Dani Academy and NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti: Zero Impact finalist projects

Young talents from the Academy give new life to waste from the Vicenza tannery for an increasingly green and zero-waste fashion world

NABA, the New Academy of Fine Arts, has launched the Dani Academy project, the new workshop of ideas with which the historic tannery in Arzignano, Dani spa, intends to build a research path on leather design anchored to Zero Impact sustainability.

The first stage took place in Milan, where the young talents of the Academy, selected by the QS World University Rankings® by Subject 2021 as the best Italian Academy of Fine Arts and among the first 100 institutions in the world in the field of Art&Design, met to discuss the sustainable innovation of leather, one of the most appreciated sectors of the entire Made in Italy.

Under the supervision of Claudio Larcher, NABA Design Area Leader, lecturers Natascia Fenoglio and Martina Grasselli, and Manal Abu Monassar, NABA Academic Assistant, the students of the Design and Fashion Design Areas were involved in two workshops: the first dedicated to creating a Zero Impact collection and the second to creating products resulting from creative recycling that recovers and transforms processing waste, through which the company wished to give visibility to its sustainable business strategy, which preserves the environment, improves quality of life, optimises consumption and reduces waste, with a view to a circular economy.

Eight works have been selected by a jury made up of the NABA teachers who guided the students during the project and Dani’s board. They will be on show during Lineapelle, from 22 to 24 September, at UNIC’s showroom in Via Brisa, 3 in Milan.

Francesca Ponti and Elena Serafini, students in the Three-year BA Program in Fashion Design at NABA, focused their research on the overlapping of materials capable of designing shapes between emptiness and fullness; Giulia Ciolas and Maria Llinares, from the Two-year MA Program in Fashion and Textile Design, worked on the durability that leather ensures, proposing interchangeable objects that never get boring; Vanessa Feroldi and Valentina Barbaro, students in the Three-year BA Program in Fashion Design, focused on resilience, using the ancient technique of kintsugi to sew together precious tears; Aurora Possenti and Aldo Mucciarone, students in the Three-year BA Program in Design at NABA, focused on the energizing encounter/clash of the natural dimension of leather; Carrie Hack, from the Two-year BA Program in Product and Service Design, on the essentiality of a unique piece, capable of becoming a bag and a container without waste; Ottavia Ferraris and Giulia Colombo, students in the Three-year BA Program in Design, focused on the DNA of leather, as a place of memory to be sewn up; Pietro De Longhi and Michele Rizzoli, from the Three-year BA Program in Design, focused on the usability of shoppers that take on different shapes in a fluid manner according to their intended use in a zero-waste perspective, and finally Silvia Prandini and Manuel Venditto, students in the Three-year BA Program in Fashion Design, concentrated on the attraction of opposites and twins destined to be transformed into design objects embellished by their imperfection.

Zero Impact, the result of ten years of R&D, is a technological platform that makes it possible to create collections free of heavy metals, with a very low environmental impact, lower water consumption, less use of chemicals, polluting load and CO2 emissions that are minimised and offset through emission offset plans certified by UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

“It is also thanks to “enlightened” entrepreneurs such as Giancarlo Dani and his Dani Academy project that the new generations can deepen their knowledge of the Italian tanning sector, for which sustainability and circularity are fundamental pillars that have led it to become an undisputed world leader. Much of the future competitiveness of our companies will depend on the determined pursuit of the development of increasingly environmentally sustainable products, and the Dani Group is a virtuous example of how this is possible,” comments Fulvia Bacchi, General Manager of UNIC and CEO of Lineapelle.

“Research & Development has always been a fundamental part of our work,” adds Giancarlo Dani, who heads the Vicenza-based multinational with offices and customers all over the world. “The results of this hands-on experimentation aimed at the second life of processing waste are creative and enlightening: the young students have fully grasped the potential offered by the contest, designing collections that I am convinced could have good market potential. Our Academy also wants to be a bridge that can bring schools and the world of work and Dani closer to the finished product in a direct and concrete way, with increasing attention being paid to the recycling and recovery of waste. Our vocation to closely follow every step of the processing chain is ever stronger and more heartfelt”.


Guido Tattoni, Director of NABA, comments: “In a context such as the current one, which is constantly evolving, the learning-by-doing approach that we pursue in our training at NABA is even more fundamental. On behalf of the entire Academy, I would like to thank Dani for this collaboration, a project that we have embraced with enthusiasm since its inception and from which we have seen many valuable ideas and projects flourish”.

“Being able to collaborate with a company is an important and always very stimulating challenge for NABA students. The project with Dani was an opportunity to get to know the world of leather and its production sector, appreciate the sustainable approach to production and introduce innovative design approaches. All this was crowned by the possibility for the students to see their project realised with a prototype and to be able to exhibit their work on such an important stage as the Final Exhibition at the UNIC Showroom.”

Colomba Leddi, NABA Fashion Design Area Leader, adds “We are very happy to have taken part in this new project in which the students have had the opportunity to put themselves to the test with concrete times and stimuli, working for a company that makes social and environmental responsibility an essential premise of its business actions. This is an important theme that our students have often wondered about and have interpreted by giving space to their most creative sensitivity”.

Between the end of September and October, the project will grow, first coming to Venice with the IUAV University and then making its debut abroad at the Institut Français de la Mode in Paris. At that point, the baton will be passed on to other institutes in Italy and abroad that are also involved in other sectors such as Automotive and Interior Design.

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