Craft and creativity continues to grow in China, none of which would be possible without the inspired and daring minds behind the ideas and production. We are asking the creative community in China five fun questions to learn a little bit more about the people behind this burgeoning industry. Hope you enjoy! If you think you should be profiled or you know someone creative who should be profiled send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
designer and maker 设计师
My name is Saverio, I was born in Rome, where I used to work as an interior designer and architect I’ve always been interested in DIY making and innovation and in 2013 I decided to quit my job and open the first Fablab in my city. A Fablab is a workshop open to the public where anyone can have access to digital fabrication machines and tools like 3D printers, Iaser cutters and electronic devices: here any creative idea can be brought to reality. I have been living in China for five years and I am the Vice Director of Fablab Shanghai in the College of Design and Innovation of Tongji University where I teach an international program from MIT called “Fab Academy: How to make (almost) anything.
saverio 3D lucky cat
1. Coolest place you’ve been sent for work ? 工作中去过的最有意思的地方是哪里？
Working in Fablabs has given me the opportunity to travel the world: with more than 2000 labs that are part of the Global Fablab Network, I had the chance to visit and attend or organize workshops in dozens of countries and cities on four continents: San Francisco, Santiago Chile, Paris, Bangkok, Seoul… the list is long, but I have to admit, when I accepted the job and moved to Shanghai, it was love at first sight!
2. One thing that always makes you happy and one thing that always makes you sad? 一件总让你感到快乐和另一件总让你很难过的事是什么？
There is one thing that never fails to make me happy, meeting my friends and my partner over a nice dinner and delicious wine. I am perfectly ok when I am alone, in fact when I’m creating something, I prefer to be by myself, but the real happiness is when I can share good moments with the people I love. It is in those moments that I have the best ideas on a new project to pursue… normally after a few glasses of wine! I must say, in my everyday life it’s rare that I would feel sad, but when it happens, it is normally because something or someone tickled to my insecurity and lack of self confidence.
3. How you discovered you were creative? 你是如何发现自己有创造力的?
When I stopped following the instructions in the box of LEGO bricks, I was probably five or six years old. I wouldn’t just go freely and invent something new with the available bricks in the set, I would question the design of the set itself and use more bricks or assemble the ones in the box in alternative ways to make a better or more functional design. I was a very annoying kid!
4. Your main strength as a creative person? 作为一个创意人，你的主要优点是什么?
I believe that my main strength in life is my curiosity. Curiosity always makes me interested in discovering new things and pushes me to learn more. Over the years I never really specialized in one single job, I haven’t become a master of anything specific, but I know a little of a lot of stuff and this made better at “connecting the dots”. I would say that “I’m curious, therefore I’m creative”.
3d printed me
5. Your favorite creative project you’ve ever worked on, and why you like it so much? 你曾经参与过的创意项目其中，那个是你最喜欢的项目；为什么你这么喜欢它?
I have worked on so many different projects over the years, that finding only one is really not easy. I have made a bent plywood stool with the CNC machine, an electronic board to teach students electronic production and programming that has the shape of Shanghai, a sustainable packaging for food delivery made of fabric and organic resin based on potato starch that can be washed in the laundry machine and reused as a t-shirt… but I guess the projects I love the most are the small tools and gadgets that I design and fabricate to solve the problems or enhance the good things in my daily life: from the backpack hook that allows me to carry the gym bag more easily, to the surgical mask clip coming from a 3D scan of my face for better comfort. These projects move from concept, to design, to prototype in a matter of hours and I just love the fact that I’m able to identify and solve a problem with a totally customized and unique solution.
多年来，我从事了许多不同的项目，只找到一个我最喜欢的项目真的不容易。我曾经用CNC机器做了一个弯曲胶合板凳子, 还有做了 一个有上海市形状的、能够教学生电子生产和编程的电子板, 做了一个创新可持续的包装（由布料和基于马铃薯淀粉有机树脂制作的）…是在我喜欢的项目挺多的。但我最喜欢的项目应该是那些小玩意，是我自己设计的为了解决日常生活中的小的问题，让生活更便捷更美好。比如：一种以便健身包携带更方便的背包钩，口罩夹、等等。这些项目周期很短：从概念到设计到原型产品—整个过程几个小时内能做到。我很喜欢自己能够识别并解决某一个问题，然后用设计提供完全定制、独特的解决方案。
3D scanning a Baozi
If you want to contact me, please send me an email at email@example.com and come visit Fablab Shanghai!
We invite each of the creatives we profile to tag another interesting person for the series. Severio suggested artist sculptor 昭禾王.