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Upskill Milan: six companies from Milan's great manufacturing tradition future-proofed

Milan is the city of finance, fashion, and business, but it is also a city with an important manufacturing tradition. So we are overjoyed with the start of Upskill Milano, a new project signed Cariplo Factory with Upskill 4.0 to support the growth and innovation of Milan's urban manufacturing. We are so because this project has the ambition to give back to Milan a piece of its history: that of quality manufacturing.

Upskill Milan: six companies from Milan's great manufacturing tradition future-proofed

The savoir-faire of many of Milan's artisan companies has long not been fully valued. Manifattura Milano, an initiative of the Municipality of Milan - Labor Policies, in recent years has traced a trajectory, opening its doors to citizens to show the places where manufacturing and craftsmanship are born. Institutional entities such as Fondazione Cologni have for years promoted cultural, scientific and popular initiatives for the protection and dissemination of art crafts. 

In the same vein, Upskill Milano was born, whose main goal is to give the six companies involved the opportunity to express their value to the fullest, and to make a leap into 4.0 technologies with young people. More: Upskill Milan wants to place great emphasis on theexperience design of these traditional production places, trying to bring the six brands involved closer to people and really meet their needs.

There are six companies in Upskill Milan, we introduce them to you. 

Giovanna belongs to the third generation of the Morandino family, which in 1960 took over Ganci, one of the oldest factories in Milan, synonymous with quality pottery since 1926. The company specializes in traditional craft practices such as hand finishing, casting, assembling, planing, embossing, chiseling and engraving. "Milanese silversmiths are considered the finest in Italy, and I with my brothers Giuseppe, Giorgio and Gianluca have complementary skills that allow us to work for third parties, especially foreign companies." Ganci is a traditional company that doesn't want to forget that it is, but at the same time thinks about the present. "Silverware is eternal, maybe it's time for there to be a turnover!" says Giovanna: the design challenge will aim to create formats and tools that show the brand and its products in a new light, current and close to the public (including the younger ones).

Upskill Milan: six companies from Milan's great manufacturing tradition future-proofed

Andrea belongs to the 2nd generation of the Lopane family, which has been in the car business since 1959 when his father from Puglia came to Milan and opened a small body shop. Today the workshop specializes in restoration and reconstruction of classic cars, devoting a lot of time and energy in the study of new technologies to find solutions and areas of improvement of the more traditional processing steps. "Working inOfficina Lopane implies a catechism of many years: it is not easy to include new figures, especially young ones. It's really a pity: Italy has a world leadership on the restoration of traditional vehicles, a turnover of 2 billion a year, but it is not completely aware," says Andrea. The design challenge will involve a very complex stage of machining: sheet metal modeling. ITS students will be challenged to imagine and devise possible solutions to optimize and make efficient that processing stage, a crucial moment in car restoration.

Upskill Milan: six companies from Milan's great manufacturing tradition future-proofed

Maria Giassi was born in Trieste, graduated from the Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli in Spilimbergo, and has been self-employed since 2015 in Milan: she collaborates with artisans and designers on private and public projects, following the project from conception to installation. In his workshop, he creates unique, custom works for floors, walls, and decorative panels. "It's hard to think of mosaic in a more modern key, but it can be: the technique is ancient, but innovation can come from design," argues Maria Giassi, who issues a specific challenge to ITS students: devise a format to get in touch with architects and interior designers to position Giassi Mosaic as an innovative and professional artisan company.

Upskill Milan: six companies from Milan's great manufacturing tradition future-proofed

Carlo Galli transforming textiles into textile products since he was 18 years old, sewing is his passion but it was his encounter with ballet that allowed him to connect with the human body technology. "My patterns start from the anatomical table. I have a thorough knowledge of the structure of human bodies. I make garments that pay great attention to the normalization of movements, so that no one feels constrained." The most complex aspect of his work is to communicate all the virtuous elements that make up his work: an all-Milan production, intercepting scraps from the productions of textile companies in and around Como. The challenge is to create a communication format to best convey Individuals' approach: the importance of respecting the individual, the theme of sustainability, and the desire to make garments suitable for all bodies.

Upskill Milan: six companies from Milan's great manufacturing tradition future-proofed

Ciclistica Milano makes custom classic bicycles for urban mobility, leisure, hiking and travel. "We took it over in 2018, we were first customers, then employees. Our bicycles today are good value for money, by now whole families choose us and continue to choose us over the years," says Fabio, one of the new partners. "Our main problem is time: we are still a store and a workshop, we are left with little time to devote to communication." Ciclistica Milano issues a specific challenge to ITS students: to create a solid and lasting relationship with its customers even in the after-sales phase, through new tools and ways in which the company can stay in touch with its audience. A first possible tool that will be explored is the digital bicycle ID card.

Upskill Milan: six companies from Milan's great manufacturing tradition future-proofed

Fabscarte produces refined wallpapers that are the result of painstaking research and experimentation: from the study of shapes, colors, and combinations, to a realization with fine materials. "I like to call our wallpapers not just handmade but hand-thought: the attention to detail we put into each project makes them unique." The company works mostly with America, who have a secular approach to decoration, they dare more than we do." In a market where wallpapers are anything but made of paper, Fabscarte stands out in quality by a wide margin from everything else in this market. "Our problem is to make the value of our products: often customers visiting our workshop are left open-mouthed, because there you have a clear perception of the materiality of our products. The samples we send for the customer to make his choice often do not render the idea." The design challenge starts from this: identifying ways and devising tools to effectively communicate the quality of Fabscarte's product to architects and interior designers.

Upskill Milan: six companies from Milan's great manufacturing tradition future-proofed

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