What parameters to measure the real value of a design object: Emilia Petruccelli explains the Editorial Design, while in Naples designers from all over the world – from Dutch to Lebanese – meet
Edit the international editorial design fair – third edition
San Domenico: the Saint proclaimed by the Catholic Church as the protector of astronomers, orators and seamstresses, is today considered by some as ‘the patron saint of design’. It is in the cloister of the Basilica of San Domenico Maggiore in Naples that, at the end of October, the third edition of Edit, the international editorial design fair, will take place. The term edit, from the Latin editus, ‘published’, is for the first time associated with the context of design or the project. The act of editing suggests a process of analysis, discernment and choice that in the field of furnishing is translated into a selection of works that have a minimum common denominator dear to the Neapolitan fair. The figure that implements this selective process is the design editor, a hybrid that makes the traditional techniques of craftsmanship current, enhancing them in a contemporary way: a figure that manages to overcome the temporal limits of the object, making it timeless. This process, set in the Neapolitan context of the fair, is also exempt from geographical limits, gathering around it works beyond national and international borders. The designers of this edition of the fair are European in a significant way: about 80 exhibitors will set up in the cloister of the Basilica. The fair has formed partnerships with several publishers from Holland, Spain, France, Lebanon: Naples wants to regain the vocation of capital and become again a reference for the Mediterranean and Europe in general. The Edit project has found its home in the Neapolitan city because the two creators of the project, Domitilla Dardi, curator of the historical and theoretical part of design, and Emilia Petruccelli, the entrepreneurial soul, see Naples as the city that by nature embodies the concept of handcrafted design as a process linked to the ability of know-how combined with tradition. The emotional intelligence and the planning of the city have deep roots that are translated into the traditional ceramics of Capodimonte, into the processing of leather, into the inlay of wood. If every city has its own vocation, as Milan is the capital of industrial design, Naples is the new capital of editorial design.
Lampoon reporting: Edit fair’s multiform articulation
The heart of the fair, hosted at the Basilica consists of a commercial area developed around two souls, one ‘Senior’, where the protagonists are the consolidated designers, the other, the ‘Seminar’, which is equivalent in a way to the growth of a seed that produces its fruits, proposes young designers under 30 or with limited experience, who in tomorrow’s fair will constitute the nucleus of the ‘design-stars’. What the designers exhibiting at the fair have in common is the sustainability of the products they present: ‘sustainable products do not mean that they are fair, but that they have a strong relationship between the quality of the product, the type of processing and the cost’, explains Emilia Petruccelli. In this equation of three variables, cost is a value that is directly proportional to the process that underlies the creation of the final object. The production process, the techniques, the history and the choice of materials are elements that condition the market value. Another criterion for the selection of designers is the possible reproducibility of the works, which have a natural limitation due solely to the craft production process that cannot generate industrial quantities. The fair is not limited to the business area and does not remain confined to the cloister of the Basilica.
Last year’s Edit Cult was inaugurated outside the complex of San Domenico Maggiore, in a format involving the city in an all-embracing way: it is not the project that is established on the territory, but the territory that is an integral part of the project. In collaboration with ‘I maestri napoletani’ (Neapolitan masters), ad hoc projects are developed in which traditions and classical places of local culture meet contemporary design at an international level. In Capodimonte, a project will put the vision of designer Patricia Urqiola at the disposal of artisans who work with consolidated traditional techniques, the Filangieri Museum will host an installation by Pepe curated by Federica Sala, in the Museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro there will be an exhibition of the designer Krugher managed by Galleria Villanova. A residency in collaboration with House of Today – a Lebanese foundation that promotes local design – will be inaugurated at Made in Cloister: an Edit Cult that supports design as a social phenomenon of inclusiveness and cultural exchange.
Edit Cult – Europe’s oldest theater opens to design
For another Edit Cult, for the first time Europe’s oldest theater opens its doors to design: the San Carlo will host the editorial design works of the new French company, La Manufacture, directed by Luca Nichetto. A dialogue between Naples and Paris, in which pieces of furniture designed by Emma Boomkamp, Todd Bracher, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, le FRONT, Luca Nichetto, Nendo, Neri & Hu, Patrick Norguet, Marc Thorpe and Michael Young, steeped in French style, meet Italian manufacturing. The international plots are woven until they reach the Dutch school of Heindoven which, in collaboration with the State Archives of Naples, will propose an annual project on sustainable design in support of cultural heritage. The polycentric fair also occupies the digital space: already in the first edition, a virtual tour of the fair allowed those who were not in Naples to participate; last year, by necessity, the podcasts made up for the limitations by introducing ways for different protagonists to tell the various aspects of Edit. This year saw the birth of Atlante, a search engine that helps buyers, designers and architectural firms locate internationally selected pieces. The constellation of events and formats linked to Edit suggest that the fair’s objective goes beyond a purely economic moment: the goal is to help build a community. If Edit finds a physical space in Naples, it weaves and sustains relationships that unravel overseas, connecting designers, initiating collaborations among them, supporting creative and working paths. On a temporal level, the concept of the fair as an event is broken down, giving the protagonists the possibility to work all year round with Edit, with buyers and with the clientele of the artistic world.
The inception of Edit fair
Edit was born from an observation on the concept of contemporary design, as a product that can represent its owner, be in tune with the personality of the house that hosts it, and reflect the style of those who buy it. The introduction of editorial design is established as a response to the need to combine industrial design with something that can make the home personal. If in the past the status of a family was highlighted with the cult object around which the rest of the house could gravitate without overshadowing the grandeur of the design item, in the contemporary anthology this type of aristocratization of design is subverted and supplanted by a discourse that points to the refinement of the work combined with the personality of the owner. Choosing a design object means to be involved in a love affair. Every product today becomes potentially cult. Editorial design, far from the dynamics of fashion and even more from serial productions without identity, allows us to surround ourselves with beauty, which is not limited to an aesthetic value, but is also a moral value, aware that editorial design makes sustainable a market that would otherwise be lost and safeguards the craftsmanship of atavistic manufacturing techniques.
The temporal continuity between past and present tends to weaken the ability to read a given historical period through a product. In the collective imagination, art, architecture, design, and fashion, in advance of other categories, have always been the spokesmen of a context: ‘In the ’80s you were either a ‘Paninaro’ or you had a Valentino total look, now it’s how the pieces work together that counts, it’s the era of the organic’ says Emilia Petruccelli. Today the rule is ‘mix and match’, both in fashion and in design. The current era prefers variety. It’s because of this sophistication that the design timeline doesn’t just move by looking in the rearview mirror: technology can be an ally of craftsmanship. Today’s focus on authorial design is necessary to keep the traces of craftsmanship from disappearing, but if progress does not invalidate the history of the product, it can also be an accomplice of design. The relationship between technology and tradition is based on respecting the boundary and not abusing power. Petruccelli explains: ‘Just think of the ceramics of Capodimonte in Naples: the technology related to the use of kilns that has evolved over time has given possibilities to improve the performance of the product. Very thin porcelains with the iridescent effect are only achievable with certain types of specialized kilns’.
P.za S. Domenico Maggiore, 8A, 80134 Napoli NA
The international fair dedicated to editorial design and design authors, directed by Emilia Petruccelli and Domitilla Dardi. The event for its third consecutive edition will be hosted within the spaces of the Complesso Monumentale di San Domenico Maggiore and in some of the symbolic places of Neapolitan and Mediterranean culture.