Homo Faber

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Presented by logo Homo Faber by Michelangelo Foundation


Curators and designers

Leading lights in design and craftsmanship from Europe and Japan

To curate this exceptional showcase of the very best craftsmanship, Homo Faber Event has drawn upon the talents of some of the finest names in their fields, among them established architect Michele De Lucchi, museum director David Caméo, young designer Sebastian Herkner, award-winning director and visual artist Robert Wilson and renowned fashion exhibition maker Judith Clark. With its special focus on Japan, this year’s edition also draws on the expertise of those immersed in Japanese craftsmanship, including museum director Tokugo Uchida and designer Naoto Fukasawa. What all our curators share is a desire to champion the talents, skills and savoir-faire of master artisans.

David Caméo Curator The former head of the world-renowned porcelain company Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.
David Caméo Curator

The former head of the world-renowned porcelain company Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, David Caméo has spent his career serving the decorative arts. A politics graduate, he was an advisor on the decorative arts for the French Ministry of Culture, before becoming a technical advisor for successive culture ministers and then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. He is president of Marta Pan - André Wogenscky Foundation and the Roman Opalka Trust. Additionally, he is a trustee for Villa Noailles, CIRVA, School of Jewelry Arts and Paris-Ateliers.

Exhibition Porcelain Virtuosity
Frédéric Bodet Curator An expert in the applied arts, with a special focus on ceramics
Frédéric Bodet Curator

From 1999 to 2012, Frédéric Bodet worked at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris as an assistant curator in charge of the collections of modern and contemporary ceramics, jewellery and goldwork. From 2012 to 2019 he was a curator of modern and contemporary collections at the Musée National de Céramique (National Museum for Ceramics) in Sèvres. He has curated many exhibitions for these two renowned institutions as well as many as a freelance curator, especially for the Fondation Bernardaud. A researcher and expert in the applied arts, he gives lectures at European art schools and contributes to reviews and special publications (particularly for specialist publisher Éditions Norma). He often sits on juries for international biennales.

Exhibition Porcelain Virtuosity
Jean Blanchaert Curator A Belgian-Italian gallerist, antiquarian and artist who, for the past 30 years, has run his family’s gallery in Milan.
Jean Blanchaert Curator

Jean Blanchaert is a Belgian-Italian gallerist, antiquarian and artist. For the past 30 years he has run his family’s Milan gallery, which specialises in glass, ceramics, enamel and contemporary materials. He has curated numerous exhibitions and writes about design for the monthly Art e Dossier and other publications. He is also a talented illustrator, calligrapher and glass sculptor in his own right. He has illustrated for children’s books, newspapers, cultural initiatives and theatre projects, and his work has been exhibited in Milan several times.

Exhibition Next of Europe
Judith Clark Curator

Judith Clark is a curator and fashion exhibition maker and currently Professor of Fashion and Museology at University of the Arts London, where she co-directs the Centre for Fashion Curation. Clark opened the first experimental gallery of fashion in London. Since then she has curated 40 fashion exhibitions. Commissioning museums include the V&A in London, ModeMuseum in Antwerp and Palazzo Pitti in Florence. In 2015 she curated and designed the inaugural exhibition at La Galerie Louis Vuitton in Asnières, while in 2018 she created the Fashion Inside and Out exhibition for the inaugural Homo Faber. Clark lectures internationally on issues of dress display.

Exhibition Details: Genealogies of Ornament
Michele De Lucchi Curator/designer

The world-renowned architect and designer Michele De Lucchi has designed furniture and lighting for most well-known Italian and European companies including Artemide, Alias, Unifor, Hermès, Alessi and Olivetti. His architectural work spans residential, industrial, cultural and corporate spaces in Italy and around the world. Alongside his professional work he has always pursued a personal exploration of design and craftsmanship, and in 1990 he founded Produzione Privata, an experimental laboratory through which he creates imaginative products using artisanal techniques. In 2000 he was appointed Officer of the Italian Republic for services to design and architecture.

Exhibition Magnae Chartae
Naoto Fukasawa Curator/designer

Naoto Fukasawa has brought his unique design philosophy to leading brands around the world across many different design disciplines from precision electronic equipment to furniture, interior spaces and architecture. What links his work is a dedication to the beauty of form and the power of silence, a design philosophy that has garnered him international recognition for his ability to express the true essence of an object. In addition, he is the director of The Japan Folk Crafts Museum, a professor at the Tama Art University and has sat on several judging panels including the Loewe Craft Prize. In 2007 he was named Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by the UK’s Royal Society of Arts. He has won numerous awards for his work including the 2018 Isamu Noguchi Award.

Exhibition 12 Stone Garden
Nicolas Le Moigne Curator

Nicolas Le Moigne is a designer and professor at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne. For more than ten years, he has headed the Master of Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury & Craftsmanship. This unique course allows the students to work in close collaboration with prestigious maisons, which can draw on a heritage of a hundred years or more, and to further their design education in areas of excellence as varied as fine watchmaking, tableware, fashion, gastronomy and the métiers d’art, or to learn particular techniques with regards to the use of noble materials and craftsmanship.

Exhibition Mechanical Marvels
Rinko Kawauchi Photographer

Rinko Kawauchi was born in Shiga Prefecture in 1972. In 2002, Rinko received the Kimura Ihei Award, for her publications Utatane and Hanabi. Numerous other awards include 25th Infinity Award, Art Category in 2009. Rinko has held several solo exhibitions including The River Embraced Me (2016), Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto. She is also the author of multiple publications such as Halo (2017), a picture book Hajimari no Hi (the day it started, 2018) and When I was Seven (2019).

Exhibition The Ateliers of Wonders
Robert Wilson Curator/designer

Texas-born Robert Wilson is one of the world’s foremost theatre directors and visual artists. His works for the stage unconventionally incorporate a wide variety of artistic media including dance, movement, lighting, sculpture, music and text. His productions have been acclaimed by audiences and critics worldwide, and he has won numerous awards including the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale, two Premio Ubu Awards and an Olivier Award, as well as a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. His drawings, paintings and sculptures have been exhibited internationally and are held in private and public collections around the world.

Exhibition WAITING with peace and darkness
Sebastian Herkner Curator/designer

German designer Sebastian Herkner combines his unconditional love for traditional craftsmanship with a flair for colour, a curiosity for different cultures and a feel for new technologies. Herkner has designed furniture for some of the world’s most respected manufacturers including ClassiCon, Rosenthal, Ames and Cappellini, as well as architectural projects and museum and exhibition designs. His work has garnered numerous awards, and he was named Designer of the Year 2019 by Maison & Objet.

Exhibition Pattern of Crafts
Simon Kidston Curator

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Simon Kidston is a world expert on cars. He began his career in the car auction department at Coys in London, before co-founding Brooks (now Bonhams) Europe in Geneva, spending the next decade staging high-profile car sale events. In 2006 he set up an independent consultancy for motor car collectors around the world. He has been involved in several heritage events for historic cars including Cartier Style et Luxe Concours d’Elegance at Goodwood, UK, and the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa Este in Italy. He also writes a monthly column for Classic Cars magazine.

Exhibition Mechanical Marvels
Stefano Boeri Designer

Italian architect and urban planner Stefano Boeri is one of the world’s leaders in his field. A professor of urban planning at the Politenico in Milan, he has also been a guest professor at universities around the world including Harvard Graduate School of Design in the US. He founded a studio in Milan in 1999 and later opened a second in Shanghai. He has authored many books and is the former editor-in-chief of the magazines Domus and Abitare. In 2018 he was appointed chairman of the Triennale Milano.

Exhibition Next of Europe
Sylvain Roca Designer

Since more than twenty years, he has designed the scenography for temporary and permanent exhibitions all over France and around the world, including at the Musée d’Orsay and the Grand Palais in Paris, the British Museum in London, the Heritage Museum in Hong Kong, the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, the Bouregreg Culture in Rabat, the World Exhibition in Shanghai… He creates events and scenography for communication agencies and has developed product design studies for leading brands.

Exhibition Blossoming Beauty
Tapiwa Matsinde Curator

Tapiwa Matsinde is a London-based independent curator, author, writer and consultant. Her work highlights the role craftsmanship has in design, seeking to bring to the fore the work of artisans we don’t often hear about. As the founder of atelier 55, an award-winning digital platform, Matsinde specialises in shining the spotlight on designers and artisans from across Africa and its diaspora, bringing their work to the attention of global audiences. She is the author of Contemporary Design Africa and has contributed essays on the topics of design, craft and sustainability to various publications.

Exhibition The Artisan: a crafted tea room
Tokugo Uchida Curator

Director of the MOA Museum of Art and Hakone Museum of Art, Tokugo Uchida is one of Japan’s foremost cultural commentators. He completed his PhD in aesthetics at Keio University in 2007 and has since lectured widely in Japan and abroad. He served as a member of the Cultural Council, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; committee member for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage and Guest Professor at Kyushu University. He is involved in the selection for art-related awards, holds important roles in governmental organisations for traditional crafts as an art history specialist and has authored numerous publications.

Exhibition 12 Stone Garden
Zanellato/Bortotto Curator

Giorgia Zanellato and Daniele Bortotto founded their studio in 2013. Their first project, the Acqua Alta collection, pays homage to the city of Venice. This moment marked the beginning of their longstanding, constant research into the relationship between places and the passing of time, a connection analysed through the reinterpretation of traditional artisanal techniques. The studio’s work includes product design, limited editions for galleries, art direction and interior design.

Exhibition Tracing Venice
De Castelli Co-curator

Founded in 2003 by Albino Celato and heir of a long tradition in metal manufacturing, De Castelli is now internationally well-known for introducing the language of design, mixing craftsmanship and advanced technologies. Pieces of furniture resulting from collaborations with famous designers contributed to raising the profile of the brand, together with new surface solutions that enhance the characteristics of metals, born from on-going studies and research on materials. Recently, the company has focused on collaborations with international architects and on partnerships with famous companies that work in the design field. Some have led to prestigious projects and special works for the Biennale di Architettura in Venice and Milano Expo.

Exhibition Tracing Venice
Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte Curator

The Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte is a private non-profit organisation founded by Franco Cologni in Milan in 1995. The foundation’s initiatives are primarily focused on young people and the training of the next generation of artisans. It supports and carries out a number of cultural, scientific and educational programmes, including the development of an important collection of publications related to craftsmanship, an innovative apprenticeship scheme, and a title to recognise and celebrate master artisans.

Exhibition Italy and Japan: Marvellous Liaisons
Michelangelo Foundation Curator

The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is an international, non-profit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, which celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence and in the realities and challenges of today’s global economy, the foundation seeks to support men and women who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of master craftsmanship and to foster a new cultural movement built around the values that are essential for their work.

Exhibition Blossoming Beauty Masterful Gestures
Panerai Curator/designer

Founded in Florence in 1860 as a workshop, shop and school of watchmaking, for many decades Panerai supplied the Italian Navy in general, and its specialist diving corps in particular, with precision instruments. The designs developed by Panerai in that time, including the Luminor and Radiomir, were covered by the Military Secrets Act for many years and were launched on the international market only after the brand was acquired by the Richemont Group in 1997. Today Panerai designs its watches in Italy and crafts them at its Neuchâtel premises in Switzerland, combining Italian design flair with Swiss horological expertise.

Exhibition Eilean
Venini Curator

Founded in 1921 by Paolo Venini, a Milanese lawyer, and Giacomo Cappellin, a Venetian antiques dealer, Venini SpA, then Cappellin, Venini & C., would become a model of excellence in the world of artistic glass, laying the foundations for a stylistic identity that still distinguishes it today. Venini has always created objects with a timeless design that are destined to appreciate in value. Thanks to the excellence of quality, the high artistic content, and the manufacturing value intrinsic to each piece, the hammer prices of Venini glassware reach record figures at major auctions. Since 2016, the Damiani family (owners of the homonymous international luxury jewellery brand), have held the controlling interest in Venini S.p.A., and their aim is to promote one of Italy's most authentically excellent brands.

Exhibition Blossoming Beauty

Themes of the exhibitions

An extraordinary journey across the creative landscape of Europe and Japan

This year’s edition celebrates the 'living treasures' of Europe and Japan in 15 unique exhibitions which explore an array of themes, crafts and techniques. An extraordinary journey across the creative landscape of Europe and Japan seen through the eyes of renowned curators, architects and designers. Enjoy a unique insight into Japan’s National Living Treasures and a celebration of Japan’s traditional heritage. A window into cultural collaborations: between Europe and Japan, master artisans and rising stars, flower designers and glassmakers, designers and artisans. A diversity of materials, from porcelain to glass, across a spectrum of sectors including theatre, interior design, jewellery and fashion.

12 Stone Garden Curated by Naoto Fukasawa, Tokugo Uchida Get up close to a selection of objects handcrafted by 12 Japanese National Living Treasures, master artisans whose traditional skills are highly prized. Blossoming Beauty Curated by Michelangelo Foundation, Sylvain Roca, Venini Leading Venetian glass manufacturer Venini collaborates creatively with innovative international flower artists to craft a collection of glass vases. Details: Genealogies of Ornament Curated by Judith Clark Witness the transformative power of craft in this multi-layered exhibition showcasing the craftsmanship of 15 luxury maisons dedicated to making the finest watches, tailoring, kimonos, jewellery, perfume and much more. Eilean Curated by Panerai Welcome aboard Eilean. Step onto a legendary 1936 yacht expertly restored by Italian master artisans, moored in the Venetian waters off San Giorgio Maggiore island. Italy and Japan: Marvellous Liaisons Curated by Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte In homage to the cultural exchange between Italy and Japan, which has always found a fertile breeding ground in Venice. Magnae Chartae Curated by Michele De Lucchi An homage to paper crafting – its relevance, its diversity and the human hands integral to the creative processes. Masterful Gestures Curated by Michelangelo Foundation Talented master artisans from France and the United Kingdom reveal their rare, precious know-how to visitors. Mechanical Marvels Curated by Nicolas Le Moigne, Simon Kidston Discover the world of mechanical art in this fascinating exhibition. Next of Europe Curated by Jean Blanchaert, Stefano Boeri A celebration of contemporary master artisans who are not only creating objects of exception but also passing on their precious skills to talented young craftspeople. Pattern of Crafts Curated by Sebastian Herkner German designer Sebastian Herkner explores the crucial contribution master artisans make to the world of interiors. Porcelain Virtuosity Curated by David Caméo, Frédéric Bodet The 17th century Longhena library is a beautiful backdrop for this celebration of contemporary porcelain craftsmanship from Europe and Japan. The Artisan: a crafted tea room Curated by Tapiwa Matsinde Relax with refreshments in a tea room filled with furniture and decorative objects by makers and designers from around the world. The Ateliers of Wonders Curated by Rinko Kawauchi This stunning photography display gives visitors an unprecedented glimpse inside the workshops of 12 Japanese National Living Treasures. Tracing Venice Curated by Zanellato/Bortotto, De Castelli A site-specific installation composed of works made of mosaics of different metals with special finishes, which are a tribute to Venice and to the precious mosaic floors of St. Mark's Basilica. WAITING with peace and darkness Curated by Robert Wilson The iconic American director and visual artist Robert Wilson shines a light on the Japanese inspiration behind his theatrical productions, notably Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.