Awards and Honors, Faculty News

An Honorary Tuscan

The City Council of Minucciano, Italy, has named faculty member Jon Isherwood an Honorary Citizen in recognition of his work promoting the region through an art and technology initiative he’s been leading for the past five years.

Image of the certificate

Isherwood’s Digital Stone Project has brought students, artists, designers, and architects to the area to shape and sculpt locally sourced Tuscan marble using the cutting-edge digital equipment of Garfagnana Innovazione, a robotic technologies company.

Working in the company’s state-of-the-art labs, Isherwood and robotics engineers hold workshops and residencies to train participants in using 3D robotic stone cutting equipment on some of the best sculptural material in the world.

The work aims not only to push the boundaries of sculpture, but to revive the region’s once-rich stone cutting industry by attracting start-up companies interested in utilizing Garfagnana Innovazione’s resources.

“The story of Garfagnana Innovazione is quite unique in how it has revitalized an industry through the partnership we have established,” said Isherwood. “It has brought jobs to the region through the three-tiered programming of education, start-up company incubator, and commerce.”

According to the City Council record, honorary citizenship celebrates “non-resident individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have dignified the city of Minucciano for the world and Italy.”

The City Council cited Isherwood’s “constant and uninterrupted endeavors … in promoting and enhancing the value of the city of Minucciano,” through the Digital Stone Project.