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Paolo De Poli craftsman entrepreneur and designer

The craftsman-entrepreneur is one of the many forms in which design developed during the twentieth century in Italy. A case in point is the artist, craftsman and designer Paolo De Poli who, starting in the mid-1930s, and in particular over the next twenty years during which he worked with Gio Ponti, continued to run a workshop that produced vitreous enamel objects through the 1990s.

This article, relying on primary sources from the De Poli archives conserved at the Archivio Progetti Iuav di Venezia, intends to reconstruct the activity and organization of a studio-workshop that conceived, produced, exhibited and sold objects and that, though artisanal in nature, developed production processes that in some ways were influenced by the techniques of standard production.
The analysis of the choices made by De Poli makes it possible to reconstruct the contribution of artisanal production to the design culture, demonstrating the validity of an operational model that has largely been ignored by traditional historiography, but now deserves to be reconsidered.


The full version of this article is available only in Italian.

Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in AIS/Design Storia e Ricerche, numero 7 maggio 2016

Ali Filippini

Ali Filippini, who graduated in Industrial Design from the Politecnico di Milano, earned his Ph.D in Design Sciences in 2012 from the Università Iuav di Venezia with a thesis on the history of exhibitions from a product segment and cultural perspective. In 2015, he was a research fellow there in the field of decorative arts in Italy during the fifties, working on the archives of Paolo De Poli. He has been lecturing on the History and Criticism of Design at the Università degli Studi della Repubblica di San Marino and on the History of Visual Communication and Design at the Politecnico di Torino. He has been lecturing on Design History for the Master of Industrial Design programme at the Scuola Politecnica di Milano since 2008. Since 2000, he has written for design magazines (Diid – Disegno Industriale Industrial Design, Auto&Design, Mestieri d’Arte e Design) and editorial projects.

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