It all started with an email sent to ten fellow designers: design a pen to be produced using 3D printing, said the brief. The projects had to respect two fundamental rules: all of the pens had to use the same refill and must be reproducible exclusively through digital printing.
The idea was to create a sales website to collect orders and produce the pens on demand. Being able to independently govern the production process of an object is every designer’s dream; doing this as part of a group added a social element, creating a “cell of independent designers”, and the 3D printer represented the factory where the production of our pens would take place.
Over time the project ran aground, the envisaged independence becoming a burden of complicated management: it was in this moment that I thought of presenting the idea of a collection of virtual objects to Alessi, to be combined with their “analogue” production.
Alessi opened its doors to our project and decided to support it, I think, in hindsight, more for the information and research on the subject of digital printing than for any true interest in the pens.
The result is before our eyes: a long series of prototypes, models and samples becoming increasingly honed and precise until arriving at the finished objects. But the material facts could not exist without the human aspect of this venture, represented by all the people with whom, in the course of these three years, we have met, exchanged visions, words and ideals, clashed and reconciled.
These six pens are a true testimony to what can be achieved through the passionate and sincere competition of so many people sharing the same project values.