This has been an occasion for exchanging experiences, a moment when differences and points of contact have been identified between Chinese and Italian architects and designers. This debate has been held by Yang Dongjiang (curator of the exhibition “ Designing China – Mood Object” taking place in the West Arcades of the University), Yaoguang Chen and Simone Micheli, Hao Ruan and Marco Piva, Sherman Lin and Giovanni Polazzi di Archea, Frank Jiang, Valerio Maria Ferrari and Fabio Rotella.
China has changed in recent decades, especially after opening to the West. It has improved its ability to offer quality and it is still a country providing great opportunities, where you can implement large-scale architectural projects (Archea, for instance, is dealing with a project in an area of about 110,000 sq.m., Valerio Mario Ferrari is in charge of another project covering about 35,000 sq.m.).
From the 1980s on, China has recorded great developments in design. It has started from scratch and, numerically speaking, it can count on a great number of architects and designers. Its design has changed from traditional to modern, contemporary, more sophisticated and refined.
Furthermore, China is increasing its quality. The Chinese are no longer exclusively interested in “copying”, but in “understanding”, because in the end it’s intelligence that makes the difference. Evidence of this is provided by the fact that today what survives in architecture and design, both in China and Italy at an international level, are iconic works, distinctive projects far from being stereotyped.
And then we wonder, between China and Italy today, is it possible to have architects and designers cooperating or competition is the only way out? What matters is that competition, if any, must be based on quality, on a true dialogue between cultures. On the attempt to find out together how to build a new and qualitatively significant process making it possible to define shared values that can be proposed to the whole world.
Differences remain and there are many of them. There are different approaches to architecture and design. But competitiveness has no reason for being, the market is big, needs are varied, there is place for everybody.
Today our country is the world. There is neither difference nor competition between creative minds whose activity must share the same objective: creating a better world for those who will come after us. And from this point of view, China has a great responsibility because it is the largest market in the world.
You need to want to promote cultural interchange. The Chinese and the Italian cultures are thousands years old. They have many points of contact. In order to improve quality in our cities and our homes. Because our shared objective is that of creating architecture and design so that they can leave a mark in our society and history.
Text by Danilo Signorello – photos by Efrem Raimondi