Lino Sabattini The Film


Lino Sabattini the Film

Our penchant for the artisanal had us drooling – with popcorn – over Kid Dandy‘s fantastic documentary of Lino Sabattini by Gianluca Migliarotti and Porzia Bergamasco. Part designer, whose prolific imagination has driven a lifetime of original, thoroughly inventive objects, part artisan-craftsman whose hands know and work the materials those objects are made from, Sabattini’s conceptual prowess and craftsman disposition have secured him a place in the world’s pantheon of great designers. Known for being entirely self-taught, he preaches and truly believes (and practically coined the adage) “s’impara facendo…e anche sbagliando” (learning comes through doing…and through making mistakes). And like any self-respecting design great, he not only creates beautiful objects, he also attacks niggling problems (and shows his formidable sense of humour) with objects like his infamous jellyfish-esque fork-spoon-hair accessory.

The documentary is a long talk with Sabattini and highlights his acquaintances with several bigwigs of Italian design, most importantly Gio Ponti, who presented his metal work in the 1950s on the pages of Domus and introduced him to the world outside Italy in a Paris exhibition soon thereafter. Working most prolifically at the vanguard of 1950s and 1960s design, his creations have become iconic of the time and many remain in production.

Sabattini’s intimacy with his materials – an organic progression from first working with silver to a later passion for ceramics and glass – is a refreshingly quaint dose of expertise in a computer crazy industry in which designers more often than not create objects in pixels, without ever tinkering with the materials they will eventually be made in. The go-deeper attitude embodied by Sabattini, furthermore, has been conspicuously absent in sometimes mercurial contemporary design education, but which is increasingly being soaked up by schools as diverse as the Royal College of Art, ECAL and Stanford’s d.school. We hope Sabattini’s legacy of doing – and intensely knowing his craft’s ins and outs – inspires generations of designers to come.

Tag Christof, Images courtesy Kid Dandy and Artnet