Chris Anderson with Fondazione Giannino Bassetti

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The american guru of digital creativity will discuss the economy of the future, where innovation and beauty are two sides of the same coin.


“Just as the World Wide Web has democratized bit technology innovation, a new class of technology that allows rapid prototype production today – and includes 3D printers and laser cutters – is democratizing the innovation of atoms”. Chris Anderson’s words, one of the founders of WIRED USA and author of Makers. The New Industrial Revolution.

Anderson will be Special Guest at the Symposium “From Taylorism to Tailor Made. A bridge between two cultures” organized within the framework of the Making in Italy – Making in USA: “Artisanship, Technology and Design. Innovating with Beauty” project, taking place between 11 and 24 June in San Francisco. The Symposium opens a calendar of events promoted by Fondazione Giannino Bassetti in collaboration with the Italian Consulate and the Institute of Italian Culture in San Francisco.

Following the global wave of success that the Makers movement is currently riding, the Symposium aims to highlight the role of the artisan from Italian and USA perspectives. As Piero Bassetti will explain as he introduces the panel, poiesis intensive innovation that interweaves creativity and technology is carrying ever more weight alongside technoscientific innovation, effecting both modes of production and wider society.

Design and high-tech are already the ingredients of an emerging economy of beauty. An industrial revolution (as The Economist argued) that in mature capitalist societies leaves the Taylorism of the Chaplin film “Modern Times” behind, along with the sirens of a predominantly “immaterial” mode of development. Tailor made manufacturing moves forward, the production of made to measure objects, whose added value is created through the experiential dimension. An artisanship looking to the future, with new technological and fiscal needs (crowdfunding), and is able to maintain its reputation amongst the youth and create distribution chanels using social networks.

The Symposium debate will include the artisans, entrepreneurs and 21st century designers who are developing manuality and technology. Today the body of a racing car that was once created over three thousand working hours of mechanics and welders, is produced in four hours through the sculpting of carbon fiber. Millions of artists develop ideas with 3D printers, that move them from niche into productive reality, like modern steam engines. This is the first structural transformation in modes of production in the era of the Web and the glocal.

Along side Chris Anderson, the debate will be brought to life by highly respected personalities such as Dale Dougherty, editor and publisher of «MAKE», General Manager of the Maker Media division of O’Reilly Media, Inc., cited by Presidente Barack Obama and given the title of “Champion of Change”; and Stefano Micelli, professor of Economics and Business Management at the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice, author of Futuro Artigiano. Other participants include Giulio Ceppi, Total Tool; Luisa Collina, Politecnico Milano; Tom Igoe, Arduino; Giovanni Lanzone, The Renaissance Link; Rodrigo Rodriquez, Flos; Sigurdur Thorsteinsson, Design Group Italia.

The President of the Fondazione Bassetti will introduce the symposium. The Foundation’s mission is to favor dialogue between the protagonists of innovation and institutions, in the understanding that the innovator of today can write history, but demands a new governance that can withstand the challenge of doing so. The evolution of the crafts-person requires a reformulation of the relationship between ways of working and ways of living (polis). This means investing in an economy of beauty, with politics and training to the fore, to rethink the competitive advantage of small and medium sized Italian businesses.

These are the themes that the two workshops will focus upon. Students, developers and companies will be the absolute protagonists: “Design will own the Future. Beauty and tech, a new vision of design, a new way of education” (from the Singularity University) based upon case studies of companies that create “responsible innovation”, mixing high technology and artisanship; “From Made in Italy to Make in Italy”, with testimonies from Italian companies that use innovation, beauty and design to improve their position and competitiveness in the market.

As well as time dedicated to debate and comparison between professionals, cultures and personalities, Making in Italy – Making in USA: “Artisanship, Technology and Design. Innovating with Beauty” also offers the public three important installations, created by some of the most important figures in the world of design, artisanship and innovation.

“The New Italian Design”, shown in its updated form in respect to the 2007 edition, is curated by the Triennale Design Museum in Milan. It offers a panorama upon contemporary Italian design, with analysis, valuation and promotion of the emerging Italian artists who signal the change in design from the 20th to 21st century. There are 288 projects from 132 Italian designers within the exhibition, not only dedicated to product but also food and interior design.

The “New Shape of Artisans’ Identities” exhibition is promoted by Confartigianato and is entirely dedicated to the new role of the artisan. Six companies bring the artisan heritage that has made Italian companies famous throughout the world into the future, reinterpreting and innovating it according to 21st century logic, and using new technology to produce high quality products. The aim is to highlight a new artisan identity, able to face the challenges posed by the new economy thanks to the union between artisanship, design and a well done “Italian”. Giorgio Merletti of Confartigianato, Giulio Ceppi of Total Tool; Yves Behar, Designer, Renato Mattioni of the Camera di Commercio di Monza, Rodrigo Rodriquez, of Flos and Alberto D’Ottavi of Blomming will all be present at the opening ceremony.

Finally the Gruppo Poltrona Frau and Cappellini will celebtrate their icons within the “Poltrona Frau: 100 years of Italian leathership. Cappellini’s Heroes: Explorers of Design between imagination and reality” exhibition: pieces whose form and shape have gained a collective recognition so vast that they represent an entire period or typical project style of an individual author. Characteristics that allow the object to become timeless, through design that sits somewhere between reality and imagination.

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