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Homo Faber 2020  Lise Gonthier Artisan ©   (courtesy: Michelangelo Foundation)  

| Designbest editorial staff


omo Faber: Crafting a more human future, the large international event focused on excellence in European fine crafts (started in 2019), returns this year to once again to celebrate craftsmanship in Europe. The second edition, curated by the Michelangelo Foundation, will take place in September in the prestigious space of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini on San Giorgio Island in Venice. The guest of honor this year will be Japan, which with a series of exhibitions dedicated to its National Living Treasures, or rather its finest master artisans (as they are affectionately called back home), will present objects made with ancient techniques like lacquer and textile dyeing.

It is a landmark event that lasts a whole month and promotes craftsmanship—in the highest sense of the word—as a fine craft.  The objective of this cultural event, which achieved considerable success in its debut last year, is discovering, promoting and appreciating European craftsmanship.

Many noteworthy companies will participate in this event reconnecting craftsmanship with design, starting with Emu, a leader in Made in Italy outdoor furniture that has always based their philosophy on both craftsmanship and design. Once again, they will be one of Homo Faber’s partners with the EMU Outdoor Interlude space, where their outdoor collections will create enchanting environments. Venini, the brand known throughout the world for the excellence of their glassmasters, will enliven Homo Faber with a special initiative involving some of the best flower designers. While high fashion and jewelry houses will also be at the event entertaining the visitors. Cartier will lead us into the world of precious gems and glyptic art, while Hermés will place saddlery artisans on display.

In the 4,000 m2 event setup, there will be 17 themed exhibitions, each one dedicated to a different aspect of master craftsmanship. There is an original lineup that will showcase a series of materials and expertise, from traditional crafts at risk of extinction to more contemporary and innovative techniques—from the admirable creations of the famous luxury Maisons to a special staging of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

Participating in the event, there will be a rich team of internationally famous curators, architects and designers: from the Italian architect Michele Lucchi to the Japanese curator Naoto Fukasawa, fashion designer Judith Clark to the Italo-Belgian gallerist Jean Blanchaert, architect Stefano Boeri and American director Robert Wilson, just to name a few.

Each artist and professional will bring his or her technical, traditional, creative and experimental know-how to offer us a series of spectacular expositions that explore both the human element—the essence of fine creation—and the cherished savoir-fare, special narratives, territorial influences and everything that makes an object a masterpiece.

Placing the attention on the human capacity of creating beauty is an intelligent way to promote it as a creative and manual ability, a resource that still has value today and must be appreciated and incentivized.

“Homo Faber 2020 offers a unique window into what is possible when the heart and mind finds expression through the hands”, says Franco Cologni, co-founder of the Michelangelo Foundation.

And indeed, Homo Faber 2020 puts humanity at the center of its program and offers the public a rich series of engaging experiences, including the possibility of meeting master artisans while they work in front of us. Evocative images and video installations will transport us directly into the workspaces of the masters spread across Europe.

Celebrating the artistic crafts of Europe and the great traditions of Japan means, “By celebrating European fine craftsmanship and the great traditions of Japan, we salute master artisans who aspire to be their very best” says Johann Rupert, co-founder of the Michelangelo Foundation and organizer of Homo Faber 2020. An event needed to remind everyone that master artisans “create great value in our lives and demonstrate the vitality of the fine crafts in today’s world.”


When: September 10 - October 10, 2020

Where: Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Island, Venice, Italy


Watch the video 'Homo Faber: 2020 Living Treasures of Europe and Japan':


Check out the photogallery of Homo Faber:

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