Materia Design Festival, in Catanzaro from 20 to 23 September 2018, is where international designers meet traditions and materials of Southern Italy

‘Ficarazza’, designed by Domenico Gioia, handcrafted by Marzia De Rosa

Materia Independent Design Festival ( is now in its third edition with the challenging ambition to become the most important design festival in Southern Italy. Last year it attracted over 8,000 visitors and for this year (20-23 September 2018) even more people are expected to come.

‘Filofono’ laboratorio artigiano Ennio Gentile

In the most typical glocal spirit, the festival aims to create connections between local craftsmanship and design’s ability to innovate, calling international designers with Calabrian roots, but also simply Italian and foreign designers. Positive consequences on the territory are already there to be seen.

The initiative takes place in the historic center of Catanzaro, the venues are the monumental complex of San Giovanni, Ex Stac and Museo Marca. The curator of the 2018 edition is Sergio Fabio Rotella, born in Catanzaro with offices in Milan and Beijing, author of architecture and design projects in Italy and abroad. The theme is ‘PASTmeetsFUTURE‘, with the mission to design products rooted in the tradition keeping an eye on the future to enhance the South. More specifically, ‘Made in Calabria‘ and ‘Souvenir Calabria‘ are the initiatives that have led international designers to collaborate with Calabria-based companies.

Poltroncina e libreria Ioniki, design Setsu e Shinobu Ito con Menniti & Mercuri

The sixteen experimentations involve Japanese duo Setsu & Shinobu Ito (winners of a Compasso d’Oro award) with Menniti & Mercuri; Israeli Ronen Joseph with the company Domenico Cugliari; Argentinian Gerardo Mari and Porta Cosfer for Clypeum; Sergio Fabio Rotella with Cotto Cusimano; Antonio Aricò and Saverio Zaminga for Nirù; Marco De Masi and Squillace-based ceramists IdeArt, Il Tornio and Deco Art; Imma Matera and Tommaso Lucarini with Azienda Salvatori; Domenico Garofalo, Massimo Sirelli and Studio F with Hera; Luca Maci and Arte Marmo Calabrò; Domenico Gioia with craftswoman Marzia De Rosa; Gerardo Mari and Fabbriche Musicali Calabresi; Gerardo Mari and Gruppo Pedullà.

‘Cocciu d’amuri’ by Danilo Randazzo


‘Monterosso’ kitchen cabinet, designed by Ronen Joseph, made by Domenico Cugliari

Materia Design Festival will also stage educational and playful activities: exhibitions of works by young designers from any part of Italy, local companies and showrooms, talks with some of the aforementioned designers and sustainable design and circular economy expert Giorgio Caporaso, workshop on packaging with Domenico Gioia; design experience with artist Massimo Sirelli with a focus on Calabria between collaborative installation and interactivity; the exhibition Food Graphic, concerning packaging, with a selection of projects that took part in OneMorePack, and an exhibition curated by Mario Verre on the contemporary contamination of traditional Mediterranean furniture. There will also be music events in the evening.

This engaging experimental festival has been conceived and developed by Officine AD, a firm founded by Catanzaro-born architects Domenico Garofalo and Giuseppe Anania. [LB]

‘Saportipico’ by Flavia Aprilini