Research and experimentation do not only take place in the studios of well-established designers or in the R&D departments of major companies. An innovative idea can also see the light of day among the benches of schools and academies, where students are able to concentrate full-time on specific projects.
It is worth remembering that in these places, where companies that wish to innovate would do well to take a careful look, are formed the (natural stone) designers of tomorrow, those who one day will be the professionals to whom these companies themselves will look for advice, whether in the guise of partners or as salespeople.
A good example of the above comes from the students who are taking the Industrial Product Design course at the University of Ferrara who, with great enthusiasm and dedication, and under the authoritative guidance of the professors Raffaello Galiotto and Vincenzo Pavan, have been working over recent months on several projects of natural stone design that are due to be showcased at the next edition of Marmomacc and of which, for the time being, it is naturally not yet possible to reveal any precise details. It is a series of design products in stone, conceived not just as a stylistic exercise, but with the objective of being offered and sold on the market. Lithos Design, which for many years has supported this Emilia-based University has been involved in this design laboratory in the role of external consultant, by reviewing the proposals and by advising the students during what is still an embryonic phase of product development, taking into account production aspects and prospects for sales.
In an interesting video-conference between the offices of Lithos Design and a university lecture theatre crowded with students, on last 15th May my brother Claudio and me had the opportunity (and the honour) of conducting a dialogue with young aspiring natural stone designers, replying notably to questions about the technical feasibility of various projects and providing indications about a possible response on the part of the market in terms of its interest in sales. It was a debate which at certain times became quite animated, making the 90 minutes that were allocated to this initiative seem too short. The time was precious for us, but it was full of enthusiasm and gave us feeling of having contributed to something important, a moment that proved not only pleasant and amusing but also mutually enriching for sure.
A further reason to visit the next Marmomacc, therefore, will be the exhibition which will highlight these very latest stone design products and the project research that has led to their creation. It is really difficult for us not to divulge anything, but we shall be there in September and will provide a detailed account then, lending our eyes and our words to those who are not able to see these works in situ for themselves.