Messenger Bag

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Zenith: the wooden coffee pot that points to the sky.

Zenith is a one of a kind coffee pot with the upper part (collector) entirely made by wood. 

Cap and collector are made from logs handworked by turning machine. The good news is that 100% of scrap material can be reused to make other engineered-wood products 

Back to basics! Only stainless steel and solid wood (not pressed with glue) take part in this project.

Bearing in mind how simple and natural these materials are, I came up with a clean design: a pure ogival shape. This is why I named it Zenith! It’s basically an arrow tip pointing at the sky above the observer.

Designer Business Cards

_20161224_122628Nowadays we’re online about 24/7, contacting people has never been so easy since everybody leaves traces like his name and email on social networking sites, blogs and e-commerce websites, nonetheless, a business card is a must for a professionals attending meetings and symposiums. Unless you’re the president you definitely need one, giving a business card is an old fashioned, elegant way to share only the salient information about yourself implying you would appreciate to keep in contact with the receiver, a specific person, not the others. Considering this major premise valid for several categories, designers should take another step forward and do something more creative than a plain white paper with a name on, something that can speak in favor of their ability. I know you all love minimalism but in a world of minimalists it’s better to be outstanding. That’s why I made this genuine Tuscany leather business cards featuring my heart/lips distinctive shape.

The US and Italy dealing with changes: a semi-serious insight

Sometimes a single word explains perfectly the difference between two countries and their people. Consider the phrase “I need closure”, it could be said after splitting up with the partner, at the end of a friendship or after being fired at work. It’s an American idiom that doesn’t make sense if translated in Italian and even trying to find similar words, it’s improbable to sum it up in a sentence that properly convey the meaning without writing a 2 volumes pamphlet. It’s one of those concepts lost in translation, but not because Italian language lacks of expressions, just because in the boot-shaped country nothing comes to real closure, Italy tends to confuse closure with perpetual postponing. The Americans are pragmatic and resolute in every aspect of life: in the US something starts when something else has already come to an end and this happens in love, career, urban development, politics, etcetera. Italy is intrinsically much slower (as a society) in embracing changes and even in the rare case in which something actually changes, the past fights for a long time not to be dumped by the future. The point is that in the US innovation is considered exciting and exploring unknown possibilities is a chance for improvement (and to make money) while the Latin country sees the idea of moving on and leave an old path as scary at least. That’s probably why only in Italy it’s possible to meet 3 married generations of a family (the rest of the world calls them 3 families) living on different floors of the same house, because you know.. it is rude to leave momma and poppa before they die. 

Let’s talk about politics, shall we? In the past 30 years America has seen Bush senior, junior (oh god..), Clinton, Obama while Italy is still stuck with the highlander Berlusconi and his never-ending saga. Believed to be immortal (unlikely to die, if he ever will don’t worry, after 3 days resurrection will occur) this skilled master is still moving the puppets from a safe hidden position. 

When it comes to love, closure -for the average Italian man- represents a farraginous 2-year process implying several ‘are you sure’ and thousands of ‘can we still see each other’ so basically it’s not closure at all.

Talking about industry let’s just say that FIAT CEO Sergio Marchionne, the Italian leading automotive businessman, thinks hybrid and full electric vehicles are not going to make it. Sergio.. seriously, they made it in America where gas is 3 times cheaper, c’mon! 

So, the meaning of ‘closure’ is crystal clear for a Newyorker: it means ground zero, start over, no regrets, let’s make it bigger and better, brand new. On the other side of Atlantic, closure is much like a forced blend of a hopeless future with a strong immutable past, but then again, with such a great ancient history behind and such a non-existent future ahead no wonder ‘closure’ is a scary word in the bel paese.

Industrial Art

turin autoshow

Poetry can be found in the lines of a book but pure art can be fully expressed by bending tin foils as well, like coach-builders did for a long time during the 20th century. A thin line divides craftsmen and artists, whether they work on leather, steel, wood, marble and if they make unique pieces or thousands the difference is subtle. Industrial design can be conceived as a “process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production”  (at least as Wikipedia sees it) but this is quite a mechanistic definition. To me, Industrial design is the ideal place where the production process with its requirements meets the will to create something emotional, the act of setting art free outside museums’ walls making it affordable for the community. Probably no one ever considered that buying the classical coke glass bottle is like purchasing a piece of art, the fact that a machine made million copies of it doesn’t matter: a genius shaped its iconic silhouette committing it to memory forever, it’s enough to consider that bottle pure art.

US vs EU Philosophy


Germany, the Waldseilgarten, a resort in German Bavaria

I’ve spent eleven days in L.A. last month (this notion is not very important), it wasn’t my first trip to the US but each time I get there I discover something new and find more interesting aspects of their way of life. As a designer obviously I pay much attention to building details, objects, shops, vogues.. in the end I made a very short list of what I like the most of this friendly people:

  1. They Keep It Simple: why achieve a goal in an expensive, complicated way when there’s plenty of simple reliable solutions? Here’s an example: I slept like a baby for 11 nights at a motel without my perpetual low back pain. The last day I just wanted to see this “magical hidden frame” that relieved my problem so I took sheets and mattress out of bed and guess.. I found a big flat wooden panel, just so, no springs, not a hint of a professional structure. It was then that I remembered my friend’s famous last words: “I spent 1.500€ to get a high-end mattress, you know, sleeping is important”
  2. They Go Straight to the point: They don’t like the chit chat we do before entering into a business discussion. We love never-ending waffling during meetings, they don’t. To us it’s a tricky (ineffective) strategy to understand each other before sealing a deal. To them it’s a waste of time, You’d better be concise and pragmatic.

I’ll constantly keep the list up to date by adding things I like!

Food, Fun & Friendship

Helena Reich Medina Davide

Business Lunch

It’s no news that BEST DEALS ARE SIGNED AT THE RESTAURANT at lunchtime rather than during exhausting 3-hour meetings. This is because food and laughs are indispensable conditions to create the perfect, relaxed atmosphere in which is possible to start/establish partnerships. Friendship is the key ingredient leading to long term valuable collaborations and what better place than a Bel Air Korean restaurant to have a lot of fun and share new ideas for the upcoming bags? CREATIVITY IS A STREAM, we just have to LET IT FLOW by setting the right conditions: PLACE, PEOPLE, ACTIVITY. So, choose the right buddies, book a restaurant (or just sip a coffee at Starbucks) and start the chit chat, the result (in terms of both productivity and creativity) will be beyond expectations.

3D sketching -The Medina Technique-


The question is: Since we live in a three-dimensional environment, why ideas and concepts are expressed in a bi-dimensional paper sheet? Think about it, it makes no sense! A flat x,y axis universe could be good for the Simpsons or the Griffins but I used to live in the real world and a sketchbook is not enough to express the flow of my creativity. I’m no painter, my task is to conceive complex multifaceted objects, evaluate their proportions, volumes and capacity from the very first stage of the creative process. Pencil’s lines, light and shade effects on paper are romantic but if it’s true that a photo is worth a thousand words, A REAL MODEL IS WORTH A THOUSAND PICS. Now, we’re not talking about 3D cad and rapid prototyping models: they are part of the final design stage, right before production. Cad models are complex digital entities, outcomes of computers, sequences of numbers, food for CNC machines. 3D sketching is CONVEYING AN IDEA TO THE REAL ENVIRONMENT, pencil’s lines are intangible and questionable, solid sketching is A QUICK TOUCHABLE REPRESENTATION OF WHAT I’M THINKING, like pouring ideas  from my mind straight to a metal frame which volume is easily measurable. Pay attention, this is neither carving nor sculpturing a stock, this is filling the space with thin iron lines, so the big difference between 3d sketching and 3D modelling is that the first is a craftsman operation that get the design process started, the second is the last engineering stage before pilot production.


3d sketching by metal frame

3d sketching by metal frame