A story within a story is that of Paolo Paolini, artisan by necessity and master by genuine vocation. He did not graduate from high school until he was 36 years old, making great sacrifices and working the most diverse jobs before crowning his youthful dream: to become a master. It all happens in post-World War I Italy, according to the testimony of Paolini’s daughter Sara – who was also his pupil for three years – and the stories of his grandson, Francesco Bombardi, editor with Giorgio Camuffo of this book.
A beautiful story, narrated and illustrated by Veronica Martini, as are many others, whose protagonists are teachers and teachers – some very famous, such as Giuseppina Pizzigoni, Alberto Manzi, Mario Lodi, Ettore Guattelli – others unknown or less celebrated, such as precisely Paolini.
Paolini unfortunately does not leave many written testimonies, only a few lines and a few letters with other teachers and pedagogists in Italy and abroad; too little to trace a theoretical path. However, to try to understand more deeply the purposes that guided his work, one must learn to read his machines, the notebooks he designed with his pupils and the games he invented. Those published in this 128-page volume, documented by numerous photographs, are not only objects constructed by a skilled hand but are also texts that reflect the way Paolini understood school and the figure of the teacher. Around this topic revolve the interventions and reflections of Franca Zuccoli, Dario Scodeller, Barbara Caprara and Gerda Videsott, feeding the interdisciplinary debate between education and design in its inevitable and continuous evolution.
Edited by Giorgio Camuffo and Francesco Bombardi
Photographs by Giulia Pezzin, Luca Weste and Isabel Righi
Book design Giulia Pezzin
12 × 18 cm
First published July 2023