Fabrica is Benetton’s communication research centre, instituted in 1994 on the foundations of the Group’s cultural heritage. After the completion of its headquarters near Treviso, a vast complex which Japanese architect Tadao Ando restored and enlarged, Fabrica has established itself as an international multicultural centre.
Fabrica’s challenge is both an innovative and international one, combining culture and industry through a communication approach which no longer relies merely on traditional advertising but conveys industrial culture and corporate intelligence through other mediums: design, music, cinema, photography, publishing, the Internet. Fabrica has chosen to back the hidden creativity of young artist-researchers from around the world. After careful selection, they are invited to work on tangible communication projects under the direction of leading figures in the various areas.
As an applied creativity laboratory (its name derives from the Latin for workshop), Fabrica explores these new communication forms while following two parallel guidelines: a hands-on approach to training (the young grant holders are invited to “learn by doing”); cross-fertilisation and interaction in terms of both the projects - which are developed through teamwork, bringing different roles and disciplines to work on a central idea - and cultural identity, whose plurality is guaranteed by the creative group’s mixture of young people from countries with different languages, cultures and attitudes.
2006 was characterized by a major international achievement. Centre Pompidou expressed its appreciation and respect for Fabrica’s work with a dedicated exhibition Fabrica: les yeux ouverts, from 6 October to 13 November 2006. This recognition from one of the world’s foremost cultural centres was reflected in the international press’s keen interest and the huge public response with over 100,000 visitors in five weeks.
The exhibition was divided into themed areas and accompanied by a programme of films, concerts and conferences. It showcased Fabrica’s many different facets, such as its documentative side, seen in Colors and photo reportages, or its artistic, visionary and conceptual vein, seen in films and installations.
The work done for Centre Pompidou’s major exhibition was also the symbolic crowning achievement of Fabrica’s first decade, laying the foundations for further developments in line with the research centre’s mission as an outpost on the frontiers of communication.
Its new objective is not only to bring young people to the Centre, but to take Fabrica to the world while respecting contexts, conditions, characters. Over the past ten years, hundreds of young artists from the five continents have given and received enthusiasm, thoughts, ideas. They have enriched their experience and now, thanks to an IT network Fabrica is currently building, they can be part of a cosmopolitan workgroup. A workgroup that will give young talents in even the most unlikely places a chance to be involved in ambitious projects or develop their own ideas. The vision of the scientists, artists and philosophers who are gradually joining the great Stock Exchange of Vision project (launched at the Centre Pompidou) will be Fabrica’s starting point for understanding, interpreting and elucidating the great changes happening around us.
From March 3 through April 20, 2007, Fabrica has been invited by the MoCA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Shanghai) to participate with the Fabrica, Nice to Meet You installation at the interactive and multimedia art REMOTE/CONTROL exhibition. A way for Fabrica to open up to new collaborations through an international network of creative resources.