Double Signature. A dialogue between design and artisanal excellence


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. The murals, however, bear two signatures: the Catalan artist wanted his own legendary name to be linked to that of master ceramicist José Llorens Artigas, whose name was clearly less known, but no less important. The double signature conveys a revolutionary message: it underlines the value of the dialogue between artist and ‘craftsman’, between creator and artificer, between a visionary inspiration and its translation into a wondrous objective correlative. At the same time, it bears witness to a genius loci that only the hand of man can reveal. Doppia Firma [Double Signature] is therefore the name that we have chosen, together with the magazine Living and, for the special objects that we are presenting at the Salone del Mobile 2016.

The double signature conveys a revolutionary message: it underlines the value of the dialogue between artist and ‘craftsman’, between creator and artificer

This collection was conceived to emphasise the dialogue that can turn an idea into a generative project: the dialogue between the designer’s vision and the craftsman’s skill. In this process, their dynamic and interacting competences turn the spotlight on rare, unknown and often forgotten crafts. An illuminating spark ignites this refined rarity, in which authorship is certified by the double signature of the protagonists. At a time when everything is carelessly duplicated, extracted and synthesised, the combined work of hand and mind passionately raises the issue of the preciousness of resources: the intellectual, artisanal and boldly contemporary resources that are undaunted by the gap between what is new and what is beautiful.

The Doppia Firma project embraces design and métiers d’art, experimentation and the alchemy of thought, because the energy that drives our lives can only be generated through an exchange of ideas. After all, wisdom is always the child of dialogue and exchange. All of Plato’s works – the highest interpreter of human nature and divine motions - have been handed down to us in the form of dialogues. The energy that feeds our thought and breathes life into our spirit comes from the exchange of ideas. Every substance that is essential to our lives flows, runs, merges: blood, water, time, even money. In its being fertile, permeable and shared, the liquid dimension represents at best the contemporary challenge faced by those who aim at building value on cultural production: acknowledging authorship, originality and authenticity.

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.

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 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 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.