16 April 2024

Olivetti et Folon: un humanisme partagé

2 minuti di lettura
Articolo di Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti

April, 24 2024 – 7 p.m.

Design Museum Brussels
Place de Belgique, 1 – Bruxelles

Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon (1934–2005) worked for several years with the Italian design company Olivetti. This collaboration is emblematic of the long-standing relationship between Olivetti and the art world.

In 1912, Camillo Olivetti commissioned the painter Teodoro Wolf Ferrari to create the emblematic poster for Olivetti’s first typewriter, the M1. However, it was only under the presidency of his son Adriano (1938 – 1960) that Olivetti transformed into a modern company. The Olivetti headquarters in Ivrea became a laboratory for innovative interaction between business and society. This model is still considered exemplary today for its ability to integrate culture, technological research, design, architecture, beauty, and sustainability. Adriano Olivetti opened the company to intellectuals, artists, sociologists, and philosophers.

Thanks to this approach, Giorgio Soavi, a close cultural collaborator of Adriano, invited Folon to become part of the Olivetti universe in the 1960s. Thirty years of collaboration between the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon, who shaped the destiny of humankind through his art, and Olivetti, for which he curated visual identity and graphics for a period.

Their long friendship and Olivetti’s artistic legacy will be presented to the public with this conference, offering a new perspective on the Italian company, a pioneer in creating typewriters and calculators, and on Jean-Michel Folon, a uniquely talented artist.



  • Arnaud Bozzini, Design Museum Brussels
  • Federica Favi, Ambassador of Italy to Belgium


  • Stéphanie Angelroth, Fondation Folon
  • Cinthia Bianconi, Fondazione Adriano Olivetti
  • Paola Mantovani, Museo Civico P. A. Garda di Ivrea
  • Marcella Turchetti, Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti


  • Allegra Iafrate, Italian Cultural Institute of Brussels

In collaboration and with the support of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Brussels, the Museo Civico P. A. Garda, the Fondation Folon, the Fondazione Adriano Olivetti and the Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti.

The meeting takes place within the context of the Olivetti · Folon exhibition, which can be visited until September 15, 2024, at the Design Museum Brussels.

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