Gio Ponti’s cultural heritage: our tribute.

For Ermes Ponti, Gio Ponti was a master, almost a grandfather.

Not only a rare coincidence of names and neither a simply business relation between them; a friendship that still exists between the two families- the Pontis from Milan and the Pontis from Mantua.

Gio Ponti was “four-times-twenty” and Ermes was not 25 yet; Gio was one of the most famous architects of the last century and Ermes was simply a young carpenter with a great passion for his job.

From their joint work emerged some beautiful projects and, as Gio put it, we feel they represent a beautiful story of our past and- at the same time- a legacy, a heritage for the present and for the future.

So we feel we have this heritage to be shared. Gio Ponti designed for our company an interior concept (“la casa adatta”) and a full furniture collection dedicated to it- the Apta line.

Both of them were truly revolutionary in the early 70’s as they are absolutely up-to-date now.

He conceived a new idea of an interior, flexible for the modern way of living- a house has to adapt to us and no the other way round!

We decided to open our dusty archives to the future in different ways so that young generations can learn from the lessons taught by a master of architecture, from the whole experience and research of a lifetime.

For Mantovacreativa 2013 creative festival we chose some sketches from our own archives and helped the students of the state secondary school specializing in art of Mantua to build a 1:1 scale model of each of them. We wanted to show them how instrumental handwork and craftsman skills are to conceive and design a piece of furniture in the proper way. The “Makers” is an American revolutionary movement that will be among us soon here in Italy too; we strongly want to contribute to it.

We also organized a small exhibit of those two models and of the best items of the Apta collection together with some Gio Ponti’s letters, sketches and drawings (during Mantovacreativa 2013 too) and we asked some special lecturers such as Stefano Micelli (writer of “Futuro Artigiano” and Economy Professor at the Cà Foscari University of Venice) to give a speech on some current crucial topics such as the future and the evolution of craftsmanship in both the Italian and the global economy as well as the role of prototypes and customer personalization in today’s culture and market.

We believe that young generations need good examples first of all. This small Gio Ponti’s exhibit was a perfect occasion for a small group of students of interior design from the IUAV (University Institute of Architecture Venice), coordinated by Prof. Luca Ferigo, to learn more about Gio Ponti and his idea of the perfect house or “la casa adatta”.

They embarked in a three-day workshop to compare Gio Ponti’s social context to today’s scenario; they tried to find in Gio Ponti’s works some inspirational values and use them to design new solutions for the society of our times, to find the “perfect house” of their own. In our opinion, they did a superb job in such a short time…

We at Ermes Ponti are particularly proud of this experience since we believe that this is the only way to save our culture, our history, our future. We have to figure out new solutions learning from the culture of our rich history. This is the so-called “Italian way” and that is exactly what we are trying to do.


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