CASELLI 11-12 presents MAKERS 1, the first exhibition of a series dedicated to contemporary design, showcasing the work of 29 international designers and studios. The multi-functional exhibition space first opened its doors in 2022, following the process of conservative renovation of Porta Nuova’s ancient tollbooths led by OLTREFRONTIERA PROGETTI, a design and architecture studio operating in the retail and visual sector since 1993, which currently manages its activities. A game of chess played between matter and mind, that is, the hand: in MAKERS 1, materials and designers conspire, negotiate, clash, switch places. Adopting a hands-on, three dimensional approach to design as its key principle, the show cuts through what separates the thinking and making of objects.

MAKERS 1 unfolds around two focal points, wood and metal, to consider their possibilities of application in contemporary design, their specificities, as well as the recurrences and mutations of formal codes that give them shape today. Across the exhibition, the truth of materiality is met by the abstractions of technique: at times, matter seems to dissipate into–and be subdued by–the norms set by geometrical synthesis and the history of architecture, while in other instances, it emerges in its dense physical nature, where unexpectedness invariably thrives. Moving along this line of inquiry, MAKERS 1 aims to test the boundaries and conventions that cause the domestic and the industrial to split, overlap, or merge by bringing together a range of works that examine such polarity–often defying it. If matter still remains the vector through which human gestures can be in the world, MAKERS 1 takes on the question of form by addressing the infinite project, and the continuous process, of bringing thought into being.

Through an interdisciplinary program of partnerships and research-based projects, CASELLI 11–12 hosts collaborations with national and international design studios, promoting both emerging
and established practices.