An interactive performance based installation that challenges the Artisan's role with in the future of design. Future By Artisan was commissioned by Fendi as part of Fatto a Mano (Handmade), and shown across Europe including London (LDF), Milan (Salone del Mobile) and Venice (Venice Biennale).
The project was derived from research into the traditions and techniques of Fendi's highly skilled artisans, conducted at Fendi's prototyping factory in Florence. Whilst highly suffocated technology exists to increase efficacy of production, saving time and waste material, age-old techniques synonymous with the traditions of craftsmanship are still implemented throughout the creation process at Fendi. There exists a stunngingly human quality to products made by artisans that can not (currently), be achieved utilising modern machinery. It is this relationship between the traditions of the past and the tools of the future that Future By Artisan attempts to question.
Future By Artisan comprises of multiple components; The heartbeat of a Fendi Artisan is measured in real time by heart monitor. This data is sent wirelessly to an adapted antique riveting machine which effectively punches upon leather stripes the rhythm of the heart itself. The distance between each punched hole corresponds directly to the Artisan's emotive state. A calm or relax state increases the distance between punched holes and an excited or anxious state decreases the distance between punched holes. The punched leather stripes are then fed manually onto a series of steel rods and are reborn in the creation of a sculpture. The sculpture itself is a physical map depicting the emotive state of the Artisan for the duration of the performance.
'Reflecting upon the two aspects, the human and the mechanical, Mersh questions the role of man within industrial evolution. In the case of Fendi, the artisan remains the firm starting point, the cuore of the process. And no matter how much technology may progress, it will never be able to substitute the experience of the craftsmen themselves.'