Photo Delfino Sisto Legnani | Pietro Cocco
Text by Maria Cristina Didero
“A plank of wood – a precious commodity, by nature absolutely unique and unrepeatable, becomes first a wax model, then a bronze item to be replicated again and again in series, and ultimately transformed into something else? Very interesting”. This was my immediate thought when Francesco Faccin – a designer of enormous talent for making and how-to-make it, with an obsessive attention for the process – preferably with hands on experience – presented me with this charming project titled Bronzification. This is almost a contradiction in terms simply because the idea of bronze as a material commonly used in ancient times, clashes when declined in the word ‘bronzification’ – a word that does not even exist in the Zingarelli Italian dictionary. It is as the definition coined by Faccin has defined a new chemical process, an accelerated transition of state to allow any kind of materials to become bronze. The term bronze suggests something completely different; it conjures up the images of eternity, stability and consequently, solidity. However looking deeper, it is easy to understand the reason for this choice.
But let’s start from the designer himself: Francesco Faccin is-one-of-those-designers-who-makes, and he has his peculiar approach to it. I imagine him working in silence. However, the creatures he produces are not silent at all: they have sharp serious outlines, which clearly express not only the hand that made them, but also the thought behind their conception. In my opinion, Faccin is one of those cutting-edge, ruthless designers who is passionate about his chosen discipline where ruthless, in the best possible interpretation, means intellectual honesty combined with a careful eye trained not only on the origin of things but also the reason why they exist. However, Francesco Faccin is also a designer who looks to the future – as can be clearly seen through this project. While the orientation of his work is dense with reflections applied to a range of design disciplines, in this 21st century Faccin has even searched for a different way to light the fire. His unusual approach to work coming from his insatiable curiosity and a broader vision of the vast choice of operative methods, actually consists of one thing only: the bet on Man. In other words, he is testing the reaction to a specific task without moving away from the intrinsic creative intimacy – also known as integrity. It is just a matter of equilibrium: he does not ignore the project brief, the ultimate function of his works, the mission and, in the best case scenario, he fully satisfies, at the same time, his creativity. I also believe that, speaking about his trade (yes, I would call it his trade), he distinguishes himself from those who simply make and those who are passionate about making – in his work, this concept has been translated flawless. His projects are not loud but whispered, they present themselves gracefully. They murmur, they suggest, they point out not only their history and origins but also the obsessive attention to the production process and the basic components of reasoned simplicity, which consist in precision even sought arduously on commitment and successfully achieved – this is the definition of the author, born in Milan in 1977 and based here.
Bronzification – the exhibition and the gigantic enterprise that made it possible – meant to successfully focus on craftsmanship applied to serial production. And once again, the precision, the professional honesty and the swashbuckling courage are obvious factors in a project that blends easily with the holistic, almost political approach to manual production: it allows us to clearly recognize the influence of the time spent working with Maestros such as Enzo Mari and Michele De Lucchi – however, I am not sure whether Faccin calls them “Maestri”, quoting the latter in reference to Ettore Sottsass. Francesco Faccin is primarily a designer who loves what he does. He is a designer who knows what he wants and how he can create the tangible version of what is in his mind. Francesco Faccin is as solid as the pieces he creates.