The 31st edition of the MetsTrade of Amsterdam ended just some weeks ago, confirming to be one among the most highly anticipated and stimulating events of the year where marine leisure equipment from every corner of the world is the main player.
Guidi, the Grignasco-based company and global leader in the manufacture of valves, filters and joints for boats, is certainly a habitué of the Dutch kermesse and, if in terms of style it undoubtedly doesn’t go unnoticed, as for history, it has blown out 50 candles this year, celebrating its 28th participation to the event.
If somebody asked me for a quick roundup of memories related to Mets, the first frame that immediately comes to my mind is certainly the picture of Guidi’s booth that is never an ordinary exhibition area but rather a sort of proscenium. The main players are always the same: product and art, with the show brilliantly directed by Guidi’s staff.
This year, the brand has joined the event with a new anti-lock valve, an evolution of the “Alex” model, the ultimate patent achieved by the company in 2013.
” Compared with the traditional Alex model, what is different now is the material which the valve is made of. Indeed, it is made of nickel-plated bronze, the handwheel is different while operation is always the same” tells me, with his proverbial kindness, Alessandro Guidi, Technical Manager of the company and son of the founder Bruno Guidi, ” The new valve arises from the specific request of a customer which has led us to create this new product where the choice of nickel is mostly an aesthetic choice while the wheel was already part of other products and we’ve decided to use it in our Alex model, too”.
Guidi’s booth is a feast of colours and alternates valves, filters, joints, photographs of still lives with gone out candles, soap bubbles floating in the air, cut flowers, rotten fruit, skulls, hourglasses and watches. The sight of these images astonishes me and classic studies immediately come to my mind: as Latins said, “tempus fugit memento mori“. Vanitas is the name used by painters to indicate still lives, a very popular genre during the so-called Dutch ” Golden Age”, closely related to precariousness of life.
After my initial astonishment, I spontaneously wonder why pictures linked to fugacity of life were now related to products living “hidden” within boats.
The artist Enrica Pastore, author of the photographic project “Vanitas. The time, the silence and the ephemeral”, finally dispels my doubts. ” I’ve always been passionate about still lives and I particularly like Dutch 17th-century Vanitas. I’ve been wanting to realize this project for a long time; so, I’ve collected the material, some things are actually from that time while others belong to my family. I’ve decided to reproduce some issues dear to them, such as knowledge, food, wealth and the constant fear of wealth”, the artist says. ” We have set up the booth with Vanitas pictures to focus on the issue of time and clearly introduce that of durability since Guidi products are not only highly long-lasting but, at the end of their life, they are almost all recyclable or their material can be recovered”.
Guidi’s main features, indeed, include great reliability which is one among the main values that, in half a century of activity, have made the company one among the most famous and respected Italian boating brands. Product design aims for an analysis of an increasingly more accurate and more sustainable life cycle. Each product is extremely long-lasting and, thanks to the easy separation of parts during the disassembly process, they offer the possibility to extend the life of materials as well as the durability of their components. After the disposal, in fact, thanks to some particular processes that allow the production of new raw materials, every product is almost entirely recyclable.
The relationship between such moral pictures and Guidi’s family, for which ethics is the absolute heart of his business growth, is therefore clear. Art, environment, social issues, sports and product are the five “pillars” underlying Guidi’s business culture that has put sustainability at the heart of its own development plans for a long time.
Guidi’s booth at MetsTrade drew the attention of both visitors and operators. And mine, of course. Between a valve and another, bunches of freshly cut tulips lay within glass pots, flooding the booth with light and scent. ” I’ve chosen tulips because they are not only the symbol of that time but also efficiently convey the sense of the flow of time”, the artist tells me. She is certainly true but what those yellow and orange flowers suggested me was the rare care with which the company faithfully serves his customers.