Microstudio is an architectural and design studio formed by three architects (Fabrizio Susi, Claudio Pierfederici and Stefania Rendine) who are, as it seems, oriented more towards design than architecture. Fabrizio was a finalist in many design contests (Present Time design contest 2011, YEP!2011 and Design For Life, among others) and Claudio too (in 2012 for Design - Metal Furniture by Youtool).

Of course we met Microstudio for its digital fabrication works. They started using laser-cut and powder-coated metal sheet, then polystyrene ("adequately treated, doesn’t compare to the most noble materials", they say), wood in all its forms and, more recently, plexiglass.

In creating new objects, Fabrizio and Claudio follow slightly different paths. "Usually - says Fabrizio - I start with an object on the market that I do not like and, instead of criticizing it, I create my own version. I love that my projects have a strong character that can make them iconic, bearers of values, typically Italian, or simply to make onlookers smile". For Claudio "All depends on what, at the end, I can define as beautiful. The search for beauty facing the product idea is only created through long phases of reflection, necessary to analyze many aspects including those related to the market and the actual feasibility of the product".

Icon, a wall-mounted keyholder

Market approach is a critical issue for Makers, since Italy has still many steps to take to embrace completely this new model. "Unfortunately - they say - we are not yet ready for an e-commerce push, and then you feel more reserved if you buy in an actual store. But putting his/her products inside a store means, for a self-producer, an increase in prices that will automatically put our products out of business". Also for a misconception of self-produced objects, that "Are often seen as cheaper and therefore less valuable than branded items. So people prefer to spend money to have a branded product, rather than something that, if compared multinational companies' volumes, could be defined as unique".

Self-production has its own undeniable pros, anyway. "Today, self-production is the only way for unknown designers, because big brands do not want to risk giving them a chance. [Then we have] undoubtedly the opportunity to develop projects that we like and therefore we take full responsibility for a success or a flop. The economic crisis with which we have become accustomed to has meant that many contract manufacturers today are willing to make even a few pieces, actually betting on young designers".

Microstudio really likes to test and follow new opportunities, also an unconventional approach to crowdfunding, chosen not for a specific project but for a more generic development activity. "Actually - they say - we did not choose crowdfunding but it was it who chose us. One day we got a call in the studio in which crowdfunding was explained to us and they told us they have had the opportunity to see our work and intended to make a campaign. When we face new challenges, such as making a video and getting in the game, we are struck with great enthusiasm that drives us to throw ourselves headlong into the new challenge. This is exactly what happened with Eppela, we started with the idea to make a 'official' video in which to publicize one of the many projects we wanted to be funded".

In the end, instead, on Eppela was shown "An ironic video, in which we simulated the kidnapping of Microstudio by the crisis and the ransom demanded to let it live they was the money requested on Eppela. Perhaps our idea of financing the concept of self production instead of a specific object was a bit upsetting for Eppela users, but we did exactly what our instincts told us to do, through the video we told who we really are, testing ourselves as actors and directors albeit with poor results. But we believe that through this video you are able to understand the spirit with which we approach our work. Unfortunately Eppela users did not like it, but we had the chance to create a video that will make us laugh for several years".

ZoO photo frames

On the (more than) solid base of the first projects, Microstudio is now working to widen its production. Literally: "We started making small objects - says Fabrizio - but our aspiration is to be able to make objects bigger and bigger and we started with the new valet-stand line HMH and Parola. I hope to continue to do this work, because for me it is fun, and I would never have believed it possible to have a job that so often puts a smile on my face".

"Our hope - says Claudio - is to be able to realize our ideas and our projects, even the more complex ones that are often achievable through more structured reality as it is today with Microstudio. I'm sure Microstudio will have the strength to speak out and that we will have the ability to achieve our goals because what motivates us is above all creativity as an expression of our desire to communicate ourselves to others, along with the desire to do our work well, with professionalism and dedication.

Microstudio Shop on MakeTank is at this link.


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