The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts the presentation of the Italian Design Day 2018 opened by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ambass. Elisabetta Belloni.
This year’s edition of Italian Design Day took place on 1st March in 100 different cities worldwide and dealt with the relationship between design and sustainability. This fascinating topic was examined and given a personal slant by 100 ambassadors of Italian design (architects, designers, academics, entrepreneurs, critics and communicators) who entertained a mixed audience of sector experts and amateur enthusiasts with descriptions and insights into the highlights of Italian industrial design.
The Italian Design Day is the product of a joint project created by a team organised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Milan Triennale, the Italian Trade Agency, the Milan Furniture Fair, the Association for Industrial Design, the Fondazione Compasso d’Oro (Golden Compass Foundation) and the Altagamma Foundation. It involves all the public and private decisionmakers dealing in top-grade Italian design, including the world of enterprise through Confindustria (General Confederation of Italian Industry), as well as the training sector with fifty interested parties from various associations, federations, universities and design schools.
Following on from its success in 2017 which saw about 20,000 sector operators involved in the numerous activities, it is now into its second edition and is the crowning point of a process that kept the various actors busy all year and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs committed on various fronts.
The concept underpinning the 2018 edition of Italian Design Day was imagined to promote this important appointment and it is no coincidence that the relationship between sustainability and design was chosen as a theme. Today, sustainable policies are a matter of major interest for both governments and private enterprise. An undisputed leader in the design sector, Italy constantly champions top-quality ideas, projects and solutions, thus triggering an international debate that sets the scene for the XXII Triennale International Exhibition of Milan in 2019. The ideas that are floated will be a precious contribution for the Italians at the next major BIE appointment – the Universal Exhibition to be held in 2020 in Dubai going by the slogan “Connecting minds, creating the future”. Indeed, one of the topics it will be taking a very close look at is sustainability. Paolo Glisenti, the Italian Commissioner for the Expo 2020 Dubai, followed the Italian Design Day with great interest.
All over the world, the design sector has become synonymous with Italian manufacturing and all those items that bear the “Made in Italy” tag manage to merge beautiful design, originality, top-quality raw materials and innovative production methods. This rare ability springs from a fusion of various local cultures and traditions and it is (together with the promotion of the Italian language, top-quality cuisine, the university and research system, the museum sector and Italian cinema) one of Italy’s aces in the hole and a winning integrated strategy going under the title of “Vivere All’Italiana” (Living the Italian Lifestyle) promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via its network of Embassies, Consulates and Institutes of Italian Culture worldwide.
In a world where a demand for all things Italian is constantly on the rise (according to KPMG, “Made in Italy” is the third best-known brand all over the world, topped only by Coca Cola and Visa), the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs understandably invests in those undisputed areas of Italian excellence which allow our country to put its best foot forward and showcase its outstanding economic, cultural and scientific merits. Furthermore, industrial Italian design accounts for about one third of the international high-end design market (based on figures from Bain & Company), whilst according to the latest “Esportare la dolce vita” (Exporting the Dolce Vita) report drawn up by Confindustria, in 2022 the 31 most advanced markets will import 70 billion Euros’ worth of Italian-design products from Italy, leading to a 20% increase as compared to 2016.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is heavily involved in promotional activities aimed at meeting the world’s growing demand for Italian style and design. A series of efforts that do not only enhance Italy’s image but also lead to some concrete results. According to a study conducted by the company Prometeia and commissioned by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the activities aimed at supporting Italian enterprise abroad in 2016 (this particularly related to winning orders) helped to produce 21.4 billion in added value (equal to 1.4% of the GDP) and to sustain about 307 thousand jobs.