At Cersaie, in the Sala Italia dei Congressi, the presentation conference of 'The Ideal City' was held on Thursday 28 September, the project by Mario Cucinella, winner of the competition for the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2025 which will be held in Osaka from 13April to 13 October 2023.
The meeting, organized by Cersaie in partnership with Interni and the General Commissariat for Italy at Expo 2025 Osaka, was attended by Giovanni Savorani, President of Confindustria Ceramica, Carlo Mandelli, CEO Mondadori Media and Director of Strategic Development of the Group, Gilda Bojardi, Director of the INTERNI System, Emilio Mussini, Vice President of Confindustria Ceramica,Mario Andrea Vattani, General Commissioner for Italy at Expo 2025 Osaka and Mario Cucinella – Mario Cucinella Architects, Designer Architect of the Italian Pavilion, Expo 2025 Osaka. The architect Matteo Vercelloni moderated.
Greetings from Giovanni Savorani, President of Confindustria Ceramica
The proceedings were opened by Giovanni Savorani who spoke by underlining the affinities and ideas existing between a fair like Cersaie which this year celebrated 40 years of activity and the Expo. “Cersaie – which this year had 634 exhibitors, 39% of which were foreign, coming from 26 nations around the world – and Expo 2025 Osaka have at least two points of proximity: they are both events in which it is possible to grasp the new trends in act and contexts in which the global excellence offered by exhibitors is presented to a wide international audience".
For the president of Confindustria Ceramica there is also a third reason for the closeness between the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2025 Osaka and the Italian ceramic industry: "Being standard bearers of that culture of 'good and beautiful living' which has always distinguished Italy, and which accredits us as the best interlocutors for building environments where the quality of life is placed at the centre". Finally, Savorani launched an invitation: to work together in harmony to improve our country, especially for those who need it most.
Greetings from Carlo Mandelli, CEO of Mondadori Media and Director of Strategic Development of the Group
The word then passed to Carlo Mandelli, who recounted the important transformation process that publishing has undergone in the last 10 years, explaining what it means today to be publisher: "conceiving editorial products as brands, but above all what matters is knowing how to intercept homogeneous communities and offer them stimuli.
This is what Gilda Bojardi did thirty years ago when she organized the first FuoriSalone: in the 1990s the internal brand intercepted the value of doing. What happened next is history. This is also the reason why we decided to be a communication partner for the Italian Pavilion in Osaka: to bring together homogeneous communities, collect concepts and sow these concepts that look towards the future".
The introduction by Gilda Bojardi, director of the INTERNI system
“The initial story of the collaboration between Interni and Expo 2025 Osaka” recalled Gilda Bojardi “started from Bergamo, last 12 September, at the Palazzo del Podestà in Piazza Vecchia, as part of the Landscape Festival Events – I Maestri del Paesaggio and Bergamo Brescia Capital of Culture 2023 and now continues at Cersaie where the best production and entrepreneurship in the ceramic sector give their best.
This event was born from the long-lasting and consolidated partnership over the years between Interni / Mondadori Group and the Italian Pavilion at the last three Universal Expos(Expo 2015 Milan - Expo 2020 Dubai and the future Expo 2025 Osaka of which Interni is media partner scheduled from 13 April to 13 October 2025).
The general theme Designing Future Society for Our Liveswas declined into the Renaissance theme which is still very current today The Ideal City from the Architecture Studio of Mario Cucinella based on the suggestions of the General Commissioner for Italy".
“As regards our collaboration with the ceramic world”, continued Gilda Bojardi “we can say that it is a long-standing collaboration both with Cersaie and with the companies in the sector, the result of a long and consolidated relationship.
With Cersaie in particular, it was born in 2002 with the “Involucri” project, developed under the direction of Massimo Iosa Ghini and which saw the participation of many international architects, from Marcio Kogan to Isay Weinfeld, from Hani Rashid to Shigeru Uchida”.
“As Carlo Mandelli anticipated” continued the director of the newspaper, “we are here to create a connection between the Italian Pavilion and the Fair. And if the Italian Pavilion, as I imagine, will shine a light on the house of the future, it will certainly address the theme of the building envelopes, a 'forerunner' cultural path compared to the (now current) use of ceramics for street furniture and large building facades”.
Gilda Bojardi also recalled the strong connection that exists between the ceramic material and INTERNI: "our FuoriSalone Event, which is held every year in the month of April in Milan, at the University of Studi di Milano, the Brera Botanical Garden and other city spaces that Interni 'reveals' to the city every year - such as the former Archiepiscopal Seminary in Corso Venezia, today the Portrait hotel Milan – offers installations by great international architects and ceramic, a living material with infinite possibilities of use and declination, is very often the protagonist".
To conclude: "I thank all of you, again, and invite you to stay 'connected' with Interni and our upcoming communication and promotion activities of this great project of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2025 Osaka and of the Country System". From now to 2025.
The speech by Emilio Mussini, Vice President of Confindustria Ceramica
For Emilio Mussini, the theme of the design and construction of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2025 in Osaka, read through a modern reinterpretation of the Renaissance 'Ideal City', “fits perfectly in Building Abitare Thinking, the cultural program that Cersaie has been implementing for over 10 years and which aims to consolidate the dialogue initiated with great architecture, in order to grasp the cornerstones outlined in the past and the possible evolutionary traits".
“In recent years” continued the president of the Panaria Group “at Cersaie we have had several high profile conferences, starting with the Lectio Magistralis of 12 Pritzker prize winners – the first of which was Renzo Piano in 2009”.
Mussini also focused on modern Italian ceramic production which could be protagonists of the architecture of tomorrow's cities: "This journey has already begun, even if what we still have to do is much more: if let's reread how the architectural space of Italian ceramic tile has evolved over the last 40 years, we can notice the transition from detail to general: from the bathroom, to the house, to the city.
An evolution made possible by a continuous flow of investments dedicated to the automation of the process, to the efficiency of the resources used, to the achievement of standards of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility at the highest levels in the world, reason so our participation in Osaka can be strategic to underline the extraordinary skills of our sector".
The speech by Mario Andrea Vattani, General Commissioner Expo 2025 Osaka
“The Osaka Expo with its 150 pavilions” – said Vattani – “will take place on an artificial island: they are building a tunnel that will connect to the island and widening the pre-existing bridge. This represents a challenge, but challenges are part of the character of these proud people."
“Moreover,” he continued, “today there are many expectations regarding Expo 2025, because it is seen as the occasion for the return of major events. >, after the bad experience of the Tokyo Olympics postponed due to the pandemic. 28 million visitors are expected, of which 80% are from Japan, but also from the countries of South East Asia which are experiencing a period of great excitement".
The General Commissioner also underlined that the Japanese have a great feeling with our country, they have many things in common: from hydrogeological disruptions, to the high population density which is aging more than elsewhere, but also the extraordinary craftsmanship and a undeniable sensitivity to beauty.
The Italian Pavilion can therefore be an important opportunity for all those cultural and entrepreneurial realities that want to create networks in the Far East: ""We commissioned a study from the Polytechnic of Milan which showed that from our participation in the Expo we can expect up to 6% more than Italian exports to Japan and we are talking about half a billion euros."
The speech by Mario Cucinella, designer of the Italian Pavilion, Expo 2025 Osaka
According to the Bolognese architect Mario Cucinella, who was welcomed by a lively applause of support from the numerous people present (in addition to the Italia room, Cersaie had to occupy a second room due to the high number of participantsed), "the concept of Città Ideale obviously arises from the Renaissance artistic tradition. Over the centuries, Italy has always aimed to build model cities. We have done this in art and the best-known example is the pictorial work preserved in Urbino, by an unknown artist, "The Ideal City" , (late 15th century) a representation totally dedicated to urban architecture. We then created, for political and military reasons, cities such as Palmanova, star-shaped cities with wonderful city walls and ideal cities such as Palmanova (16th century) and then cities linked to the times of industrial work such as Crespi d'Adda (19th century) , the reason perhaps is that we have always been hopeful of 'inventing' a new and better city".
“Today,” continued Cucinella, “when designing this wooden pavilion which pays homage to the famous Renaissance painting from which it takes its name, we asked ourselves what the ideal city of the future will be”. To provide an answer, Cucinella worked on multiple fronts. History, collecting the past experiences we have referred to and others.
theatre, because it is total art, an expression that brings together all artistic expressions and that we Italians have practiced since ancient times, bringing it towards that artistic expression that the whole world appreciates and recognizes in Italy and which is the 'Opera.
The square, or rather the ideal space for the market, for exchange and consequently for knowledge of the world.
The garden, a tribute to the beautiful Italian landscape, foreseen on the roof of the Pavilion, which reinterprets the idea of the Italian garden in a contemporary key "taking daily care of something such as a garden is a therapy for the soul as well as for the plants” states the greenest of Italian architects.
“And then,” concludes Cucinella, “to the claim of the Italian Pavilion 'Art regenerates life' (the DNA of this country) I would like to add a phrase from Monsignor Fisichella (the Vatican will have a part dedicated to interior of the Italian Pavilion ed): art regenerates life, but also hope. And this is what we must work on every day without forgetting it."