This website describes the first edition of the Tin Compasses, presented during the International Furniture Fair (14/19 April 2010) at the Triennale Bovisa (Milan).
The workshops and exhibition, which will take place at the Triennale Bovisa from 14 April through to the end of May, are the idea of Alessandro Guerriero and Riccardo Dalisi and are promoted by NABA and the Triennale Design Museum.
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The tin compasses – Milan, Naples, Bangkok
From the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan to Naples and back

The idea of a Tin Compasses award exists over and above any reference to the famous and prestigious Golden Compasses and the role that this has played in the history of international design.
In the current climate of recession and the consequent changes taking place in every economic, social and cultural aspect, the Tin Compasses aim is to emphasise the revived need for inventions, ideas, projects, procedures and techniques in the artisan sector of small productions, embryonic, organizational initiatives and micro productions with a clear social purpose, at times even alternatives to the use of mechanical procedures and in the industrial sector at long last focussed on sustainability. It may even be possible to stray into the general procedures of highly and scientifically qualified productions.
It also wants to be characterised as a dialogue that is complementary to those sectors which have always represented the inventions typical of classic design. In some cases it may even reach out to dialectic challenges, exploring new areas for reflection and experimentation which can be combined and considered as reasons for increased knowledge and creativity and for new opportunities.
Created in Milan, at Naba, its inspiration has Neapolitan roots in the eternal production, experimentation and designing linked to humble materials. Not least amongst which is the regular contribution of entertainments for children from varying social classes, with consolidated or improvised craftspeople ( Global Tools for example).
A further example of reflection, source and of stimulation has been the frequent occurences of contamination – of bi-polar unions between different worlds, between the craftsman and industry, manual work and the machine, thought and action.
The contamination of design-theatre, functionality – pure form, art-use, beginning with research on the Neapolitan coffee-pot, can be seen to be dependent on a background of extremely-humble design, carried out by the truly poor, arriving at the Comic Opera of design, with the numerous, small inventions linked to manual work that can turn into the use of simple machines through to automation.
From the object whose use is tightly linked to industrial production, the discourse, exploration and experimentation has broadened into sectors linked to decoration, gadgets and the most minute of accessories.
I would like to make particular mention of the ‘lamp theatre’ which I created in the 1980s and exhibited in Lucio Amelio’s prestigious international art gallery in 1991. This effectively expressed the idea of combining design and theatre. The three lamps on show were all the same, in an allusion to industrial production, while, within the theatre set, defined by a simple arch, were six dancing figures which were all different and of clear artisan and artistic manufacture.

Riccardo Dalisi


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