Saturday 8th October 2016 at 11am
Palazzo Grimani Museum
Castello 4858 (Campo Santa Maria Formosa, Ramo Grimani) – Venice
Free entrance by reservation: RSVP@venicedesignweek.it tel. +39 328 1765744
(places are limited and the conference is in italian and not translated, sorry)
speaker: Luca Molà, European University Institute, Florence, Italy.
In 1474 the Venetian Senate approved a decree that guaranteed the protection of the state and monopoly rights to any person who would present a new invention. This was the first general law on patents in the history of humanity and the birth of the concept of intellectual property rights, still today a crucial element of global economic growth. The Republic of Venice became the main centre for the development of new technology during the Renaissance, and soon the other Italian and European states copied its model, creating an international patent system that by the second half of the sixteenth century involved the whole of Europe. The conference will show the success and diffusion of patents through the experiences of their protagonists, both men and women, who belonged to all social groups, and it will focus mainly on the Venetian case and the creation of luxury objects – glass, textiles, ceramics, musical instruments and many other artefacts – with an innovative design that characterized for centuries Italian productions.
Luca Molà received a BA (Laurea) from the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice and did his PhD in history at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He has taught for ten years at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, and since 2010 is Professor of Early Modern European History at the European University Institute in Florence. He has published books and articles on the history of industrial production and trade during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, on the migration of skilled technicians and on the political economies of European states in favour of innovation. Molà is finishing a study on the birth of patents and intellectual property rights on inventions in Italy during the Renaissance and the early modern age, and is currently working on a book on the economic, social and cultural history of the Italian silk industry from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, which will be published by Laterza Editore. He is one of the founding members of Warwick University’s Global History and Culture Centre (2007) and in the last few years has been researching on the role of Italy during the first globalization (1400-1700). He has recently edited a volume on Italian Technology from the Renaissance to the Twentieth Century (2014), and has also an interest in the public dissemination of historical research; in this regard he has curated the exhibition On the Silk Road. Ancient Paths between East and West, held at the Palazzo delle Espozioni in Rome in 2012-13.