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On December 30, 2016, in the “Corriere della Sera”, the Master of design Enzo Mari spoke passionately towards the current generation of designers, defining them as “degraded” and unable to understand “the profound meaning of things”. They were hefty sentences for those designers working during one of the largest and most enduring economic crises ever. I tried to understand why a Master of such importance felt the need to express such strong opinions and I asked myself some questions: do we really know the needs of that generation that we are so categorically judging? Are we sure that we are using adequate reading systems with respect to what contemporaneity requires? Perhaps Mari – like several others – does not criticize a generation in particular, but shows a strong intolerance towards those who propose a radically changed vision of the discipline, especially compared to the reality to which the designers of the last century were accustomed. Perhaps this “degraded generation” needs to be listened to, understood and maybe told: so, I tried to do it by going to meet some designers who represent this, talking to them and publishing what they had to say.
Tommaso Bovo was born in Venice but is now settled in Florence. His background includes design criticism, graphic design and multimedia. Based on this background, he has written and is writing for Domus, Frizzifrizzi, Klat Magazine, and Artribune Interni. Bovo collaborates with various companies and graphic design studios including formerly working for the Cisotti-Laube studio. He was an Art Director of the Archea Associati and Doni Associati studios and has taught at the University of the Republic of San Marino, faculty of design. Now, he’s teaching as a professor of Graphic Design and Project Methodology at the European Institute of Design – IED in Florence.