With a lectio magistralis by Gilda Bojardi, testimonial of the Italian Design Day 2024, and a round table with 5 architects and 5 entrepreneurs at the Italian General Consulate, INTERNI brought the culture of Italian design to New York

There was a FuoriSalone atmosphere in New York during the NYCxDesign and it wasn't an impression.

The widespread presence of the Interni System - with the guide BIG ITALY NEW YORK and its deployment of communicative strength made up of flags, signs in the window and distribution of copies at the Fair at the Javits Center and in the showrooms - has effectively brought the typical atmosphere of the Milanese FuoriSalone to the Big Apple.

This is indeed excellent news for Italian brands and for the public of design enthusiasts who, just as happens with the iconic FuoriSalone Guide in Milan, were able to orient themselves thanks to the new BIG ITALY NEW YORK format among the many appointments, meetings, talks, presentations of new products organized by 50 brands and showrooms in the city. Where, it is worth remembering, many of the 500,000 people who attended Milan from 15 to 28 April to promote the Sistema Design Italia also flocked.

From the opening night of Big Italy NY with ICFF / Interni Design Night and NYCxDesign, on May 17, in the NoMad and Madison areas to the Interni Event at Italian Consulate at 690 Park Avenue, on May 20th, we saw the groupings and "queues" that reminded of  Milan situations.

Like Milan for Italy and for Europe, New York thus becomes a hub for America for professionals, developers and enthusiasts of Design and Architecture: new trends, innovative ideas and creative projects in the field of design, exhibitions and product presentations, conferences, workshops and contests involving emerging and established designers.

A cultural and product container in which participants have the opportunity to discover new talents, form professional relationships and gain inspiration from different perspectives in the world of design.

The Big Italy NY Event at the Italian General Consulate was one of the highlights of the kermesse with more than 300 accreditations and the possibility, for those who managed to enter the splendid venue of Park Avenue, to be immersed in the vibrant and creative atmosphere of the Design system. First through the lectio magistralis of Gilda Bojardi, and then with a cultural sparring between five architects and five entrepreneurs from both Italy and the United States.

The lecture by the director of Interni was a brief but intense history of Italian Design through the Matrix of the pages of 70 years of Interni and the "filter" of the FuoriSalone, a cultural and experimental hub through which we can look to the future. Ephemeral architectures to read the contemporary: research, vision, intersections of different cultures and knowledge.

Gilda Bojardi's contribution was preceded by greetings from Consul Fabrizio De Michele and a heartfelt and emotional speech from Marva Griffin Wilshire, Ambassador of the Salone del Mobile, who underlined the importance of Interni's work and the FuoriSalone in the promotion of the Italia Design System.

The talk that followed the lectio was an engaging meeting, which allowed the public to interact with internationally renowned architects, designers and entrepreneurs and appreciate the connections that exist between apparently different works but united by a universal principle: the search for beauty through principles of sustainability and circular economy.

The starting point of the reflection?

In an era in which the weight of human mass exceeds that of biomass (the weight of all living beings on the planet, including plants and animals), it is clear that every new product must reflect a profound environmental awareness. Not only in the choice of materials, but also in terms of packaging and transport of each new object, adopting the logic of the circular economy, of the reuse and reuse of components and substances, to achieve true sustainability. The same principles apply to architecture and the disciplines connected to it: practices, materials, transport and consumption must respond to circular reasoning. Just as indicated in the theme of Italian Design Day 2024:The Value of Manufacturing: inclusiveness, innovation and sustainability.

Lowest common denominator: the dialogue between cultures to achieve a common language.

The discussion was built on 5 words, expressions of the founding themes of contemporary design culture and discussed by the architects and entrepreneurs who were invited to speak: Dialogue, Tailor-made, Work culture, Innovation and translation of value, From product to projects and vice versa.

Speaking of dialogue, Carlotta De Bevilacqua, CEO of Artemide, and Kai-Uwe Bergmann of Bjarke Ingels Group underlined the value of the exchange between the two cultures.

In particular, De Bevilacqua cited Ernesto Gismondi, founder of the historic lighting company, as one of the most important figures in the relationship between the different languages ​​of Italian design, radical design (Sottsass) and industrial design (like the Vignellis).

The theme of Taylor made was addressed by architect Matteo Milani of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and CEO of Poltrona Frau Nicola Coropulis.

The latter highlighted how Frau's history is marked by the excellence of artisanal know-how which is perpetuated taking into account the evolutions that the history of design has gone through.

The third keyword, Work culture, featured Michael Gabellini of Gabellini Sheppard Associates and Laura Anzani, President and CEO Poliform USA.

Anzani gave an account of the importance that she has had over the years for her company in presiding over the American market and refining a cultural and commercial relationship between the two countries.

Then it was the turn of Giulio Cappellini, architect, designer and entrepreneur, and Stefano Giussani of Lissoni Architecture New York who discussed Innovation and value translation.

The two talked about their experiences in international markets and how it is important to combine the DNA of Italian design culture with that of the countries in which they operate.

From the product to the project and vice versa: on this last topic the discussion was between Francesco Farina, CEO of B&B Italia USA and Francesca Portesine of SOM – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

From America to Italy, from New York to Milan and vice versa.

For a shared vision of the architecture and design.