An Artisan Workshop for the 21st Century
Changing the way that Tuscan artisans think, design, and produce.
What might emerge when artisanal traditions and cutting-edge innovation are merged to produce a souvenir? When Fondazione TEMA wanted to take the Mobile Experience Laboratory’s work on Florence Re/Active even further, we worked together on November 2015’s Make/Florence Make-a-Thon event. Companies, FabLabs, research centers, and creative youth came together to explore the interaction between the old and the new, and participants competed to create a new digital souvenir of Florence that demonstrates Tuscany’s artisanal traditions while employing the cutting-edge digital fabrication technologies of the Re/Active project. In 48 hours we went through the full design thinking cycle, engaging team in ethnographic observations, ideation and idea generation and, finally, prototyping and storytelling. The winning team produced Pico, a box named for the Florentine Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. Realized, engraved, and decorated with a laser-cutting machine, Pico is a remarkable example of tradition and innovation. Decorated with patterns inspired by the Duomo of Florence façade, and equipped with a QR code connected to an app, Pico can house both physical memories (small objects, flyers, tickets, etc.) and digital memories (photos, videos, etc.).