… When Design is “unequivocally Italian”…

British designer John Chris Jones explained in 1992 the main difference among artists, scientists mathematicians and designers

Artists and scientists operate in the physical world as it exists in the present; mathematicians operate on abstract relationships; designers treat as real what exists in their imagination and show how the foreseen thing can be made. They give substance to new ideas while taking away the physical and organizational foundations of the old ones”.

An example of the creative power of  design is the Arco lamp by Achille Castiglioni who in 1962 created for Flos, Italian company of furniture and lighting, a new lighting concept. Arco is a portable chandelier projecting light on the desired place without being tied to a pendant. Its base is a block of 65kg Carrara marble with a hole where you can stick the handle of a broom in order to easily move the lamp where you like. The structure is made of three steel sections with U-section adjustable by simply sliding the sections on themselves. Being the most plagiarized design product in the world, it is the first industrial design product acknowledged in 2007 with the same copyright protection applied to works of Art and is part of the permanent collection of the Triennale Design Museum in Milan and the MoMA in New York. 

Design is not just the drawing of objects that are then to be built or manufactured. DESIGN RETHINKS the way products, systems, services, organizations and people perform,  combining art with science.

Italian design is unique because how Italians think design is very peculiar.

1) design must be usable, sophistication in design couples with the concept of usability, 

Surrounded as we are by art, history and culture, but also living in a country poor of resources, design works as a multiplier, and  we expect as well from our clothes furniture accessories cars and equipments to be extremely beautiful as well as usable

 2) Italians normally don't destroy the old in order to build the new, we use the old as a basis for the new 

3) details are extremely important, that's why our artisans and in general italians have a very peculiar concept of time ... Art is timeless and a real artisan to focus on details needs to work beyond any time constraint. 

Italian design is naturally born for very sophisticated niches of clients looking for superior quality materials, exclusivity and rarity and today the country is the largest hub for luxury goods in Europe and the third luxury hub globally.

At International Academy of Rome we have therefore created a series of programs aimed to find out how Italians think design and why they do it in their very distinctive way.  We will start exploring the Italian automobile industry, with in-company visits to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati and Fiat Chrysler in Emilia Romagna and Piedmont.

Participants will see how these companies ideate, prototype and test their products, also taking into consideration the new challenges and opportunities posed by digitalization and technological innovation. Moreover they will see in action why districts are considered the backbone of the Italian industry and how this allows the country to keep stable its reputation as a large manufacturer and exporter of a significant variety of products able to face the competition from emerging economies based on lower labor costs, with higher quality products.