The Michelangelo Foundation Presents
The Michelangelo Foundation Presents
press release

Doppia Firma 2019

Doppia Firma 2019 brings together innovative designers and master artisans from around Europe to produce a unique collection of 19 works and small-scale series. Each object is the result of a creative exchange between a designer/artist and an artisan/ manufacturer – where project culture and expertise are cross-fertilised in an authentic expression of regional excellence.
Landscape I by Zdeněk Lhotský, Czech Republic and Peter Bremers, Netherlands. © Paul Niessen

• Showcasing artisanal expertise and creative design
• A new format for this fourth edition of the event
• 19 successful creative collaborations
• A borderless search for distinctive local character
• Iconic objects created by Patricia Urquiola, Sam Baron, Vito Nesta and other internationally renowned designers
• Exemplary craftsmanship by Nymphenburg, Bottega Ghianda, Risogama and more

Milan, February 2019 – For the 2019 Salone del Mobile, the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is proud to present the fourth annual Doppia Firma: A Dialogue Between Design and Artisanal Excellence, in collaboration with the Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte and Living – the Corriere della Sera magazine for interiors, design and lifestyle.

Doppia Firma 2019 brings together innovative designers and master artisans from around Europe to produce a unique collection of 19 works and small-scale series. Each object is the result of a creative exchange between a designer/artist and an artisan/ manufacturer – where project culture and expertise are cross-fertilised in an authentic expression of regional excellence.

This year’s event focuses on the international dialogue between creativity and fine craftsmanship. Several of the works were commissioned specifically for Doppia Firma, while others were sourced by the project’s partners, who searched Europe for creations that embody the spirit of Doppia Firma. In just three years, Doppia Firma has emerged as a methodology and a mark of excellence. Now in its fourth incarnation, this event shines a spotlight on those who boldly choose to pursue a less prominent form of art or who espouse an artisan-friendly project culture, producing unique pieces and small series never before displayed in Milan. The Doppia Firma designers went beyond the borders of their country in search of extraordinary artisans – from Belgium to Czech Republic to Germany, from the United Kingdom to Sweden to Portugal, from France to Austria to Italy, and from Switzerland to the Netherlands to Japan (the only non- European country in the selection). In some cases, designers and artisans from the same country connected – or reconnected – with each other in pursuit of creative innovation. Each of the works speaks to the inclusive and borderless language of talent and craftsmanship.

The selection was also made possible thanks to the Michelangelo Foundation’s network of European partners dedicated to fostering creativity and craftsmanship. The partners participating in the preliminary selection for Doppia Firma were Ateliers d’Art de France (France), Meisterstrasse (Austria), De Mains de Maîtres (Luxembourg), Fundaçao Ricardo do Espirito Santo Silva (Portugal) and curator Pavla Rossini (Czech Republic).

This project offered craftsmen and women the chance to explore new realms of expression while giving designers an opportunity to be inspired by new techniques, materials, and practices. For this 2019 edition, designers and artisans worked with a wide variety of techniques and materials including glass, ceramic, paper, porcelain, marble, wood, silver and brass to make original interpretations of functional or decorative objects.

The creations – true narrative icons – will be exhibited at the Villa Mozart, a picturesque gem from the 1930s in the heart of Milan. The event takes place in the magnificent suite of rooms on the ground floor.

The exhibit presents the designers and artisans alongside each object, together with photos and video footage of the different stages of the creative process. The goal is to bring their authorship to the forefront and reaffirm the “double signature” theme of the project (as the name Doppia Firma translates), which highlights both sides of the artistic equation.

Patricia Urquiola (right), Spain, and Bottega Ghianda’s artisan (left), Italy. © Laila Pozzo for Doppia Firma – Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte and Living Corriere della Sera

The 19 extraordinary designer-artisan collaborations selected by the project partners for Doppia Firma 2019 are:
1. atelier oï, Switzerland, with Masayuki Kajiwara, Japan;
2. Tomás Alonso, Spain, with Wiener Silbermanufaktur, Austria;
3. Emmanuel Babled, France, and the cabinet-making workshop of the Fundação Ricardo do Espirito Santo Silva, Portugal;
4. Sam Baron, France, and porcelain manufacturer Vista Alegre, Portugal;
5. Boris Berlin with Mikkel Karlshøj and the students from NEXT Praktikcenter, Denmark;
6. Peter Bremers, Netherlands, and Zdenek Lhotský, Czech Republic;
7. Mathilde Bretillot and Antoine Leperlier, France;
8. Maarten de Ceulaer with Atelier Mestdagh, Belgium;
9. Laura Fiaschi and Gabriele Pardi (Gum Design), Italy, with porcelain manufacturer Risogama, Japan;
10. Roxanne Flick, Luxembourg and Michael Nätscher, Germany;
11. Christian Haas, Germany, and José Vieira, Portugal;
12. Masquespacio, Spain, and manufacturer Poggi Ugo (project curated by Valentina Guidi Ottobri), Italy;
13. Vito Nesta and the wallpaper design lab of San Patrignano, Italy;
14. Marcello Panza and the artisan Pasquale De Palma from Capodimonte(a project by Bottega Made in Cloister), Italy;, Italy;
15. Nick Ross, Sweden, and the artisans of Dunedin Stone, Scotland;
16. Lachaert and Dhanis with Piet Stockmans, Belgium;
17. Karsten K. Krebs, Germany, and Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, Germany;
18. Patricia Urquiola, Spain, and Bottega Ghianda, Italy;
19. Victoria Wilmotte, France, and Giorgio Angeli, Italy.

These designers and artisans, contributing their respective ideas and expertise, worked towards a common goal in an expression of harmony, all in the name of excellence.

Notes for editors

The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is a private, not-for-profit, international foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its mission is to preserve, encourage and promote master artisans in order to secure their future and strengthe their connection to the world of design. It is unique in the world of craftsmanship, transcending borders and cultures to create a dynamic network that stimulates ideas, exchanges and new projects through dialogue and collaborations. The foundation’s work takes place at the intersection of craftsmanship and design, with a view to fostering a productive dialogue. It does this by creating a global network, hosting a communication platform and events, leading educational initiatives and training programmes, and working on specific projects and experiments that open up job opportunities and support artisans financially. The foundation also organises an international cultural event called Homo Faber: Crafting a more human future that is dedicated to creativity and craftsmanship.

The Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte is a private, non-profit institution founded by Franco Cologni in Milan in 1995. It promotes cultural, scientific, and educational initiatives to protect and encourage artistic crafts. Through the editorial series Mestieri d’Arte and Ricerche, published by Marsilio Editori, the foundation seeks to retrace the highly skilled practices of craftsmanship and research from their historical roots to the present day. It also publishes the magazine Mestieri d’Arte & Design and runs an internship programme called Una Scuola, un Lavoro. Percorsi di Eccellenza (A School, a Job. Training in Excellence) to support high-quality craftsmanship training for young people.

Living is the interiors, design, and lifestyle monthly supplement of Corriere della Sera. Featuring the best in the latest ways of transforming living spaces, the magazine published by RCS and signed by editor-in-chief Francesca Taroni, starting with the home, incorporates the many aspects of contemporary life that surround it – architecture, food, art, fashion and green living. Living’s focus on Made-in-Italy excellence, its international perspective and its close attention to customer service are reflected in each and every one of its projects. With its monthly print issues and its digital edition, website, events and special editions - Design Issues and Living Collection – Living has become Italy’s number one design destination.

Thank you to:
Alessandra Salaris, an accomplished interior stylist, who is overseeing the exhibit at Villa Mozart.

Laila Pozzo, a Milan-based photographer specialising in portraits and artisanal settings, who is documenting the project by photographing the artisans in their workshops.

Italian filmmaker Emanuele Zamponi, who has created a video to immerse visitors in the creation of the works.

Special thanks to Richemont ItaliaGiampiero BodinoHands On Design - Novacolor.

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