Research undertaken on the relationships existing between Italian design and Italian industries investigates the complex connections that give form and substance to good Italian corporate culture
Good manufacturing culture, encapsulating technical skills, taste and human values. And the best place for it is Italy. These are the themes discussed by Maria Antonietta Sbordone (from the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Department of Architecture and Industrial Design) and Davide Turrini (University of Ferrara, Department of Architecture), in their recently published contribution on MD Journal.
“Designed & Made in Italy. Invarianti, transizioni, nuove mappe valoriali” (“Designed & Made in Italy. Invariants, transitions, new value maps”) is an attempt to capture the series of connections linking design and Made in Italy, identifying some constant points among many variables affected by time and a changing economic and social context.
In their introduction, Sbordone and Turrini write, “In Italy, which in general has shown a lack of substantial and continued investments by large industrial companies and of consistent, large homogeneous orders, the relationship between design and manufacture has historically included the factor of “taste” – a complex, heterogeneous cultural phenomenon that incorporates unique and recognisable semantic and formal values, as well as traits related to quality manufacturing and commerce. Nowadays, this phenomenon displays further degrees of complexity and variance: in increasingly fluid national and global contexts, delocalisation processes are rampant; the social fabric of the middle class, historical protagonist in turning consumption into a concept of the imagination in management and manufacturing, is unravelling; buyers’ awareness of what the real value of goods should be is weakening, while the perception of quality is being affected by increasingly random variables.”
These are the reflections that inform this research work, whose structure is quite straightforward: the authors first investigate the different connections observed within what, for convenience’s sake, is termed Made in Italy; then they explore the “Convergence points between creativity and manufacture”; and finally they assess the impact of change, with an analysis of the “design variations in the new value chain.”
This essay by Maria Antonietta Sbordone and Davide Turrini is not always easy to read, but it does help to better understand the really complex system of relationships that underlie great part of the best Italian industrial manufacture.
Designed & Made in Italy. Invarianti, transizioni, nuove mappe valoriali (“Designed & Made in Italy. Invariants, transitions, new value maps”)
Maria Antonietta Sbordone, Davide Turrini
MD Journal, 9, 2020