The Future is Back Home – Mattoni Rossi, Ivrea, Italy

Mattoni Rossi, in Ivrea, Italy, is the the original Olivetti writing machines factory.

The industrial city of Ivrea is an exceptional example of an industrial city of the second half of the 20th century, representing the materialization of an industrial city according to a model desired by Olivetti. Here, a social and productive system flourished, inspired by the community, in an alternative to the typical model proposed by the 20th century industrial development.Adriano Olivetti was a great entrepreneur: he developed the factory that he inherited from his father Camillo by turning it into a cutting-edge international business. He had the insight to develop electronics in the early 1950s, and pursued the road of technological innovation with determination and success. He was the first to acquire a large typewriter factory in the United States, and we could, of course, go on to remember many other ventures that have since become the stuff that the history of Italian industry is made of. 


The redevelopment of Mattoni Rossi, a building with a strong iconic and historical value, is proposed as a project that involves the local community in the first place, but also, in line with the Olivetan tradition, widens this community to understand Europe and the whole world, in order to create a network of companies and people that aims to enhance Ivrea as an industrial city and the community and businesses as pieces for a new global development and well-being.

ICONA, the consortium behind the regeneration project, aims to set up a system operation. All the participants share the objective of acting as a stimulus to the territory. PlusValue joins ICONA’s efforts in regenerating the Mattoni Rossi site.

The Mattoni Rossi project is of optimism and vision. The creative plant is based on three main pillar: namely innovation, technology and the creation of social value. These are combined with the idea of nurturing a business culture that looks at the Olivetti experience with the ambition of bringing its founder’s lesson to new heights and therefore able to confront the challenges of the future.

In this framework, the most promising themes for Mattoni Rossi are:
Blockchain and Smartgrid
Alongside financial developments, with the large-scale dissemination of crypto-currencies, blockchain technology is opening the door to a new way of conceiving the exchange and certification of information and value in a decentralized manner.
Data, Art & Science
A line of experimentation that is gathering interest in the public and private sphere is that of the interaction between art and technology. Particularly interesting is the use of big data within innovative contexts, such as art, where alternative forms of creativity can be exploited in order to identify new products, services and processes. Also in this case, PlusValue is active with leading Italian and international organizations in this field (HER, ArtTribune, Top-Ix, Bozar, Cluji, Waag …)
IoT and AI
According to Mario Rasetti, President of the ISI foundation, the revolution that the Internet of Things will bring into our lives is several orders of magnitude more disruptive than that brought about by the advent of the personal computer. In addition to domestic applications, using IoT in the industrial context can be a particularly encouraging opportunity. The ethical, social and political dimension of this technological revolution in terms, for example, of the reorganization of a workforce composed of machines and humans or of data processing and valorization is a very topical research field, which would greatly benefit from a Olivetti approach.
Education / Training
Education is a crucial theme both in the Olivetti vision of building a company and an enterprise projected into the future, as in the contemporary debate. In order to adapt to an economy characterized by an increasingly robotic industrial system, tomorrow’s society will have to form flexible minds, able to work in groups, interacting with rapidly evolving machines, and with a strong capacity for creative thinking. The specialization in technical fields will therefore have to go hand in hand with the construction of artistic skills, critical thinking, and in general of soft skills that allow the individual to govern the transition to an era in which most of the tasks will be delegated to cars.