The projects selected in the competition “Design: a Voyage in Italy and Spain” were announced during an evening event at the Italian Embassy in Madrid

On 26 February, at the Italian Embassy in Madrid, Italian Design Day 2020 took place, well ahead of the date set by the Ministry (26 March), to link up to the exciting activities taking place in the Spanish capital in the month of February, thanks to the Madrid Design Festival which reaches its third iteration this year.

For the occasion, during the evening awards were assigned to the best projects by young students and new professionals in Spain, as part of the competition Design: a Voyage in Italy and Spain 2020. The works were selected by an international jury and will be displayed in the form of prototypes made by seven Italian design companies, during the upcoming FuoriSalone at the Università degli Studi di Milano, in the context of the exhibition organized by Interni Creative Connections, in an installation produced by the Italian Embassy in Madrid.

The jurors included the design ambassador of IDD in Madrid, Professor Francesco Zurlo, vice-dean of the School of Design of the Milan Polytechnic. In his talk, Zurlo emphasized that the relations between the two countries are very close (the School of Design of the Polytechnic collaborates with 25 Spanish universities), and referring to the etymology of design, “from the Latin De-Signo, to leave a sign” and of project “from the Latin Pro-Jecto, to throw beyond,” he underlined that practicing design in its most current concept means having “a natural leaning towards the future...” This implies taking four fundamental concepts into account, “growth, sustainability, innovation and beauty.” Without forgetting our roots, “the historical value of the Mediterranean tradition, where projects – unlike other realities – always have a matrix of a cultural nature.”

These were also the considerations behind the decisions of the international jury of the competition. The ambassador Stefano Sannino commented: “With this initiative that is inserted in the ITmakES project created and taken forward in these years by the Embassy, we have given form to a new philosophy of promotion of our creative cultural industry, based on the value of ‘virtuous relations’ that exist between companies, young talents, the media and education centers in Italy and Spain, in a logic of dialogue and collaboration between the two countries. We are convinced that the project has opened up new spaces to support the value of Italian design in Spain and to foster the connection between the local creative world and Italian companies in this sector, which represent one of our country’s fields of excellence.”

From the many submitted projects,” Zurlo added, “we have selected those that best interpret the theme of the competition, namely The Object of Identity, that object that helps us to remember our identity and that has to adapt to an increasingly flexible lifestyle, in which we need lighter ‘backpacks.’ These are artifacts,” the Design Ambassador continued, “that grasp the collective need for identity and a sense of belonging that is increasingly necessary in the creative world, which the new industry of design will have to take into account in the future.” Furthermore, “the challenge met by the young winners has been to design an object we feel we have always known, that resolves the present, responding to timely needs of the world in which we live, but also accompanying us into the near future with the capacity to adapt, to be recycled and transformed,” said Patrizia Catalano, curator of the project, representing Interni in Madrid.

The jury chaired by Sannino and composed of the editor of Interni Magazine Gilda Bojardi, the vice-dean of the Product Design program of Politecnico di Milano Francesco Zurlo, the president of the Associazione per il disegno industriale (ADI) Luciano Galimberti, the president of COAM Belén Hermida, the president of ADI-FAD Salvi Plaja and the designer Mariano Martín representing DIMAD selected: Blanca Galán Merino and Pablo Sinan Akgül Garcimartín, students at IED Madrid, with the project “Anyway” produced by True Design; Amalia Puga Cividanes, student at ELISAVA, with the project “Entre Redes”, produced by EMU; Diego Finger, student at the Technical Superior School of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, with the project “Gya”, produced by Baleri Italia; Paula Chacártegui, student at IED Barcelona, with the project “Kama”, produced by Alessi; Daniela Grisel Beizaga Laura, student at IED Madrid, with the project “Marana Wooden Knife”, produced by Disegno Mobile; Carla Jörgens Vidal, student at IED Barcelona, with the project “Nähe”, produced by Martinelli Luce; Irene Infantes, professional under 35, with the project “Trashumancia”, produced by Cc-tapis.

The initiative carried out in Madrid is part of the overall Vivere all’Italiana strategy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.