The last stop of our tour through Italy and Greece was the beautiful town of Florence, in the middle of the Tuscany region. We visited Francesca and Roberto, a painter and an architect, who installed the “Source” design fair there, 2 years ago (www.sourcefirenze.it). Our interview took place during the course of the 3rd annual edition of the fair (September 10-20, 2015) on site in the green oasis that is the Giardino di Villa Strozi. There, two beautiful buildings provide space for their self-made design exhibition and for the workshops that they host together with the team of the Altrove Association. All designers are allowed to exhibit for free, with the goal of fostering the growth of up and coming talent. The fair is meant to function as a hub creating a network between designers, artisans and artists as well as to connect them with companies and institutions. For future editions, Francesca and Roberto plan to extend the fair by a media section, showing feature films and documentaries in the open air theatre which is located on the roof of their exhibition building. After the interview, we headed back into town and regained our strength by having some authentic Italian pasta for lunch in order to get ready for the second half of our day.
In the afternoon, we met with the architect and LOFOIO (www.lofo.io) founder Mattia in his workshop, which is located in the middle of a vibrant neighborhood that has a long tradition of hosting a multitude of craftsmen, workshops, artisans and designers. The room features the space and the tools needed in order to do handicrafts, to enjoy or to discover your passions and to get in touch with likeminded people, which is also fostered by events that are hosted in the workshop. Mattia is very interested in the concept of co-working and was already involved in setting up 2 other co-working spaces in Florence, including the Fab Lab. We had an interesting talk about LOFOIO as well as about the future of work in general and about giving power to freelancers. LOFOIO (Italian for “I do this”) is his prototype for a network of a variety of thematically distinct co-working spaces. As a true maker living his claim, we are sure that there is lots more to expect from him. Before we headed back for our last night in Italy, Mattia took us across the neighborhood to visit some befriended craftsmen and designers. The designer depicted below used to work for Hermès and now runs a leather workshop and store of his own.