The obsession with “handmade” or at least “hand finished” products has driven projects and, especially, communication over the last few months. Often it’s a case of “pseudo-artisan,” and for the following two reasons: the first, obviously, consists of the impossibility of supplying a global market with products genuinely and entirely “made by hand.” The second, which is much more subtle, relates to consumer demand for pieces characterised by the precision, perfection and uniformity typical of manufacturing. It has to be said that the “real” market is loath to accept “the differences” that artisan processes bring with them. As regards the fabrique des savoir-faire, the example always cited is Hermès: the French fashion house, set up in 1838, which is also active in the tableware and furnishing sectors, and which is acknowledged as the epitome of savoir-faire thanks to the precision of its manufacturing and its rehabilitation of ancient artisan skills.
The signal that sounds loud and clear to the entire furnishing sector is that there is a need to design an art of living, not just consumer goods. Examples of this include the Stac collection by the young designer Giacomo Moor for Desalto, which combines black powder-coated sheet steel and premium woods with 45° interlocks to create a stacking system that leaves no margin for error. Antonio Citterio’s Gregory sofa for Flexform is also faultless, with its metal base and elasticated leather straps that support the seat cushions.