This is not the place to repeat word for word the observations of the learned Dutchman, who spoke of divine necessity with this expression, but I think it is important to highlight at least one point in this distinction, which has guided me in the choice of the topic for this year’s Doppia Firma. In other words: the connection between the landscape, which exists in itself and for itself, and the action that human beings carry out on the landscape, and which therefore determines the changes we witness, for better or worse, every day. “A Garden of Talent”, the theme of Doppia Firma 2021, comes into being precisely to show how the beauty of nature can be made even greater by the work of men (and women). Indeed, by multiple human beings such as an artisan and a designer, who work together, thinking and discussing how to transform a garden, or an outdoor space (a place which is already pleasant in itself) into a locus amoenus for hosting, reflecting and living.
I believe that the challenges of the future will lean more and more towards this type of refined and high-quality production, in which a strong cultural basis meets with the evolved and flexible capabilities of sustainable production. The ability to combine a “bespoke” level of quality with large numbers has always been the crowning jewel of high craftsmanship, and still remains an emblem and symbol of that type of entrepreneurial spirit and design that does not retreat in the face of challenges, but which places quality before quick profit. Eleven couples test their creative imagination and potential in a challenge that is anything but simple: making a space which is already in itself self-sufficient and beautiful, such as a noble courtyard or a historical garden, noteworthy from a design point of view. The courtyard is that of Palazzo Morando, a 17th century gem in the heart of Milan, where we present Doppia Firma (5-12 September). One inspiring space, one small world, two different yet complementary identities: like those of the artisans and designers who, once again, have put their skills into play to create objects or small exceptional series. Guided by the example of Ugo La Pietra, this year’s guest of honour; a new Spinoza, he invites us all to contribute to the beauty of nature with the splendour of human talent. Whether through craftsmanship or design.