Marginal is a design studio based since three years in the city of Palermo, where we focus on creating new forms of collaboration between people, places, and cultures. We are developing an inquiry into the potential of migrations to re-frame contemporary design relevance and visions. The aim is to define new practices that engage craftsmen to outline a vision of Design, rethinking social and urban productive structures in a framework of global geopolitics.
We currently work with migrants communities in Palermo, local artisans and second generations immigrants, to produce a syncretic manufacture that expresses both high quality of handmade productions and social inclusion. In collaboration with a social enterprise, we are also establishing an open laboratory in the Zisa neighborhood, a former industrial area in Palermo, to invite artisans and migrants to collaborate on a participatory platform revolving around the concept of shared heritage and diasporic identities. The goal is to explore the potential of selected materials and techniques, part of the migrants' cultures, that could be found in Sicily and in other parts of the World (e.g. natural materials and fibers, ceramic, woodworking, metalworking).
Our practice aim to develop a dialogue among people of different backgrounds : Sicilian artisans, migrants, young and unemployed people. By fostering interactions through design practices and making objects, prototypes and products. It's a way to shape a shared intercultural heritage, to promote innovation and, at the same time, to create new visions for the city itself , implying alternatives values and policy models able to match this incoming flow of expertise.
We are also developing with a local social enterprise the possibility of educational and professional learning, employing local inhabitants - both Italian and migrant, and opening an inclusive cultural space, not only targeted to cultural workers. Creating a convivial and workspace in Palermo has a huge relevance, allowing interaction and dialogue based on cultural exchange between communities.
By gathering people, migrants, artisans, inhabitant, but as well social enterprise and association we aim with this project to create debate and find alternative development models, to tackle current crisis as migration, unemployment...
We believe that transmission of cultural heritage and creation of tools, spaces, infrastructures allowing exchanges between communities, by gathering and engaging people are the keys of solidarity in Europe and beyond.