Italian Makers are a link between past and future of Made in Italy (and of many other things which have something to do with craftsmanship and innovation). Valerio Monticelli and Andrea Bruni of Studio MP are on the forefront of this movement: they studied design, have a creative DNA and put a great passion into all their projects, always looking beyond any limit.

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What's your story as Makers? What does this word mean to you?

AndreaPersonally, it changed my life. Before, when they asked me what was my job I used to mumble a few words only someone understood. Now, not anymore: Maker is someone who creates something which still doesn't exist and this means having a not too self-critic mind, feeling that you are allowed to make mistakes without being afraid of it. This is a necessary condition to be a real Maker.  

Valerio: Unfortunately, today the prevailing system in italian universities is still to create a project and then go to private companies to see it realized. It has no sense anymore. New digital fabrication techniques let you self-produce your creations and this is essential to become confident in yourself and your abilities.

How Studio MP project was born?

Valerio: We attended the same industrial design degree course, but with different specializations. After my bachelor's degree I started a Master's degree and created my first projects. After some time I also started working as an insurance broker. At a party I met Andrea again and we discovered that our offices were nearby. He had been working for some time for a carpenter in Agliana and then started telling me about his job and some ideas he had in mind. In the end we started thinking to create our own study. At the beginning we worked on a nursery school project, which was never realized, then our first line of design products took shape: Tron.

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Tell us about this first line...

ValerioWe started from some sketches I made during my bachelor's degree internship. When we developed and defined our project, we contacted some craftsmen who could work with steel and mix it with recycled materials.

Andrea: The final result was a set composed by a table and four chairs in bent, soldered and plasma-cut inox steel, covered with leather and HPL, available in different colors. Then we designed a table lamp made in steel, with LED technology and a movement sensor; a coat-hanger in steel and painted antler, called Artiglio (claw); a low table recalling a Rubik cube, for its shape.

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As a  debut in the design world, it' a very articulated project

ValerioFor us it wasn't simply aesthetic, it was an application of static laws. Tron is the most you can get with the least material. The chair, for example, is minimal: it has a specific center of gravity and its back is especially designed to keep your spine straight. Actual ergonomic comfort is much more than what you visually perceive. Who tries the chair often tells us that he/she felt to fly.

From steel to 3D printing: why this switch?

ValerioWe bought our first 3D printer in 2013. It was a step we can't avoid, a train you can't afford to miss otherwise you'll remain outside of the future. We had nothing specific to print when we bought it, but from the very start we wanted to add a function more to the objects we printed. We weren't interested in making objects just to make them. Today the experience we gained in 3D printing lets us making prototypes like a Fablab, teaching courses and working as a service for companies.

Can you tell us something about your future projects?

Now that we have realized our "little", we can dream big. We'd like to go on working for the social sector, maybe designing an exercise bike for handicapped people rehabilitation. In the end, "design" word is abused, for us design means above all making an object which can solve a problem involving a lot of people.

We believe real design doesn't have necessarily to aim for beauty, but must be contaminated by all what's surrounding us, even by other people's work. All in all, innovation is a revolution which needs sharing above all. It's useless to look at the future with the eyes of the past.

Anna D'Amico

 

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