To understand if behind such a cool expression (digital manufacturing) there is a sustainable business model, we spoke with the creators of the latest digital factory born in Milan: Locanda Officina Monumentale, also called LOM. And they told us that ...

Good humor comes to hear about business accelerators, social innovation and craftsmanship 4.0: it's all very beautiful and contemporary. The future looks bright and digital is suddenly not only good, it's also good and beautiful. But we rarely really understand what we are talking about.

The opening of LOM in Milan is an excellent opportunity to respond. The new "manufacturing of projects" was inaugurated in July in a degraded area of Milan, behind the Monumental cemetery. The Locanda Officina Monumentale is a logical continuation of a series of intelligent and highly innovative real estate investments.

What exactly does LOM do?

Andrea and Michele Borri, together with Alfredo Trotta, are the deus ex machina of the operation building redevelopment of via Galileo Ferraris. The place is beautiful and rare, isolated and green. The initial idea is a respectful restoration for a building intended to house apartments and professional studios. However, Stefano Micelli, already a friend of the Borri brothers, enters the scene. And the project changes: the author of "Futuro Artigiano" has in mind a business accelerator dedicated to already established brands - no start-ups from LOM. So that the proximity between excellent manufacturing and the Milanese design and entrepreneurial fabric can serve to create an ideal humus for the evolutionary use of technologies in Italian craftsmanship.

Does LOM make sense for Milan?

Milan has a great need to reintroduce the concepts of light manufacturing and craftsmanship 4.0 into its production fabric. Especially because the city, with its universities and the current economy rooted in services and tertiary, risks losing manual labor and its professions along the way. Leaving children orphans of passions and possibilities, convinced that craftsmanship is an extinct world. If LOM manages to have an educational and cultural role, as well as being a nice sustainable place to do research, it will be a huge purchase for the city.

In the intention of LOM, as well as other business accelerators, the relationship with the territory is a priority. Just as the presence of places dedicated to manufacturing innovation is a priority for the Milanese administration, word of the councilor Cristina Tajani who strongly supported the birth of this new space. But it would be important for these words to become measurable facts in quantity and quality to give true meaning to the work and investments of businesses and people.

Does digital manufacturing make sense for companies?

We asked Filippo Berto, who for the next 24 months occupies a part of LOM with the research center of Berto Salotti. And to Eva Monachini who directs D-House, the urban laboratory of Dyloan, a company that symbolizes the handicraft / technology frontier in the fashion sector. Both have had a dialogue on several occasions with Stefano Micelli, and are the first guests of LOM.

The collaboration between high fashion and digital manufacturing needs physical spaces and proximity

Eva Monachini: “The D-Lab is Dyloan's research center. We are familiar with the practices of digital craftsmanship, but coming to Milan and building this space for us means being at the center of a crossroads of customers, companies with which to build new collaborations and artisans with whom to exchange skills and knowledge. D-Lab was born with the specific intent of experimenting the potential of 3D printing of resins applicable to fabrics. And to disseminate information on the results. This place also has the function of an Academy in which to train and meet new talents ".

Shortening the cultural distances between Milan and manufacturing manufacturing districts is good for everyone

Filippo Berto: “There is a substantial difference between doing research in our company in Brianza and doing it in Milan, in a place that brings us closer to evolved realities such as Polifactory by Stefano Maffei of the Politecnico di Milano or Dyloan. And the difference is the place. This space is beautiful, it is designed to convey its contents and values. It puts us in a position to experiment in a pragmatic way with innovative poles and to immediately interact with our customers. We need these privileged corridors between cities and productive suburbs , in order not to be isolated from the research on the most innovative production models”.

Is LOM just a soft landing for brands that need an office in Milan?

LOM has an inherently uncomfortable design and format. Starting with the restoration, which is deliberately conservative and Spartan . Soft landing is not the most appropriate definition. Recovered and reused materials, solar panels and an energy supply of XXX KWH which forces us to plan consumption and rethink air conditioning and lighting. In addition to the use of machinery. The restaurant, which opens in the spring, will be seriously zero waste. The guest rooms are monastic and soundproofed to encourage work and concentration. In short: it is not a posh place, LOM is a radical project in which discomfort trains attention and mindfulness.

From July to today, what has LOM done?

BertO Salotti is experimenting with the applications of Dyloan's 3D printed polymers on its sofas. The first pieces are ready and for the Salone del Mobile 2022 there will be an expansion of the collection. In addition, he began a research path with Polifactory (Politecnico di Milano) on alternative materials for the upholstery of sofas. the proximity between researchers and artisans enormously speeds up the solution of problems related to the density and stratifications of the materials in the cushions.

D-Lab has developed an area of ​​300 square meters within the Linea Pelle fair on the theme of sustainable technological innovation. He works H24 to test Polyjet printers by Protesys and, at the same time, carries out a hi-end upcycling project for high fashion, which uses laser and 3D printers to update the items that otherwise would simply be thrown away.