Homo Faber

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Presented by logo Homo Faber by Michelangelo Foundation

Past Edition

2018: The inaugural exhibition

The start of a new cultural movement celebrating master craftsmanship

The inaugural edition of Homo Faber in 2018 attracted 62,500 visitors from all over the world to the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice. An unprecedented showcase of the finest European craftsmanship, it featured 900 exceptional objects made by 410 artisans and designers, while 91 master artisans were present to demonstrate their skills on site. The first event of its kind, Homo Faber 2018 was the start of a new cultural movement aiming to celebrate and support master artisans handcrafting objects of true excellence. Described as “an intelligent and profound experience”, it left visitors inspired, amazed and excited by the possibilities of the human hand.

Fondation Bettencourt Schueller Curated by: Alain Lardet

Highlights of the most stunning expression of French fine craftsmanship as seen through the programmes of the Fondation Bettencourt Schueller and, notably, its Liliane Bettencourt Prize pour l’intelligence de la main.

Eilean Presented by: Officine Panerai

Welcome aboard “Eilean”, a legendary yacht entirely restored by a team of master artisans from the Cantiere Francesco Del Carlo di Viareggio, and witness the care, skill and passion that goes into yacht restoration.

Poetry of Wood Presented by: Bottega Ghianda

Discover the fine craftsmanship of the Italian master artisans of Bottega Ghianda, who use their expert knowledge of wood to interpret the vision of designers in the very best way, resulting in exquisite wooden objects that epitomise the value of handmade.

Discovery and Rediscovery Selected by: The Michelangelo Foundation

Discover the true meaning of luxury as you meet the talented artisans behind some of the world’s most deluxe creations.

Restoring Art's Masters Presented by: Isabella Villafranca Soissons

Discover the science of restoration and witness the incredible perspective of master art restorers as you step into a workshop where expert artisans are breathing new life into works of art, both traditional and contemporary.

Best of Europe Imagined by: Jean Blanchaert and Stefano Boeri

Go on a journey through contemporary European craftsmanship and discover wonderful objects created by artist-artisans. Wander through a selection of over 300 objects including Spanish leatherwork, Italian ceramics, French porcelain, Irish basketmaking and German glassware.

Fashion Inside and Out Imagined by: Judith Clark

Take a brand new look at the world of high fashion and all that goes into it by diving into this spectacular exhibit, staged in a 1960s swimming pool, which blurs the lines between inside and out.

Workshop Exclusives Imagined by: Stefano Micelli

Step into a garage full of beauty to watch master artisans at work on the finer details of exclusive vehicles including cars, motorcycles, bicycles and even a helicopter!

Natural Talent Presented by: Creative Academy

Enter a forest of talent to view this highly original collection designed by the students of Creative Academy under the guidance of EligoStudio, and realised by Giordano Viganò and Torneria Meloni, master artisans of marquetry and wood turning.

Imaginary Architecture Imagined by: India Mahdavi

Let yourself be taken by surprise as you venture into two innovative ‘follies’ where intricate artisanal techniques and gorgeous materials combine to create stunning interiors.

Doppia Firma Presented by: The Michelangelo Foundation

Discover the 2018 edition of Double Signature, a project of the Fondazione Cologni dei Mestiere d’Arte and Living Corriere della Sera. Its 13 collaborative works have been created by international designers working for the first time with Venetian master artisans.

Singular Talents Presented by: The Michelangelo Foundation

Step into the most extraordinary workshops in a most extraordinary way as virtual reality grants you access to the rare and passionate worlds of some of today’s most exceptional master artisans, whose craft is rare or unique.

Venetian Way Imagined by: Susanna Pozzoli with Denis Curti

Susanna Pozzoli’s poetry in pictures takes you behind the scenes and into the heart of the workshops of 21 master artisans in Venice and the Veneto region. Feel the spirit of creation entwined in glass, ceramics, lace-making, brocade and more.

Centuries of Shape Imagined by: Triennale Design Museum

See the evolution of design and its impact on craftsmanship and the decorative arts during the 20th and 21st centuries through a story told quietly and beautifully by a unique selection of iconic vases.

Creativity and Craftsmanship Imagined by: Michele de Lucchi

Find out what happens when eight extraordinary artisans encounter talented international designers. A dialogue between artisan-designer pairs who have worked together to create lasting objects of beauty especially for Homo Faber.

The conversation

Debating the challenges facing craftsmanship in today’s world

During Homo Faber 2018 artisans, designers and curators took part in more than 40 talks and debates in the beautiful Lo Squero conference hall. These dynamic and fascinating sessions explored the challenges faced by craftsmanship and debated what can be done to overcome them in seeking to craft a more human future. Experts from around Europe discussed topics including the relationship between traditional skills and the digital world, the challenges of contemporary art restoration, ways to communicate about craftsmanship, and the importance of passing on artisanal skills in order to ensure their future.


The catalogue

Meet the exceptional talents who took part in the first edition

All the master artisans and designers who participated in Homo Faber 2018, along with more than 900 of their exquisite creations, are detailed in our online exhibition catalogue. Search by exhibition space, by country or by craft to read a short profile of each talent and the work they produce, along with links for further information and ways to contact them. The catalogue is not only a precious record of an unprecedented event, but a resource for all those interested in finding out more about the very best artisans and designers working in Europe today.

Discover the catalogue

A precious record of over 400 European talents and more than 900 exceptional examples of craftsmanship

The TV channel

Relive Homo Faber 2018 by exploring films of the exhibition

If you didn’t get the chance to visit Homo Faber 2018 – or if you did but you would like to relive the experience – then take a look at the films on our TV channel. Providing an intimate insight into the exhibition spaces, showing the excitement of opening day, profiling our Young Ambassadors and curators, and exploring the aims of the Michelangelo Foundation in staging this showcase of craftsmanship, the films take you right to the heart of the Homo Faber experience – and will hopefully whet your appetite for Homo Faber!

Discover the films

The full experience

Homo Faber 2018: an unforgettable journey through contemporary European design and craftsmanship

Discover the archive