What does a limited edition consist of, precisely? When can an object be defined as a one-off? What is the role of the galleries in the market of contemporary design?

Collecting contemporary design means to take part into a crucial research process, and to recognise the value of a production capable of reflecting its outcomes. The collector loves and supports not only the single object, but also everything it represents and it carries within it. The work of designers, flanked by specialised galleries, is nowadays completely conjugated in the present (even if is not unusual for subjects and techniques to date back a – sometimes – very distant past). And just as – in time – the contemporary art world was able to give itself a strong identity and by now well-known rules of the game, in the same way the – quite new – field of contemporary collectible design has been arising as fast growing market and increasingly drawing attention.

The PHM | Piemonte Handmade project moves from this reflection, in which the role of artisans is fundamental. Galleries and designers are no longer considered just as simple shop customers. On the contrary, it is important to set a different approach to bring the work up to date and to open future perspectives for artisans themselves.

Artisans, galleries and designers team up to develop a common project. Three crucial parts, three key players with the same goal. Because the collectors market – in small numbers but of excellence – is the natural outlet for the local crafts.

Operæ invites international galleries to develop unique objects together with the represented designers and the Piedmontese artisans. The selection of the artisans is made through a tender launched by the Piedmont Region in collaboration with Operæ.

After the fair in Turin from the 3rd to 5th November, the production will continue to be displayed in different occasions (fairs, personal or collective exhibitions), and to be led into the world of collectors by the galleries. It is an important and ambitious purpose from many points of view, not to forget those of design education and acknowledgement of one’s potentialities.