Italian Design Day in the World – Italian Design Day 2018 was presented today at the Farnesina, with opening remarks by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni.
This year’s edition of Italian Design Day will be held on 1 March in 100 cities all over the world and focus on the connection between design and sustainability as expressed by 100 “Italian design ambassadors” – architects, designers, academics, business people, critics, communicators – who will make presentations to people who work in the field and enthusiasts of the best of our industrial design.
Italian Design Day is made possible by the team set up by the Foreign Ministry, in association with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the Triennale di Milano, the Italian Trade Agency (ICE), the Milan Salone del Mobile, the Association of Industrial Design (ADI), the Fondazione Compasso d’Oro and the Altagamma Foundation. The project involves all public and private players who represent high-quality Italian design, including the world of business, through Confindustria, and the training sector, for a total of fifty stakeholders including associations, federations, universities and design academies.
Following its successful debut in 2017, which involved about 20,000 professionals of the industry in the numerous activities organised, this is the second edition of the event and represents the climax of a year-long process, with the Foreign Ministry involved on several fronts: the promotion of young and emerging Italian designers; support for the Salone del Mobile, with the new Shanghai edition launched in 2016 now turned into an annual event; cooperation with the Triennale di Milano which the Foreign Ministry helped relaunch in 2016 by encouraging international participation (equal support has already commenced for the upcoming 2019 edition focusing on the “Broken Nature” concept).
The 2018 Italian Design Day in the World will therefore serve to promote this important event, and it was no coincidence that the relationship between sustainability and design was chosen as the theme. Sustainability policies are now central to both governments and the private sector, and Italy, the undisputed world leader in design, will present high-quality ideas, projects and solutions to encourage international debate prior to the 22nd Triennale di Milano in 2019. The ideas that may emerge will also help Italy prepare its participation in the next Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) event and in the 2020 Expo Dubai with the slogan “Connecting minds, creating the future”, which will also feature the concept of sustainability.
The design industry is a distinctive element of the “Made in Italy” brand which unites beauty and originality with high-quality raw materials and innovative production methods and expresses the culture and traditions of the various regions. It forms one of the pillars of the integrated promotion strategy of the “Italian Way of Life” conducted by the Foreign Ministry through its network of Embassies, Consulates and Italian Cultural Institutes in the world, together with the promotion of the Italian language, high-quality cuisine, the University and research system, and the Italian museum system and cinema.
In a world where the demand for Italy is constantly increasing (according to a renowned study by KPMG, “Made in Italy” is the world’s third best-known brand after Coca Cola and Visa), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is focusing on the undisputed treasures of our country that make it possible to present “Brand Italy” at its best, enhancing the economic, cultural and scientific aspects. Italian industrial design also accounts for about a third (by far the greatest share) of the high-end global design market (figures from Bain & Company). According to Confindustria’s latest report “Esportare la dolce vita” (Exporting La Dolce Vita) by 2022, the 31 most advanced markets will import 70 billion euros worth of products with Italian design content, up 20% from 2016.
The Foreign Ministry is engaged in intense promotional activities to satisfy global demand for Italianity, by presenting the best of our regional traditions and our Country’s innovative genius. The strategy produces a return both in terms of image but also has a tangible fallout on the economy. According to a study commissioned by the Farnesina and carried out by the consultancy firm Prometeia, its support of the international activities of Italian companies in 2016 – especially in the awarding of contracts – helped produce 21.4 billion in value added (1.4% of GDP) and maintain nearly 307,000 jobs.