Architect Carlo Ratti was the Ambassador of the 2019 edition of the Italian Design Day in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Ratti, Curator of the upcoming Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture of Shenzhen, which is due to open in December 2019, is professor at MIT in Boston where he manages the “Sensible Cities Lab” and is also known worldwide in the field of Urbanism for his studies on the sustainability of cities.
The mark the first edition of this initiative, which was organised in Shenzhen in collaboration with the Consulate General, Ratti delivered a lecture at the International Art and Design Centre, a one-of-a-kind newly-inaugurated mall designed by Hong Kong archistar Rocco Yim which is dedicated almost exclusively to Italian luxury furniture. Ratti underlined how Shenzhen represents the archetype of the city of the future. The effort made by the metropolis in the field of urbanism has not only made it a flagship city for the application of new technologies but also an example of how to integrate technological innovation and environmental sustainability while maintaining Chinese cultural and social uniqueness.
During his presentation, the architect introduced the latest studies on the topic of mobility by using data analysis, the evolution of office space, which is increasingly becoming an integral part of residential spaces. He also discussed his philosophy which is at the basis of commercial spaces of the future that are becoming a showcase of the production chain. According to Ratti it makes more sense to talk about “sensible city” rather than “smart city”, a definition which focuses on technology and not on the resident. The city of the future should be designed to meet the needs of people and society and apply technological innovation harmoniously. Approximately 250 architects, designers, professionals, artists, university students and journalists participated in the event. Ratti then held a seminar in Hong Kong on the same topic at the K11 Atelier by the New World group. The event, co-organised by the Consulate General and the Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) was followed by a seminar on future developments of the Smart City Project, with which Hong Kong hopes to become one of the most advanced cities in the world in terms of sustainability and efficiency.