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Homo Faber

Homo Faber Venice, Italy, Giorgio Cini Foundation, 14 - 30 September Homo Faber is a major exhibition organised by the Michelangelo Foundation at the Giorgio Cini Foundation, hosted in the monumental complex on San Giorgio Island, Venice.

Both foundations are strongly focussed on training projects. The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship was founded with the aim of preserving the valuable know-how of craftsmen, encourage dialogue with designers, and promote visibility to create new work opportunities. It was established in Geneva by the South African businessman Johann Rupert together with Franco Cologni, President of the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d'Art, which in turn was founded in 1995 in Milan to support initiatives aimed at a "new Renaissance" for arts and crafts, especially for young people.

Homo Faber was attended by 62,500 visitors and 410 master craftsmen and designers. It was intended to be a journey to discover the wealth of expertise and creativity of the best craftsmen and designers in Europe, conceived as a thematic route with 16 stages, each entrusted to a different curator, 12 of which were illuminated by iGuzzini. Each curator highlighted both the materials and techniques used in a range of crafts from the most traditional to the most innovative and contemporary. The various lighting set-ups designed for the occasion have a common goal: to provide both functional and artistic lighting to enhance the rooms, objects, installations and technologies on display. The Palco family, LED lighting and control system that is compatible with the DALI protocol, guarantees formal continuity from one room to another. One by one, the areas involved were:

Sala del Convitto - Discovery and Rediscovery
Curator: Nicholas Bos
Design: The talent and skill of the craftsmen who create priceless works for twenty luxury maisons. General lighting of the individual boxes, developed by Poplight design, is provided by Palco luminaires on Low Voltage tracks, while Palco Framer and Palco on Low Voltage tracks installed on a large steel girder provide accent lighting, including for the niches. iSign hanging lamps and iN60 recessed lamps light the passageways between the various boxes.

Cenacolo Palladiano - Creativity and Craftmanship
Curator: Michele De Lucchi
Design: This historical room hosts a scene with a great impact. The objects were created specifically for Homo Faber by the combined creative talents of eight famous designers. The mastery of these expert craftsmen is exhibited on pedestals with a special conical structure above them, almost protecting them. Palco Framer and Front Light Superspot spotlights provide the accent lighting to emphasise the exhibited objects.

Sala degli Arazzi - Best of Europe
Curators: Jean Blanchaert and Stefano Boeri
Design: A journey into the heart of contemporary European craftsmanship together with artists/craftsmen and their work. A trip through the diverse cultural heritage of the continent, in the forms of an evocative 'multilayer' exhibition table. The selected elegant items and the unrivalled skills of the craftsmen are illuminated by Palco spotlights, with different lenses and accessories to enhance visual comfort and focus the light on the exhibition table.

Sala Carnelutti - Imaginary Architecture
Curator: India Mahdavi
Design: For the exhibition, India Mahdavi has created two installations based on a play of textures and elegant colours. Raptan, (rectangular) features a bamboo cane cladding and is enhanced by light grazing (which emphasizes the texture) created by Palco spotlights on tracks suspended at the tops of the walls. For the Round installation, which plays on various colour shades, the Palco spotlights provide lighting that intensifies on the walls and on the perimeter of the hall.

Former Piscina Gandini - Fashion Inside and Out
Curator: Judith Clark
Design: The vital role of collaboration between designers and craftsmen is the crux of this installation created by Judith Clark, who has chosen high-fashion clothes and accessories. Placed on platforms backlit by the cold light of Underscore 15, there are handmade mannequins lit by Palco spotlights installed on Low Voltage tracks, which enhance the textures of the precious materials from which the high-fashion masterpieces are made.

Sala delle Fotografie - Singular Talents
Curator: Alberto Cavalli
Design: Three positions illuminated with general lighting from iPlan luminaires allow visitors to discover the antique techniques and skills needed to create mosaics from precious stones and enamels. Short films provide a journey through twelve extraordinary ateliers. The protagonist of the room is a giant hanging hand, illuminated artistically with Palco spotlights installed on Low Voltage tracks.

Biblioteca del Longhena - Centuries of shape - (photo 3) Curator: Silvana Annicchiarico
Design: The evolution of design and crafts of excellence is presented through an amazing selection of designer vases with accent lighting from Palco spotlights on Low Voltage tracks. The lighting was installed inside metal frames to match the exhibition structure, creating a homogeneous space. Lines of Underscore 15 light applied along the length of the room avoid a “tunnel effect” and the indirect lighting on both sides gives breadth to the environment. Finally, to provide light for the information media, single lines of Underscore InOut were inserted in metal frames.

Sala Barbantini - Double Signature
Curator: Michelangelo Foundation
Design: Now in its third year, the Double Signature project was developed by the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d'Art and Living-Corriere della Sera. A collection of new works created by thirteen international designers in collaboration with masters of art in Venice and Veneto, which is illuminated with Palco on Low Voltage tracks, designed by the Solaris lighting design studio. The spotlights are installed in gold-finished handles, which can be angled to achieve the best lighting effect for the object on display.

Chiostro dei Cipressi - Venetian Way - (photo 17)
Curator: Susanna Pozzoli
Design: A photo exhibition that reveals the beauty that lies at the core of the best crafts workshops in Venice and Veneto; a journey through the glass, ceramics, lace and brocades that have shaped the history of the area, punctuated by the rhythm of the light provided by the cones of light from Palco InOut spotlights, which illuminate individual photos, helping to create a simple but precise exhibition layout. The info-graphics that provide visitors with more details about the shots are also lit with Stage InOut.

Sala Bianca - Michelangelo Bookstore - (photos 10-11) Curator: Michelangelo Foundation
Design: a place in which to discover the Michelangelo Foundation and the values ​​that have given rise to Homo Faber, including books dedicated to craftsmanship. Lines of Underscore light for the covers of the volumes, while a system of Palco tracks and spotlights provides the ambient lighting.

Workshop exclusives / Crafts in motion - Padiglione delle Capriate - photos 18-19
Curator: Stefano Micelli
Design: The accent lighting from Palco spotlights brings out the cars, motorcycles, bicycles and even the helicopter on display in the exhibition space, together with the tools and components used to create and restore them. Master craftsmen give demonstrations of their work on a special stage illuminated with accent lighting created by Palco spotlights, while videos show all the techniques that cannot be presented live.

Piccolo Teatro - Restoring Art’s Masters
Curator: Isabella Villafranca Soissons
Design: A unique opportunity to admire the masters of restoration at work in their workshops while they work on five works of art of various types and periods: a tapestry, an ancient painting, a contemporary work, a 16th century chest made of wood and stucco, and a design object created specifically for the exhibition. All of the works are illuminated by accent lighting from Palco spotlights on tracks, which becomes almost task lighting for for the various craftsmen while they exalt the materials and colours of the objects under restoration. The display cabinets at the entrance are illuminated by Palco spotlights on Low Voltage tracks. Within the Discovery and Rediscovery space (Sala Convitto), there is also an iGuzzini Lounge, built to a design by architect Alessandro Pedron. Here, visitors can admire one of the finest portraits of the Flemish painter Van Dyck, Portrait of Marcello Durazzo, which has just been restored and for which various lighting scenes have been developed to demonstrate how it is possible to change the perception of a work. The dark colours have been rendered better thanks to the use of high colour rendering devices such as Laser Blade and Palco, which can bring out the modulations of blacks and browns in the painting, while maintaining the intensity below 50 lux, in compliance with regulatory standards on conservation. To emphasise the valuable silk lampas covering the background of the canvas, made by Rubelli, an Italian expert in textiles, furniture and upholstery, the light source was chosen to enhance the warm ruby red, gold and bronze shades, together with an application solution that illuminates it evenly from top to bottom.

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