Conference Paper

ARTISANAL ADVANCED DESIGN. Advanced Manufacturing Processes as a tool to revitalize peculiar Italian (craft)productions

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This paper aims to investigate the boundaries between design culture, the culture of doing – typical of manual arts – and industrial manufacturing culture. In particular, it aims to demonstrate the potentiality of the integration of advanced manufacturing processes into the traditional production of craftsmanship. “Artisanal Advanced Design” outlines a research and innovation approach for the textile craftsmanship, to stimulate its current and future economic and cultural growth, thanks to the transmission of local identity interpreted by the new technologies, without losing the value of heritage and know-how. The connection of cutting-edge processes with the craft culture and the value of authenticity and uniqueness aims to distinguish a new typology of singular artisanal objects for their innovative meaning and connection with advanced manufacturing processes. Therefore, the paper focuses on the cultural background connected to identity, craftsmanship and know-how on the textile industry and present in detail the case study of Gruppodi Installazione, highlighting how experimenting knowledge transfers processes and the hybridization of techniques between craftsmanship and advanced manufacturing can represent a strategic asset to revitalize peculiar craft textile productions with a strong market potential.

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... But to be competitive, in the backstage, they need to manage customers' data and the suit production with advanced technologies and only few handcrafted "touches." This creates a particularly complex and time-consuming hybrid model that is currently hard to simplify, unless the cyber-physical integration can finally be implemented (Vacca, 2015). ...
The on-going transition of societies and economies toward different organizational paradigms deeply informed by digital technologies is at the very center of current debates, involving scholars and impacting on a broad context of disciplines, ranging from humanities to science and technology. Therefore, the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” has been described as a model where new modes of production and consumption will dramatically transform all major industrial systems; it has been targeted by many governmental plans as a goal for a sustainable future. While general frameworks describing 4.0 paradigm are codified and accessible, implementation strategies and their implications on specific local and sectorial systems are largely unexplored. Starting from this assumption, this paper aims to provide insights on the current state of the art and major trends of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, possibly identifying its impacts on the textile and apparel industry.
The digitalisation of fashion companies has a significant impact on required staff skills and competences. This chapter aims to investigate, through the analysis of literature and business practices, how the development of Industry 4.0 affects organisational processes and staff competences, redefining the content of traditional jobs and creating new key roles in the fashion industry. After reviewing the characteristics of Industry 4.0 and, in particular, of the digital fashion factory, this chapter conducts a literature review to identify the set of skills and competences that the research has revealed to be necessary, distinguishing between technical competences and behavioural competences. Some traditional roles of fashion firms (seller, designer, buyer, etc.) are then examined alongside the related new skills and competences that have arisen due to the impact of technology on business processes; necessary skills are defined for new roles with reference to technology, sourcing, manufacturing, and retail, with particular reflections on the role of the digital marketing expert. These technology-related changes impact everything from human resource management processes, which must adapt to new levels of a company’s professionalism, to the need for new tools to support people management activities and new ways of carrying out work that emphasise the need for leadership skills in management roles. Finally, this chapter reflects on the challenges that technological changes pose to companies in terms of organisational culture and the education and training system that must exist to support this new world of work.
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Design is increasingly recognized as a key strategic asset and a source of added value for companies. The United States has launched a national design policy initiative to monitor and understand the role of design on the national and global economy, and the European Union is overseeing a series of public consultations on how the EU can further support design-led innovation, with the aim of integrating design into innovation policies. In the UK, the Design Council has performed a series of studies on design’s role as a strategic instrument to maximize performance and trigger innovative processes, even during periods of crisis. Clearly, the value that design generates is not confined to the end result of the design process. The need to focus on continuous innovation and advancing tomorrow’s products and services often finds the right answers through the production of intermediate components of the design process. Advanced design is a practice that imagines future perspectives by envisioning future products and processes. It mainly deals with extensive projects – extended in time, space, uncertainty and complexity. This disciplinary branch of design mostly acts during the front end of innovation and looks for solutions in complex innovation processes using tools and practices that belong to the design discipline (Celi, 2010 p. 33). This paper will discuss the different ways in which advanced design supports the development of instruments and practices aimed at supporting and managing value creation. It will explore the contributions designers offer through components of the design process and illustrate these contributions with case studies.
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Today luxury is everywhere. Everybody wants his products to be luxury. The concept of luxury is attractive and fashionable. There are luxury columns in all magazines and journals. There are TV shows on the business of luxury, and on luxury products and services. Even mass-consumption brands name many of their models ‘Deluxe’ or qualify their experience as luxurious. New words have been recently invented and promoted that add to the complexity: masstige, opuluxe, premium, ultra-premium, trading up, hyperluxury, real or true luxury, and so on. There is a confusion today about what really makes a luxury product, a luxury brand or a luxury company. Managing implies clear concepts and, beyond these concepts, clear business approaches and pragmatic rules. The aim of this paper is to unveil the specificity of management of luxury brands. Going back to fundamentals, one needs to distinguish it strongly from both fashion and premium or ‘trading up’. From this starting point, it sets out some of the counter-intuitive rules for successfully marketing luxury goods and services.
This contribution wants to explore design transformations into the age of complexity and globalisation, when design should aim to restore the balance between consumption and society. Advance design is a technique, a cognitive tool to better control probabilities and to create new relationships into a sociocultural vision. Five elements have to be considered: time bandwidth, ambitions, experimentation, authorship and principles like epigenetics, fertilisation, venture, virginity, storytelling and sensoriality. Some case histories and some tools are provided. A strong interdisciplinarial approach is required, as well as a whole understanding of socio-economical dynamics: Advance design is about transformation, but there is no transformation without the sense of both challenge and awareness.
The author presents an introductive study on Advance Design, describing the historical roots of this practice, framing the problematic sphere, talking about the modalities and methods that have characterized it so far, with the aim of identifying new design spaces and innovative research keys.
Due to the market globalization and the delocalization of production, Italy is currently facing the homologation of its regional identities and the depersonalization of production activities. This phenomenon could lead to the differences of the cultural, social and productive aspects which have always characterized the Italian genius loci and constitute an extremely valuable and unique heritage of intangibles skills and knowledge. In this scenario, design is reconfigured as a practice able to investigate the boundaries between the culture of making, typical of crafts, and the culture of design. Strategic actions, able to transform attitudes typical of the territory into products that meet the expectations of the contemporary market, can stimulate and develop the production and cultural competences of local systems. In this sense, the design process is enhanced by procedural meanings which unfold the close relationship between cultural identity and material identity. The book “Design sul filo della tradizione (Design on the thread of tradition)” explores the flow of knowledge and expertise between design and crafts, focusing on the textile-fashion sector. In this virtuoso relationship, the author has identified a possible variable of innovation for the production of singular objects, as well as an element of exploitation and preservation of the material culture related to local traditions. The book aims to demonstrate that there exist prestigious artisanal realities which contribute to the uniqueness and identity of Italy. They are “silent witnesses” of ancient skills that have been handed down through time, from generation to generation, and now have the potential to trigger innovation in the Italian production sectors they represent. * * * A causa dei fenomeni di globalizzazione dei mercati e di delocalizzazione produttiva, l’Italia si trova a dover affrontare un momento di forte omologazione delle identità regionali e di spersonalizzazione delle attività. Un appiattimento di quelle diversità culturali e sociali che da sempre hanno caratterizzato il genius loci e che hanno costituito un patrimonio di competenze e conoscenze intangibili ma di grande ricchezza e valore. In questo scenario il design si riconfigura come pratica capace di indagare i territori di confine tra cultura del fare, tipica delle arti manuali, e cultura del progetto, svolgendo un ruolo di stimolo e valorizzazione di competenze produttive e culturali dei sistemi locali, attraverso azioni strategiche in grado di trasformare attitudini sedimentate nel territorio in prodotti che rispondono alle attese del mercato contemporaneo. In questo senso, il progetto di design si arricchisce di significati processuali che esplicitano la stretta relazione tra identità culturale e identità materiale. Il libro “Design sul filo della tradizione” approfondisce la tematica legata al trasferimento di conoscenze e competenze tra il design e l’artigianato focalizzandosi in particolar modo sul settore tessile-moda e individuando in questo rapporto virtuoso, un possibile fattore di innovazione per la produzione di beni singolari ad alto valore aggiunto e un elemento di valorizzazione e di preservazione della cultura materiale connessa alla tradizione locale. L’intento, è quello di dimostrare che esistono delle realtà artigianali di grande prestigio che contribuiscono a caratterizzare l’identità del territorio italiano perché testimonianza silenziosa di antiche competenze che sono state tramandate nel tempo, di generazione in generazione, e che oggi possono diventare un potenziale fattore di innovazione per i settori produttivi italiani di cui sono espressione.
In the past, design has most often occurred fairly far downstream in the development process and has focused on making new products aesthetically attractive or enhancing brand perception through smart, evocative advertising. Today, as innovation's terrain expands to encompass human-centered processes and services as well as products, companies are asking designers to create ideas rather than to simply dress them up. Brown, the CEO and president of the innovation and design firm IDEO, is a leading proponent of design thinking--a method of meeting people's needs and desires in a technologically feasible and strategically viable way. In this article he offers several intriguing examples of the discipline at work. One involves a collaboration between frontline employees from health care provider Kaiser Permanente and Brown's firm to reengineer nursing-staff shift changes at four Kaiser hospitals. Close observation of actual shift changes, combined with brainstorming and rapid prototyping, produced new procedures and software that radically streamlined information exchange between shifts. The result was more time for nursing, better-informed patient care, and a happier nursing staff. Another involves the Japanese bicycle components manufacturer Shimano, which worked with IDEO to learn why 90% of American adults don't ride bikes. The interdisciplinary project team discovered that intimidating retail experiences, the complexity and cost of sophisticated bikes, and the danger of cycling on heavily trafficked roads had overshadowed people's happy memories of childhood biking. So the team created a brand concept--"Coasting"--to describe a whole new category of biking and developed new in-store retailing strategies, a public relations campaign to identify safe places to cycle, and a reference design to inspire designers at the companies that went on to manufacture Coasting bikes.
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