The headquarters of the Fashion Research Italy Foundation is located in Bologna, 15 minutes from the center, in a former industrial plant historically linked to the fashion of Emilia Romagna. The 7000 square meters of the Roveri area, unchanged since the early 60s, are a virtuous example of redevelopment of the industrial suburbs, fertile ground for a new humanism linked to the company and the territory.
Via del Fonditore 12 reopens to the public in a new architectural look that reflects the history of the territory and represents innovative training activities, enhancement of the heritage and innovation that will take place here.


The architectural structure is configured as a virtuous example of redevelopment of the industrial suburbs of Bologna. Home to La Perla Group from the 80s to 2000, the three original buildings were in fact completely renovated by the Cervellati e Associati Studio.
The decision to work on the pre-existing structure and with the designer of the original project follows the fundamental perspective, of Alberto Masotti – President of the Foundation, to maintain a balance between past, present and future.

The new building has kept the features of the typical architectural culture of Bologna. The esthetic recall to the barns of the farmhouses of the Emilia-Romagna region is therefore evident as also the integration with the latest generation technologies, which make the building hi-tech.
“As once far-sighted agrarians founded the first modern industries, it in these years cutting-edge technology industries that graft the regeneration of the city and look forward to the forms and new contents of 21st century Bologna” Pier Luigi Cervellati


All the environments of the Foundation are characterized by tension towards technological innovation. A cultured innovation, expression of deep roots in tradition. Starting from the facade of the school building in Krion, a cutting-edge, ductile and resistant coating that originates from the development of an ancient material such as ceramic, made plastic by the modern chemistry of materials. Inside classrooms and laboratories are equipped with multimedia boards and advanced sharing systems to allow the best interaction between teacher and students and an innovative work experience for the class.

It is the new, born from the old, the plant that keeps its memory rising to new life

– Alberto Masotti

Technology and meaning: a mixture, proposed by Fashion Research Italy, aimed at regenerating and conserving memory, to continue in the ancient and ever new fashion story.


Continuing along the path that leads to the third building, the two artistic installations hosted in the Foundation are also technological: a multimedia walkway accompanies the visitor in the entrance to the exhibition area where one is greeted by a female silhouette LED statue, a skin of light and technology to recount and celebrate the woman, muse and demiurge of the fashion system.


From the entrance of Via del Fonditore 12, one reaches a long coloured walkway flanked by the building that houses the educational activity of the Foundation and the surrounding garden. Continuing along the path, a series of screens welcome the visitor to a virtual fashion show. Another example of innovation generated by the abstraction of one of the most ancient and significant moments of fashion.

Designed to allow the creation of virtual fashion shows, it is an example of digitization and dematerialization that could one day change the fruition of fashion collections by the public, professionals and buyers, containing environmental impact of major fashion events that would also benefit in economic terms by reducing the costs of the initiatives.

But the big names of the Fashion System would not be the only ones to take advantage of it, the emerging brands could present their collections through virtual fashion shows in the reference cities of the sector such as Moscow, New York, Milan or Shanghai or be known in the most difficult markets.
The installation, curated by Videoworks, is the world’s first installation of this kind in terms of size and type of video. It consists of 8 Samsung 85 “models (200cm x 118cm) arranged in portrait mode to form a single large screen of over 16 million pixels. A powerful high-definition digital sound system of about 1,000 watts allows you to fully immerse yourself in the multimedia show.


At the end of the fashion show, when entering the exhibition building, the evocative light design installation that welcomes visitors is also technological. The protagonist of the entire building, it is over 10m high and is composed of 21,120 LEDs placed inside 5,280 white opal spheres.
An ad hoc software (VJ) controls every single LED to create 3D shapes that blend with the sound components, emphasizing the emotional aspect. The work, produced by Senso – Immersive Experience, required 4 months of design, a month of assembly and a month of installation.

The icon expresses and humanizes the value of craftsmanship combined with that of the latest technologies and, in the intention of the President Alberto Masotti «is a tribute to women, true protagonists of the fashion companies that over the decades have concretely contributed to the success of the sector, to the creation of what has become made in Italy. But it is also a special tribute to Olga Cantelli, designer of La Perla who contributed decisively to the development of the brand in the world and to which the entire Foundation is dedicated ».


Thanks to the European funds of the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Foundation has also been able to complete the construction of 3,000 square meters of equipped exhibition space as one of the main cultural institutions on a national scale, aimed at disseminating and protecting the creative memory of fashion factories.
These spaces are therefore a candidate to be a point of reference for the Emilia-Romagna fashion, capable of attracting skills and tourism, through exhibition routes of great scientific and cultural importance.

The exhibition area project was co-funded by the 2014-2020 European funds of the Emilia-Romagna Region.

For further information:
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