Double Signature. A dialogue between design and artisanal excellence

Short circuit

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.

At its second edition, the Doppia Firma (Double Signature) project, promoted by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art, the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, and Living Corriere della Sera, amplifies its mission and aims to intercept, decode and transfer new languages that spring from the synergic meeting of craftsmanship and design.

This year we have decided to connect 15 skilful Italian artisans and 15 talented European designers to see what happens when high-level manufacturing skills enter into dialogue with international creativity. An ambitious challenge, for sure, which our designers have been happy to face, inspired as they were by the possibility of exchanging reflections, ideas and projects with artisans who master prized materials and ancient techniques – real interpreters, whose great skills valorise their traits.

The distinctive sign of French designer Pierre Marie has been translated into an awesome inlay of semi-precious stones. The pure forms of German designer Sebastian Herkner have become refined lacquered screens. The origami of Uros Mihic has acquired the functionality of a set of boxes. Cristina Celestino’s pure and creative touch has transformed a mirror, specially treated to reflect an age-old allure, into a sculptural lamp that sparkles with magic.

To give new life to materials like wood,glass, silver, ceramics and metal, or to revive techniques like mosaic and hand-weaving, we have called upon celebrated names like Nika Zupanc, Emmanuel Babled, Lex Pott, Federico Pepe and Raw-Edges, as well as promising young designers such as Elisa Strozyk, Dimitri Bähler, Sara Ricciardi, Oskar Zieta, Felix Muhrhofer, Jan Plecháč & Henry Wielgus, selected for their attitude toward experimentation and practice. Doppia Firma has generated a felicitous fusion of languages, giving life to projects that are unique, original and functional, thanks to an honest – and not always easily articulated – dialogue between the artisan and the designer. Once again, know-how opens new vistas for creativity and design, which in turn enrich the projects with a fresh modernity and intuition made real.

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.

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.