Amir Alizade - handmade, serial design

Amir Alizade is a Milan-based designer whose minimalist ceramics are for sale in boutiques and museum shops. We meet at the Triennale design museum in Milan to see his ‘coffee hanger’ cup and ‘partou’ candle holder displayed in a glass case in the bookshop and to sit down in the stylish cafè to talk about how he came to live in Italy, his aesthetic and his dreams. As my tea […]


Talking Open Hardware with openPicus

When you think about electronic hardware and the Maker movement, you probably think first of Arduino. The Italian company founded in Ivrea is certainly is the symbol of the open hardware movement and is at the base of many important projects by Makers. But over time, other companies have also developed open hardware boards. Rome-based openPicus is one example. Their Flyport board and its various accessories is another Italian open […]


Stefano Giovacchini, designer and maker

Di·segno Design is a design studio in Lucca, Tuscany, that does colour, interior, and self-produced design. They are well known in Italy for their freehand wall decorations, carried out by the young husband and wife team of Silvia Magrini and Stefano Giovacchini, and one frequently spots their unmistakeable work in home magazines. They have infallible taste that we at MakeTank appreciate 100%. Recently, Stefano has been trying his hand at […]


Robotics applied to LEGO - interview with Daniele Benedettelli

Daniele Benedettelli is a modern Renaissance man. An engineer who composes rock music, a teacher who also draws comics, and most of all, an inventor who has managed to render his main area of study – robotics – more accessible using LEGO Mindstorms kits. He’s known as a Mindstorms guru on an international scale, even if he feels that this recognition is lacking in Italy. In collaboration with openPicus, Daniele developed NXT2WIFI, […]


French curves and “hipster” curves – a lasercut dressmaking staple

Annaluisa Franco is the Coordinator of the department of Fashion at IED Firenze, with over a decade of experience teaching fashion to up and coming creatives. So it’s logical that she knows what tools fashion designers need, and which ones are missing from the market. Here she tells us how she uses these French curves and why she started making them. Hint: they’re for more than just patternmaking! Annaluisa’s French […]


Troy Nachtigall: from Wyoming to Fucecchio for wearable technology

Troy Robert Nachtigall grew up in 1970s Wyoming, where at the county fair he won “Best Canned Vegetable in the State” four years running (in the childrens’ category). But he also won the “Fashion Review” contest in 1993 by showing up in a suit of his own design, black and purple and without lapels, at a county fair at which  gingham was the greatest statement of style. Clearly, Troy was […]


3D printing in the museum: Kentstrapper at Palazzo Strozzi

Why is there a 3D printer within the display of this museum? Palazzo Strozzi in Florence is an innovator in museum display, and the inclusion of a 3D printer in an exhibit that is not about additive manufacturing or anything directly correlated is another example of this. The show in question is “The Thirties. The Arts in Italy Beyond Fascism” (in Italian: Anni 30) at Palazzo Strozzi from September 22, […]