The Great Design Disaster is a highly original and innovative project stemming from the creative exchange between the expert on art and design Joy Herro and the interior designer and gallerist Gregory Gatserelia, who have come up with a new way to approach the experience of collectable design. In a now saturated market, TGDD aims to introduce a new modality based on creativity rather than on acquisition. A market that puts an end to the traditional structure of demand and supply and that develops from ideas; a way in which people with creative imagination can meet up with talented artisans, to give rise, with the help of one of TGDD’s agents, to a product with an exclusive and unique spirit. TGDD is bringing in a completely new conception of the system of collecting, edging out the phase of acquisition and focusing exclusively on that of creation. And in this way collectors are able to become designers in their own right, relying on the collaboration with highly skilled artisans, carefully selected by Joy and Gregory: talents who can turn fantasies into objects. Joy Herro, who moved two years ago to Milan, enamoured of the craft know-how of North Italy, tells us how The Great Design Disaster works.

What is The Great Design Disaster?

The Great Design Disaster is a bridge connecting collector and artisan. The collector has a vision, a project, an idea and we, with the network of craftspeople we have built up, put the desire to create a special work in contact with the know-how of the Italian crafts and the Made in Italy brand.

How did you get the idea? And why?

The idea arose from a need for change: we wanted to try out a new model of production, one that would slow down the marketing process, making it less commercial and more human.

In addition to their expertise, their products are ‘living beings’. They have the secret of a perfect mix of technique and emotion. Even if the project is complicated or difficult to carry out, they never say no. We love challenges.

The idea arose from a need for change: we wanted to try out a new model of production, one that would slow down the marketing process, making it less commercial and more human.

Who are the protagonists of this project?

The project envisages the involvement of three distinct figures who show great willingness to interact:
1- The collector who has a personal project, the fruit of his or her experience, taste and vision, and is willing to relinquish a strictly commercial role, that of merely searching for extraordinary pieces, in order to intervene directly in the process of creation, along with the artisan. Both get deeply involved.
2- The agents of TGDD, a creative and operational team that will act as the intermediary between the collector and the artisan to ensure the successful outcome of the process, overseeing it from the idea to the end product.
3- The artisan finally, who is at the heart of the project, the person who puts his or her know-how, manual skills and mastery at the service of this idea, realizing unique and marvellous pieces, in constant dialogue with the tastes of the collector.

What sort of relationship is established between collector and artisan?

The artisan realizes the collector’s dream! Collectors will be more conscious of the value of having things made by hand when they literally see their creations grow and take shape. A gripping and moving process for everyone involved.

Why have you decided to bet on Italian artisans?

In addition to their expertise, their products are ‘living beings’. They have the secret of a perfect mix of technique and emotion. Even if the project is complicated or difficult to carry out, they never say no. We love challenges.

How does The Great Design Disaster differ from the designer or ‘bespoke’ product?

The bespoke product is the artist’s creation, while what the TGDD produces is the collector’s creation: the project begins with his or her vision.

One of the latest projects to be realized involved a collaboration with La Fucina di Efesto, a Milanese workshop specializing in artistic metalwork and a place of experimentation. Would you like to tell us about it? What was it like working with the artisans of the Fucina?

The encounter with master craftsman Alessandro Rametta has been a meeting of visions, of passion for design, of a common quest for excellence: a meeting of ancient and remote cultures that speak the same language which quickly turned into an artistic project. Together we are producing new collections of unique and refined products. An authentic dialogue between art and contemporary design, between manual skill and imagination, where experimental techniques and traditional practices encounter the innovation of international design. The project aims to extend the expressive possibilities of Italian excellence through the joint contribution of our design vision and the artistic vision of the master craftsman, repository of ancient and distinctive techniques that are being reinterpreted here. A project that speaks of beauty, of a shared love of art and design, of relationships, trust and new prospects.

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