From 28 September to 1 October in Martano, Salento, the biennial event celebrating creativity and fostering the circulation of ideas on social and cultural issues related to architecture and design

Laboratories, talks, lectio magistralis, conferences and workshops. And more: an exhibition presenting a series of projects from Italy and abroad, comparisons between companies, professionals and designers. All this will be staged in Martano, Salento, on the occasion of Agorà Design, the biennial festival that celebrates and encourages the circulation of ideas on cultural and social issues related to architecture and design, innovation and design biodiversity.

A rich cultural proposal

What makes the event unique is its collective and choral dimension, capable of involving the entire territory - all events are open to the public and free of charge - professionals and citizens, enthusiasts and the merely curious, through a dense and multifaceted cultural proposal. Among the confirmed guests of this edition: Riccardo Falcinelli, one of the most appreciated design theorists, with a masterclass on the colour red, and Giovanna Castiglioni of the Fondazione Achille Castiglioni, with a conversation on the Castiglioni method and a workshop on anonymous objects.

Architects, designers, journalists

And then, to name but a few: Francesco Zurlo, lecturer at Milan Polytechnic and founder of Poli.Design, designer Francesco Faccin, Simona Bordone, responsible for content and special projects for the magazine Domus; Tommaso Bovo, lecturer in Graphic Design and Project Methodology at the IED in Florence; Francesca Carlino, architect and partner of ACPV Architects Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel; Paolo Casati, founder and creative director of Studiolabo and the project Fuorisalone. it; Patrizia Catalano, responsible for coordinating the annexes of Interni magazine; Giovanni Innella, designer; Francesco Pagliari, architect, architecture and art critic of The Plan portal; Marco Petroni, theorist, design critic and lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples; the members of the Officina Calabria Design project.

Agorà Design Contest

After the successful 2021 edition, the town's historic centre is ready to once again take on the role of an incubator of ideas, a forge of international talent and a privileged place for dialogue, while an exhibition area - the halls and outdoor spaces of Palazzo Baronale - will be dedicated to the Agorà Design Contest: a competition that involved professionals and students from Italy and abroad in the development of projects that declined the theme "Hyperlocal: architecture and design of the territories", conceived to support the recovery of local traditions and contribute to the promotion of different social, cultural and productive realities.

From project to product

Conceived by the cultural association of the same name directed by Lucia Rescio and supported by the company Sprech, Agorà Design Contest will end on 1 October with the announcement of the winners of the two sections: Living, dedicated to the world of interior design (furnishing accessories, fabrics, upholstery, flooring) and Garden, reserved for the outdoors with daybeds (hybrid solutions between outdoor sofa and sunbed), seating (sofas, armchairs, chairs) and covers (gazebos, tensile structures, awnings). In addition to the cash prizes for the winners of the competitive categories (from 500 to 3 thousand euros), all participants are offered the chance to transform their project into a product.

The prototypes in the Sprech catalogue

This is thanks to the commitment of Sprech, which at the end of the event will choose some of the projects presented in the contest to generate prototypes to be included in its catalogue: a unique opportunity in the field of architecture and design competitions in Italy. At this edition, the projects selected during the 2021 edition will be presented to the public and subsequently become products.

Main sponsor and media partner

Organised by the Agorà Design association and the Cooperative Radio Salentina, the event is supported by the main sponsor Sprech in partnership with the Achille Castiglioni Foundation, ADI - Association for Industrial Design, the Order of Architects, Planners, Landscape Architects and Conservators of Lecce, the National Council and Order of Engineers of Lecce, the Fine Arts Academy of Lecce, the Province of Lecce and the Municipality of Martano. These are the media partners: Interni, Domus,, Outdoor, The Plan, and RadioSalentina. Partner companies: MAXXI - Interior Design.

Photos: Antonio Leo