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Gianfranco Ferré Research Centre

Archivi Storici del Politecnico di Milano

The Gianfranco Ferré Research Center is born, gathering the immense heritage left by the designer who graduated from the Politecnico di Milano in 1969.
After setting up the Foundation in 2008, the Ferré family has now decided to donate to the Politecnico di Milano the archive and the headquarters in Via Tortona, designed by Franco Raggi.

The Foundation's current holdings, almost entirely catalogued in a digital database, feature more than 150,000 documents and artifacts, including sketches, technical drawings, photos, clothing and accessories, objects, books, magazines, films, press reviews, writings, lectures and notes by the designer.

The archive, recognised as heritage 'of particular cultural interest' by the Ministry of Culture - Archival Superintendence for Lombardy, today becomes part of the Historical Archives system of the Politecnico di Milano.

Coordinated by the Department of Design, the Gianfranco Ferré Research Center intends to merge the skills, technical-scientific knowledge and design culture of the Politecnico di Milano with the tangible and intangible heritage relating to the history, culture and techniques of fashion preserved and enhanced by the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation.

The Centre is based on an interdisciplinary vision capable of combining tradition with innovation and technology, and integrates a profound knowledge of design and fashion with digital skills. A distinctive aspect is therefore the grafting of techniques and knowledge typical of the tailoring, craftsmanship and technical culture of the creative industries with advanced technological solutions - such as augmented reality and virtual reality; reverse modelling, digital prototyping and 3D printing; haptic and sonic perception; holographic rendering, animated graphics, and movie production.

Digital technologies have already been widely applied in the fashion industry, but an integrated approach that can explore the full potential of the hybridisation between the physical and virtual dimensions is still lacking, in order to rethink the fruition of fashion artefacts also with a view to cultural enhancement and 'augmented narration'.

The Research Centre proposes to launch a series of interdisciplinary experiments which, under the coordination of the Fashion in Process Laboratory of the Department of Design, coordinated by Professor Paola Bertola, will involve numerous disciplinary components of the university in order to explore certain research and innovation trajectories.
The first year of activity will conclude with an initiative open to the public that will stage some unique pieces from the Ferré archive in the context of the new scenarios of digital transformation of the creative and cultural industries.