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Beautiful Italian manufacturing culture

The history and the meaning of our style in a book

 

Manufacturing and beauty. Industry and culture. Corporate culture, indeed. With all the necessary precautions; because certainly the art of industry, craftsmanship, manufacturing, production, in short, also involves effort and commitment, risk, the hard will to succeed, determination and perseverance. But, aside from all this, manufacturing well often also means above all to have style and taste. These peculiarities see Italy in the front row of the world, ahead of everyone and imitated by all. It is for this reason that knowing more about the culture of Italian style is a good thing for those who want to understand the success of our country in many production fields better.

This was what Romano Benini (professor of Italian Fashion Industries at La Sapienza University in Rome) has done, writing an essay that covers this topic and sums up one of the thousand-year old strengths of Italianness in the world.

Benini writes with a plain and understandable language, yet which requires focus and caution. “Lo stile italiano” (Italian Style) is the story of what is summed up today as Made in Italy and then begins with the investigation of the meaning of the term “style” and of a term related to it: “taste”. This is where Benini starts to clarify first of all the links between form and content and then between aesthetic styling and ethics of manufacturing, moving on thereafter to clarifying how much Italian success throughout the world, including economic, is based on our ability to maintain a manufacturing culture that manages to combine specifically the exterior with the interior of every product. “The resistance – Benini explains -, that Italy still maintains today to the separation between ethics and aesthetic styling is what makes it attractive in a global system based instead on mass consumption of goods free of any value and intended to produce large amounts of refuse and waste”.

But how did all this come about? The answer is given by Benini throughout the whole book, by retracing – from the Etruscans to the modern day – the fundamental stages of the relationship between Italian style and production; in all its forms: from food to craftsmanship and to manufacturing in all its expressions.

Benini’s “moral” is clear. Ten years after the outbreak of the global economic crisis, Italian style not only came out of the crisis unscathed, but it was the driving factor for the development of various sectors of the Italian economy. Hence an example of a resilient Italy. And the “secret” to its success. Benini then condense into a series of keywords and commandments of the founding elements of the style that characterises us. And he explains: “Italians can shed their difficulties by treasuring their history and their identity, but for this to be possible, policies and interventions are required, that are capable of accommodating, stimulating and supporting the assertion in culture, in society and in the economy of the most significant aspects of Italianness”.

What Romano Benini has written is a beautiful book, in the purest Italian style.

 

Lo stile italiano. Storia, economia e cultura del Made in Italy (Italian style. The history, economy and culture of Made in Italy)

Romano Benini

Donzelli, 2018

The history and the meaning of our style in a book

 

Manufacturing and beauty. Industry and culture. Corporate culture, indeed. With all the necessary precautions; because certainly the art of industry, craftsmanship, manufacturing, production, in short, also involves effort and commitment, risk, the hard will to succeed, determination and perseverance. But, aside from all this, manufacturing well often also means above all to have style and taste. These peculiarities see Italy in the front row of the world, ahead of everyone and imitated by all. It is for this reason that knowing more about the culture of Italian style is a good thing for those who want to understand the success of our country in many production fields better.

This was what Romano Benini (professor of Italian Fashion Industries at La Sapienza University in Rome) has done, writing an essay that covers this topic and sums up one of the thousand-year old strengths of Italianness in the world.

Benini writes with a plain and understandable language, yet which requires focus and caution. “Lo stile italiano” (Italian Style) is the story of what is summed up today as Made in Italy and then begins with the investigation of the meaning of the term “style” and of a term related to it: “taste”. This is where Benini starts to clarify first of all the links between form and content and then between aesthetic styling and ethics of manufacturing, moving on thereafter to clarifying how much Italian success throughout the world, including economic, is based on our ability to maintain a manufacturing culture that manages to combine specifically the exterior with the interior of every product. “The resistance – Benini explains -, that Italy still maintains today to the separation between ethics and aesthetic styling is what makes it attractive in a global system based instead on mass consumption of goods free of any value and intended to produce large amounts of refuse and waste”.

But how did all this come about? The answer is given by Benini throughout the whole book, by retracing – from the Etruscans to the modern day – the fundamental stages of the relationship between Italian style and production; in all its forms: from food to craftsmanship and to manufacturing in all its expressions.

Benini’s “moral” is clear. Ten years after the outbreak of the global economic crisis, Italian style not only came out of the crisis unscathed, but it was the driving factor for the development of various sectors of the Italian economy. Hence an example of a resilient Italy. And the “secret” to its success. Benini then condense into a series of keywords and commandments of the founding elements of the style that characterises us. And he explains: “Italians can shed their difficulties by treasuring their history and their identity, but for this to be possible, policies and interventions are required, that are capable of accommodating, stimulating and supporting the assertion in culture, in society and in the economy of the most significant aspects of Italianness”.

What Romano Benini has written is a beautiful book, in the purest Italian style.

 

Lo stile italiano. Storia, economia e cultura del Made in Italy (Italian style. The history, economy and culture of Made in Italy)

Romano Benini

Donzelli, 2018