All across Europe passionate artisans are working with new technologies to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the field of transport.
• A mechanic’s garage in Italy restores and customises Ferrari to meet the needs of the car’s owner.
• A London-based artist turned bicycle maker creates bespoke bikes for city cyclists who are as passionate about two wheels as she is.
• A Spanish inventor applies his fervent imagination to create motorbikes that resemble fantastical sculptures.
The contribution of European artisans to the field of transportation will be showcased in the Homo Faber exhibit Workshop Exclusives in Venice this September.
Great technological innovations have been made – and will continue to make – a huge impact on our ability to travel, but craftsmanship remains a vital part of transport’s future. Without the passion of artisans there would be no one striving to make the most advanced e-bike ever created; without dialogue between inventor and customer there would be no one pushing boundaries to make a helicopter that can fulfil even the most fanciful desires; without the fantastical vision of a motorbike enthusiast all bikes would look the same.
Curated by Stefano Micelli, the exhibit Workshop Exclusives showcases the contribution European artisans make to bespoke transportation and the value this gives to these vehicles. On a continent so rich in history and culture, artisans take inspiration from both this cultural legacy and new technologies in order to create innovative products. And, whether restoring a million-dollar car or building a modest city bike, they all share common characteristics: passion, vision, skill and the ability to learn from technology rather than fear it.
A helicopter, a Ferrari F40 and a customised Vespa will be among the objects on display, along with tools, materials and components used in their creation and restoration. Artisans will be present in situ to demonstrate processes on a special stage, while videos will highlight techniques that cannot always be shown live. Visitors will come away with a real insight into the making of bespoke vehicles and the crucial role of the human hand and mind in helping technology realise its potential.
“Craftsmanship and technology are not false friends, they are true friends. Mixing craftsmanship, Europe’s cultural legacy and innovation in technology can be at the heart of something new.” – Stefano Micelli
Workshop Exclusives is one of 16 exhibits that make up Homo Faber, a major new exhibition celebrating European craftsmanship, organised by the Michelangelo Foundation.
Notes for editors
Crafting a more human future
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
Free entry upon registration at homofaberevent.com
Homo Faber is the first major cultural exhibition dedicated to the very best in European craftsmanship. Organised by the Michelangelo Foundation, it aims to put fine craftsmanship on the global map and increase recognition and visibility for master artisans. The exhibition will bring together a vast range of materials and disciplines, from jewellery to bespoke bicycles, from the rarest artisanal techniques to some of the most iconic examples of the finest European workmanship. Created by a hand-picked team of world-class designers, curators and architects, the exhibition stretches over a number of magnificent spaces throughout the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. homofaberevent.com
The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is an international, nonprofit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, which celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence and in the realities and challenges of today’s global economy, the Foundation seeks to support men and women who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of master craftsmanship and to foster a new cultural movement built around the values that are essential for their work. The Foundation focuses on Europe as a starting point for its activities, in recognition that craftsmanship has been a vital part of the economic and cultural fabric of the region for centuries. michelangelofoundation.org
Stefano Micelli is a professor at the University of Venice, Ca’ Foscari. Since 1999, Micelli has served as the Director of TeDIS – Venice International University’s research centre focusing on innovation in small to medium sized industrial companies. His academic work has focused on Italian artisanal craft and its future manufacturing potential. In 2012, he received the ADI Design Index prize for his authoritative analysis of Italian artisanal craft.
Workshop Exclusives will feature the following:
• Bespoke bicycles from Hartley Cycles (UK), Pedemonte (Italy) and Stajvelo (Monaco) – present for one week each during the exhibition
• Two motorbikes by David Borras, El Solitario Motorcycle Club (Spain)
• Two Ferrari restored by Carlo Bonini, Autofficina Bonini (Italy)
• A helicopter by Sergio Bortoluz, Konner Helicopters (Italy)
• Two bespoke Vespa made by Bottega Conticelli (Italy)