Utopia – not a far-off island, but a place we can call home: a space filled with beauty and fulfilment. These 15 narrative icons are made in a variety of materials: paper, silver, wrought iron, ceramics, wood. They have been crafted using time-honoured techniques: marquetry, inlay, “lustro”, lacquering. They are the fruit of a task that has been challenging and often exhilarating for the 15 artisans and the 15 designers: to give the best they can, to add value to each other’s work and to forge authentic links that are reflected in an object that carries both of their signatures. Doppia Firma is a project, an exhibition and an inspiring place where a Renaissance of the human values crosses geographical borders and old divisions. It reminds us of what good design should always be: a culturally conscious way to express an original form of beauty. In the eyes of the designers and the hands of the artisans, this form takes on a bright new face.

High-voltage design breaks into craftsmanship. new energy sparks unexpected projects

Text by Francesca Taroni

Editor-in-Chief, Living Corriere della Sera

Like a precious gem, the world of Italian fine craftsmanship has many facets. There are the time-honoured traditional techniques that constitute an invaluable heritage.  There are the artisans’ flawless gestures that require time to be learnt and patience to be transmitted. There are the manual skills nurtured in a specific territory. These facets shine even brighter when they meet the challenging vision of contemporary design and a cosmopolitan approach.

Unlimited possibilities unfold when creativity meets craftsmanship

Text by Barbara Geary Truan

Secretary General, Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship

For the last two hundred years or so, most of our systems, approaches and thinking have been moving consistently in the direction of specialization. The division of labour, which allowed for the growth of complexity and ultimately has given way to an explosion of information, requires us to separate, to categorize, and to disassociate one thing from another. 

between the creative spirit and the intelligence of the hand

Text by Franco Cologni

Chairman, Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art

At the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, ceramic decorations on two spectacular walls evoke the beauty of the Sun and the Moon. The style is unquestionably Joan Miró’s. At the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, ceramic decorations on two spectacular walls evoke the beauty of the Sun and the Moon. The style is unquestionably Joan Miró’s.

Between fine craftsmanship and contemporary design

Text by Francesca Taroni

Editor-in-Chief, Living Corriere della Sera

Doppia Firma is a fascinating experiment focusing on Made in Italy’s key values, such as the excellence of Italian craftsmanship and creative talent. The project aims to establish a connection between top-end Italian workshops skills and contemporary designers vision. Together they’ll give birth to a collection of unique, innovative as well as functional objects.

Text by Federico Marchetti

yoox.com Founder and YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group Chief Executive Officer

The binary code, the basis of digital innovation, is made of two digits: 0 and 1. Like Yin and Yang, like Descartes’ notion of body and mind, these opposites are actually complements. Their duality serves to strengthen, not to divide.