Category Archives: Events

Italians, crafters of their own future. Thanks Francesco Morace, Barbara Santoro and everyone at the “Italian Factor” presentation in Rome.

Francesco Morace

The Rome Chamber of Deputies presentation of the Francesco Morace and Barbara Santoro book “Italian Factor” has been truly interesting.

It’s been an engaging and focused think-tank on “how to multiply our country value”, conducted by Giovanni Aversa (from Mantua).

The “Italian Factor” project grows out from Barbara Santoro‘s passion.

She’s an Italian born entrepreneur and business coach who has lived in Canada.

As a proud Italian she is trying, with Francesco Morace’s help, to find new ways to improve Italian economic and cultural values.
Barbara Santoro








In Rome the other day, Barbara asked everyone to suggest “the missing ingredient” of the Italian recipe… in form of a Twitter hashtag

She started with #coraggiodiosare, that can be translated into #bravetodare.

According to Barbara, Italy must leverage its strengths in order to be more effective on international markets.

Just like Oscar Farinetti does with Eataly.

Farinetti has built a distribution system that gives visibility and relevance to small businesses, within the Italian Food + Drink system.

Symbola’s president Ermete Realacci proposed #honor.

His take was focused on Italy beating the crisis through its very own values; innovation, quality and beauty.

Tito Di Maggio, former president of the Murgia “sofa district” in his first term as a Senator, spoke clearly about Italian politicians inadequacy with regards to companies’s needs.

That’s why he suggested an encouraging #nihildifficilevolent  (nothing is impossible for those with a strong will!)… especially for Southern Italy companies.

Maria Sebregondi, the “Moleskine mother”, suggested #doittogether imagining that the sharing economy practices will be key in business, in the immediate future.

Paolo Cuccia (Gambero Rosso President) has been the boldest, with #newera.

In his opinion, this is the right time to promote Italian excellence as a whole, with special relevance to tourism, food industry and crafting.

Valeria Mangani, Altagamma Rome vice president, mentioned #infinitepossibilities.

She emphasized how the new luxury is “inside-out”: 100% human value, expressed in all forms, from bespoke apparel to custom-made furnishings.

Perhaps the most provoking speech was the one by Francesco Casoli of Elica.
#Passion, humility and connection: to win the game you have to stand for it!

As ermesponti, we suggested an idea coming from the Renaissance, and… from our company: #endtoendprocess.

In our view, excellence comes from the whole process, from the design phase to the manufacturing, through communication and sales.

After you’ve had a good idea, prototyping it is not enough!

If you cannot make it happen, for real, it’s useless.

It’s a shame to see Italians ideas and prototypes sold off to foreign companies growing their GDP with our talents.

In the end, we realised that the only who did not suggest an hashtag has been Francesco Morace.

He was strongly on his point, though:

Each Italian can and must act as a craftsman confronting his work (and perhaps his conscience): do it with passion and dedication in the best possible way, just for the pleasure of a well done job.

If we all could do this, without complaining about all things wrong in Italy, we already would have done so much for our country.

Italians, craftsmen of the future Italy… we could say, lulled by Pavarotti, who put an end to discussions with his unrivaled singing.

Italian Factor: Pavarotti

Fundamentals, Absorbing Modernity: the bricks and mortar case of the German pavilion.

Venice Biennale Architecture 2014As everybody knows, the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale is titled “Fundamentals, absorbing Modernity 1914-2014” and invites 65 National Pavilions in the Giardini and at Arsenale to respond the theme examining the key moments from a century of modernization.

Ermesponti contributed to one of this, the German Pavilion, as a partner for the bespoke interiors of the ‘bricks and mortar’ project by the German firm Ciriacidis & Lehnerer architekten.

Bungalow Germania was judged to be one of the 10 best pavilion, but, for what we as architects are concerned, is something else: we feel that it’s the most readable pavilion of the whole Bienniale.

The meaning is crystal clear for everyone because it speaks the specific language of Architecture; the space in 4 dimensions.

Two buildings are wedged one into each other and directly compared; the old nazi pavilion of the thirties  and the Miesian glazed bungalow of the second German chancellor built in the the sixties.

No need of any information map or any kind of captions to understand 100 hundred years of German history; you can make the real experience of the space and understand it by yourself!

You don’t need to be an architect or a art critic; you will feel the space language using the 5 specific human senses and that is simply revolutionary nowadays when each piece of contemporary art needs almost a thousand pages books of theorical explanations…

Actually you can really absorb the modernity of the Kanzler Bungalow embedded into the Padiglione Germania.

The Italian humanist, architect and philosopher Leon Battista Alberti used to call it: “cognitione per comparatione” . 

The concept is that when you compare two things you can easily understand the differences and the similarities between them.

This is also more effective about interior spaces.

Adolf Loos called this approach ” raumplan”.

As humans we are planned to feel the dimensions of interiors deeply inside of us. Each gap or leap gives us a certain emotion.

In my opinion that’s what happens inside the German Pavilion: you can feel it and absorb it and you will never forget it. I have already forgotten who is getting the golden lion of the jury this year… but I will never forget the strong impression I got from those two buildings stuck together!

Please go in Venice and give us your own opinion; we’ll be looking forward to reading you!

Venice Biennale German Pavillion

BUNGALOW GERMANIA. Deutscher Pavillon auf der 14. Internationalen Architektur-Ausstellung – la Biennale di Venezia, 2014. © CLA / Foto: Bas Princen Bungalow Germania. Pavilion of Germany at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition — la Biennale di Venezia, 2014. © CLA / Foto: Bas Princen

Bungalow Germania. Deutscher Pavillon auf der 14. Internationalen Architektur-Ausstellung — la Biennale di Venezia, 2014.
Bungalow Germania. Pavilion of Germany at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition — la Biennale di Venezia, 2014.
© CLA / Foto: Bas Princen

A quick impression from the opening of the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice.

Padiglione Germania Biennale VeneziaWe were at the German Pavillion at the Venice Biennale on Friday: we got there a little late, but in time for the opening.

We’ve never felt so proud for a work done.

Our client appreciated it so much that they mentioned ermesponti even during the public speech: incredible!

I mean, never ever a client have given to us such a recognition. Even for bigger assignments.

ermes ponto work for the venice architecture biennale: pad germania

But we really appreciate working and cooperate with these guys.

We found strong affinities since our first meeting.

I have a doubt; are we of Ermesponti  Germans? Or are  that is Ciriacidis& Leherner Italians?
No, neither.

We just have the same deep roots in the cultural heritage of the western architecture history, that’s all.

We found we both have this in common: we love doing our work at the best!

ermes ponti: padiglione germania @ the venice biennale

We care for it. In everything we do, we search for perfection.

And I believe you can feel it very well.

If you will go in Venice in the following months, please have a look at the German Pavilion.

For what I am concerned, there is a special feature that makes it different from each other national pavilion of the 14th Architectural Biennale in Venice.

All the national pavilions are – of course- about architecture, but they just talk about it.
The German Pavilion is architecture for real!

venice biennale architecture: work by ermes pontiTwo buildings in one; each one brings to its own identity and style to compare with the other.

And what a strong impression for visitors of that hybrid spaces; no need of taglines here!

No need of critical explanations; anyone can understand it by himself.

To be honest, I think this is the real reason why we literally felt in love for this project.

We believe that architecture means experiencing interior space; from the feeling  of the main space to the last small detail.

Please go and visit the Bungalow Germania in Venice. We wait for your impressions about it!

Venice Biennale Architecture 2014

“The Bonn Chancellor’s Bungalow today at the Venice Biennale… also thanks to ermes ponti.” By Alex Lehnerer and Savvas Ciriacidis.

Lehenerer and Ciriacidis architects

The architects in charge of the German Pavillion at the Venice Biennale talk about how they met our company and the way the collaboration between us evolved.

Thank you for your post, Alex and Savvas!

By Alex Lehnerer and Savvas Ciriacidis.

Padiglione Germania Biennale Venezia

We were very fortunate to have been able to work with ermesponti on the project “Bungalow Germania” of the German Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Biennale 2014.

At first we were quite concerned about how to rebuild the Chancellor’s Bungalow in Bonn from 1964 here in Venice.

Then, only by chance we met Daniela and Paolo from ermesponti.

Our Italian friend and collaborator Eugenio Squassabia from Mantua recommended them to us as years ago he used to work for them.

We have already heard a lot about the exquisite craftsmanship of North Italian companies, but never really imagined what kind of enthusiasm and precision there is involved in their work since we met ermesponti.

key hole study by ermes pontiDaniela and Paolo immediately went to Bonn themselves as they had to see the “original” and to have a close look at all the details of the wooden furniture of the Bungalow to be reproduced in Venice – all the way to the brass key holes of the cabinet doors, as shown in the drawing.

This analysis almost resembled an archeological project into Bonn’s recent past.

Paolo’s dad then went to Milan to get exactly the right kind of veneer for the built-in cabinets of the Bungalow in Bonn.
The result is stunning.

Padilgione Germania Biennale Venezia

There was so much care and love involved that we almost feel guilty that after six months of the Biennale everything has to disappear again.

But before that you should go and see the exhibition yourself and how precise all the ermesponti furniture is crafted in the Pavilion.

We even started to tell people there: if they wanted to see how everything looks in 50 years, they should go to Bonn!

Padiglione Germani Biennale Venezia

But maybe you should also go to Mantova and have a look at ermesponti’s workshop and listen to Paolo how carefully they choose and compose every piece of veneer by hand to get the right character of wood for every single project.

It is amazing and inspiring to still have people around today who care so much about what they do.Paolo Ponti of ermes ponti at work on Biennale German pavillion

Salone Del Mobile 2014.

The world-famous fair Salone Del Mobile is the most eagerly awaited industrial design event of the year.
We have been there of course just to keep up with the latest trends and to have a look at what the big brands of industrial design are preparing for the next 12 months.This period of economic crisis in Europe  and in general in old markets  is also a challenge for them.
trussardi- salone2014
Design weaves its threads ever more thickly with other disciplines: fashion first of all, but also art and everything that might involve the everyday lifeof design products. The concept of design is expanding ever wider with influences stemming from other disciplines and  with receptiveness to other visions probing beyond function to social aspects and philosophy as well. But from my personal point of view, even if this kind of cross fertilization can be useful and interesting in a certain way, this time it seems too much. Actually, you can’t really understand where design ends and art begins or vice versa.
Industrial design risks losing its own spirit and essence. Creative work is no longer a feature of design and almost every kind of problem-solving attitude can be considered creative. That’s what emerges from  the famous theory expressed by  the book “creative confidence”  ( written by David Kelley)  and many other books with the same philosophy.
As an architect with a strong architectural training from the  university of  Florence, I can see that industrial design has definitely lost its native relationship with architecture. It has links and bonds with any other discipline but this.  There is something going on about it.  It is a tree without roots. I think we have to rediscover the natural background of both architecture and design, a “Common Ground”-as David Chipperfileld pointed out at last Biennale.
Of course there are lots of reasons why and it will take another long post to describe them, but , to be honest, my final question after Saturday’s visit to the Fiera Rho was: are you sure, guys, you need all that jumble?

Ermesponti presentation to IDEO, 28 Mercer street, NYC.

When Diego Paccagnella, the founder of Design-Apart, told us that we were invited to IDEO in Mercer Street (Soho, NYC) we were so excited. To be honest, we were a little bit worried about it. As architects we are more confident with a pencil in our hands than as lecturers. We are not used to public speaking at all!

On the other hand, we felt that we have something in common with those IDEO guys. We have a passion for Design and the same interests in the creative process (we love the last book by David and Tom Kelley “Creative Confidence”) and the design-thinking behind every human activity.

Paolo Ponti da IDEO

We were asked to tell our story; not only the experience with Design-apart, but also our core-business, which is strongly related to our creative process as architects and entrepreneurs. We considered this to be our approach, both artistic and scientific, and our integrated “end-to-end” method (from the first idea to the turnkey Interior) might capture their interest. Continue reading

Ermesponti on The New York Times!

cartaceo del NYT

We are proud to announce that just a few days after the opening our Living Showroom is in The New York Times! It is a great unsuspected achievement for Ermesponti and all the others producers of Design- Apart !

This is only the first step of a great adventure! Design-Apart partners with 20 small-medium but highly specialized Italian companies: Ermesponti Bespoke Interiors, TM Italia, Berto, Exnovo, Elica, Marrone Cutom Cooking, MiIlldue, Zucchetti Kos, Technogel Sleeping, Techlab Italia, MenottiSpecchia, Renata Bonfanti, Bosa, Secondome, B-Stone, Segno Italiano,A.M. Ricami, Servomuto, Giovanni Casellato, Magis.

Homo ad Circulum


I would very much like to talk about a crucial question asked by one of the journalists during the Opening: “What have you at Ermesponti in common with the other companies”? Continue reading

Opening of the First Living Showroom of Design-Apart in NYC.

D-A Team NYCFinally, last friday, we opened!

We totally agree with the first impression of our friend, Filippo Berto about the most relevant characteristic of the new Living Showroom of Design-Apart in 110 W 25th St New York. The atmosphere was amazing. You immediately felt at home. And what a home! The spirit and the essence of a contemporary Italian home in NYC!

We are very proud to be part of this newborn adventure and to have strongly contributed to the achieving of this “Italian dream”, which is supposed to export not only products of Italian design but also our high standard of Bespoke Interiors.

Since we joined Design-Apart we put all our efforts- and maybe more- into launching this project. This was from the very first sketch to the actual drawing, to organizing the works on site and the complete installation. Now we understand we were right. The only way to show this new era of Bespoke Design is to have a real experience of it. This is Diego Paccagnella‘s great idea: no more lifeless showroom filled with cold furniture, but a real loft where people live!

Our mission as Italians is to promote our idea of creativity and our products “designed and made in Italy”. This can really become the new business model of the  Italian Future of the Craftsmen( Futuro Artigiano by Stefano Micelli docet).

Can this team of small, but highly specialized Italian companies change the world of Interior Design? We are confident that we can.

The console table


This is just a console table story. First, the idea on a sketch. I talked about it with our master carpenter, Alberto, and we decided together some details. He selected the solid wood and began to cut and work on it. In a few days it was completed. A parchment top on four solid wood slanted legs and a glass tray supported by a wooden cross below.
In my opinion this is a little piece of “ebanisteria” ( the highest level of cabinet making).
It is so beautiful: each detail is so much cared about that is just perfect. Just a glance at it, before it is packed: it is hard to let it go, I wish it was been made for me. Continue reading