The tenth volume in the “Mestieri d’Arte” series, published by Marsilio Editori, was written by Andrea Branzi with the support and coordination of the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art. The author is one of the most illustrious names in the history of international design: someone who can talk about this subject from the inside.

The volume was presented to press and public in the Teatro Agorà at Milan Triennale (where Branzi is curator of the Design Museum) as one of the closing events of the 2010 Salone del Mobile.

Speakers included:

Emanuela Bassetti, Marsilio Editori

Franco Cologni, President of the Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art

Arturo dell’Acqua Bellavitis, President of the Triennale Design Museum and Director of the Department of Industrial Design, Art, Communication and Fashion (INDACO) at Milan Polytechnic

Cristina Morozzi, journalist, critic and art director.

What is the profession, the craft of the designer today? In order to answer such a relevant and complex question, the book examines the history of three generations of designers, from the so-called Masters of Italian design to the New Design trend.

In the chapters dedicated to “The era of the Masters”, the author follows in the footsteps of Giorgio Vasari, who wrote "The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects" in the Renaissance. Thus Branzi traces the biographies of the protagonists, and in the ensuing chapters, the biographies are intertwined with Branzi’s autobiography and his own personal experiences with many trends, such as the radical movement and Alchymia & Memphis, of which Andrea Branzi was one of the leading members.

The "dynamic system" of Italian design is analysed in its many-sided aspects, with reflections on the role of a new teaching methodology and on design as a profession for the masses.

In the introduction, Franco Cologni writes: "Andrea Branzi's narration allows us to follow and understand, with a growing sense of fascination, the dialogue that the designer has established with himself, with his colleagues, industrial or artisan counterparts, with the evolution of society and taste, and the changes in our educational, distributive and creative systems. Through his personal participation, the author reveals the significant cultural legacy of the great Masters of Design, who have left a deep sign in the history of international aesthetics..."