1° DESIGN SUMMIT – Press Release

In Milan design speaks Portuguese, Indian, Chinese.

Milan Design Week opens with the 1st DESIGN SUMMIT, a privileged observatory on the opportunities that Brazil, India and China offer to Italian companies, created and organized by Corriere della Sera in collaboration with the Design School of Politecnico and the Public Administration of Milan.

A breathing space that will take place on Monday April 8th, from 9.00 am to 12.30 am (reservation required while seats last) at Palazzo Mezzanotte, a symbolic place for Italian economy, already headquarter of the Stock Exchange. Having the event here seems to try and underline the importance of a sector that, although very creative, is still very rooted in the real economy, thanks to its state-of-the art technological productive districts.

The Summit – sponsored by the Public Administration of Milan – will be an exchange between eminent voices of the world of businesses, economy and design that will try to analyze the current situation, threatened by the compression of European consumption but with favorable perspective in the emerging countries of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) that represent an important end market for all Made in Italy products.

The works will open with the welcome speech of Raffaele Jerusalmi, CEO of the Italian Stock Exchange and will develop into two separate sessions, a first one where the attention will be given to political and economic issues, and a second one where internationally known architects and designers coming from Brazil, India and China will express their ideas.

In the first session, directed by Ferruccio de Bortoli, Claudio Luti, President of Cosmit and Roberto Snaidero, President of Federlegno-Arredo, together with Arturo dellʼAcqua Bellavitis, Headmaster of the Design School of the Politecnico of Milan, will present the portrait of the state of health of Italian industry, which has some difficulties in the domestic market but itʼs good at successfully intercepting the requests of the consumers coming from the emerging countries, as it is shown in the Saloni (Fairs?) and the Milan design week, that is always extraordinarily capable of attracting International visitors.

The talk will open with the data of the associated companies of FederlegnoArredo that confirmed in their 2012 financial statement the great difficulty of the domestic market. The situation didnʼt change in the last four months of the year. The result of sales in Italy remains steadily negative (-10% compared to 2011). A moderate but still positive variation only in foreign sales (about + 4%). The most critical markets are the one strictly dependent on the Italian market of construction industry and real estate such as construction finishing, kitchens and offices. Still dramatically negative are the perspective for the first part of 2013: in January 60% of the companies still declared a flexion in the minimum orders; stagnation for another 30%, and growth for only 10%. For 2013 the previsions are still very bad for the domestic market (only 17% of companies will be growing). Positive previsions instead for the foreign market where 64% of the companies will be growing.

Giorgio Barba Navaretti, Full Professor of Political Economy at the Università degli Studi di Milano, Scientific Director of Centro Studi Luca DʼAgliano and Academic Advisor of the Research Network on the competitiveness of European Central Bank, will intervene with a speech on the international economic situation particularly referring to the dynamics in BRICʼs countries, such as Brazil, India and China. He will outline possible scenarios and will show Italian companies a route for the future able to compensate the stagnation of traditional markets.

Among the masters of architecture there will be Daniel Libeskind, an internationally known architect and designer.Among his most popular projects we remember the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Denver Art Museum and Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Another very important project was, in 2004, the redesign of Ground Zero, after the fall of the Twin Towers, that should end this year.

Nipa Doshi, a representative of International design, born in India and co-founder, together with the Scottish architect Jonathan Levien, of DoshiLevien studio based in London, will also be present. Their work, that particularly concentrates on interior design, celebrates, above all, cultural differences. Their creations show great respect and attention for the context they come from and for what theyʼre designed. A good example is the cookware line designed for Tefal, specifically created for local food cultures, after a trip to India. The union between craftsmanship and industrial production, tradition and innovation are their strongest points. Several are the collaborations with international brands. For Moroso, a company theyʼre still collaborating with, they created a series of daybeds and upholstery.

Another highly awaited lecture is Carlo Rattiʼs “Senseable Design”, architect and engineer, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs Senseable City Lab. He was appointed by the Italian Minister for Culture as member of the Italian Committee of Design, a Governmental Managing Committee composed of 25 leading figures of domestic design. At the moment heʼs also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Urban Management and heʼs the curator of the Future Food District Pavilion for Expo 2015 in Milan.

The second session – directed by Alessandro Cannavò, responsible for the Events department at Corriere della Sera – with Francesco Zurlo, Delegated director of INDACO department at the Politecnico of Milan, will explore the changes and opportunities that Brazil, China and India are experiencing through the testimony of well-known representatives of culture and design.

For Brazil, a country that is overlooking the international economic scene with double figures growth rates, there will be Marcio Kogan, architect, founder of the studio MK37 and a shining representative of Brazilian modernism that in 2012 represented Brazil at the Biennale of Architecture in Venice and José Roberto Moreira do Valle, founder of Brazil S/A. This last one has been listed this year by the Italian magazine MF Milano Finanza, among the 80 most influential people for the relationship between Brazil and Italy.

China will be represented by Beatrice Leanza, artistic director of Beijing Design Week, the Chinese design week that, since its re-launch in 2009 has become an extraordinary spotlight on the new Eastern markets, and by the well-known Li Hu, architect and co-founder of the studio OPEN Architecture. Li Hu is director of the Columbia University GSAPPʼs Studio-X Beijing. He also taught at Hong Kong University with Wenjing Huang. In 2002 he founded the independent Architectural Magazine 32: Beijing/New York together with Steven Holl and Yung Ho Chang.

India, is experiencing a period of great socio-cultural transformations. Sheila Sri Prakash is a very active protagonist of it all. Sheʼs a multi-awarded architect and designer, who founded Shilpa Architects in 1979. Sheʼs internationally known for her indo-centric projects and her influential contributions to sustainable design. Sheʼs also known as a supporter of emerging countries through projects sensitive towards the socio-economic themes. Sheila was listed among the “100 Most Influential People” of contemporary architecture by Il Giornale dellʼArchitettura. She was also empanelled by the Archeological Survey of India to preserve history, culture and to restore some of Indiaʼs most treasured monuments. Together with her, Raj Singh will be present, Deputy Headmaster of Ansal University of Gurgaon. A revolutionary thinker, sensitive to social and economic themes, he is a master designer of systems and processes with a skill for perfect detailing. A visionary with an expertise to create Universities par excellence dedicated to sustainable growth and development. He has made outstanding contributions in the interdisciplinary fields of Art, Science & Technology and Management through its scholarly research, teaching, professional consultancies and creative research projects. Widely travelled, he has been a visiting Professor at IIT Delhi and Delhi School of Economics. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Quality Committee on Education of Quality Council of India. He has been recently conferred with SEO Global Education Award 2012 for “Outstanding Higher Education Leader” for his exceptional contribution in the field of education.

The event will be directed by Francesca Molteni of MUSE Factory of Projects

Corriere della Sera, with the organization of the 1st DESIGN SUMMIT aims at contributing to training and information in the sector of design and furniture stressing the key role of the first Italian newspaper in the support of Italian companies and of the excellent examples of Made in Italy.

As well as with Design Summit, RCS MediaGroup participates at 2013 Milan Design Week with the events Meet Design and Food&Design and signs Living Network, the multimedia communication platform dedicated to the world of living.

Also read at http://atcasa.corriere.it/Speciali/salone-del-mobile/2013/press-room/img/summit/1DESIGNSUMMIT_comunicato-eng.pdf

Milan, April 4th, 2013

Press Office RCS MediaGroup – Divisione Quotidiani:
Francesca Marzotto tel. +39 0225844111; email: francesca.marzotto@rcs.it – Beatrice Minzioni tel. +39 0225844810; email:
Luca Liguori – Communication Manager RCS MediaGroup – Divisione Pubblicità – tel. +39 02 2584.6023; email: luca.liguori@rcs.it
Alessia Vallarino – Studio Roscio tel. +39 023450212 – +39023495882; e-mail: a.vallarino@studioroscio.com