Fondazione Iris, established in 1972, encouraged study and research in ceramics and promoted analysis of the relationships between materials, the urban environment and society. The foundation aimed to encourage better-qualified work that would respond to the need for transformation and qualification of the human habitat.
Its first activities included a series of conferences and meetings addressing the relationship between ceramic material, artists and everyday life, with the creation of a “ceramic workshop” as an open space for work by artists, ceramicists and designers, demonstrating its commitment to reclaiming cultural and traditional aspects of working with ceramic. With the Pollution project, a true artistic action in Bologna’s Piazza Santo Stefano (1972), and the publication of humus (1973-1975), a 4-monthly magazine about the culture, strategy and technique of ceramics, the foundation addressed and promoted aspects and experiences pertaining to man’s social dimension.
The “Punto di Incontro Iris” pavilion at SAIE in 1973 and the “Agorà” experimental living space illustrated the company’s philosophy of building spaces “on a human scale”, characterised by a tangible relationship with nature through materials and designed to be practical. This mindset took on concrete form and significance with the 1975 Iris Convention, intended to be a concrete proposal of ideas and materials in which visitors were welcomed on a floor covered with grey soil from the Apennines in an iron and timber structure in which they could choose an individual route.
The company held a training course in organisational issues for management staff and specialised workers, training them directly in the areas where they were likely to be employed to align them with the company’s evolution, illustrating its commitment to personnel qualification.