I am Gilda Bojardi, director in charge of Interni magazine (Mondadori Group) and of all the publications of its System including the “Design Index” and “FuoriSalone” Guides, the Monographs “Annual”, special issues, and more.
“Italy and Japan are the largest exporters of aesthetic goods in the world. In design, fashion and food, they seem to hold an international leadership that has lasted for many years. These two countries have completely different histories and geographies; but they have developed an equal ability to concentrate on the objects that surround man, a great energy of communication; almost as if their form and function were entrusted with the task of signaling the presence of those many unanswered questions that man asks about his life and his work, becoming intermediaries between physical realities and metaphysical questions" Andrea Branzi
Starting from this quotation, we intend to propose a reflection on the "quality that illuminates", (the theme of this year's Italian Design Day) through the pages of the magazine Interni, which has always been a great admirer of Japanese Design, from Architects to the Designers.
About Italian Design Days around the world read here
I'm here with Toshiyuki Kita to discuss this topic; KITA is a friend, and a master in combining Japanese and Italian manufacturing know-how in his products.
Interni, founded in 1954 as the first Italian magazine of Interior Design, is today one of the major international communication networks of the Project, with a multimedia platform that makes use of the Website and Social Networks.
Osaka and Milan have been twinned since 1981 and Interni celebrated with two monographic issues in 2001 and 2016 the culture and relations between Japan and Italy, in the field of Architecture and Design through projects, products and visions.
The two countries have a common goal: to cultivate a sense of beauty and practice the art of designing and producing in compliance with those essential principles such as sustainability, respect for the environment and protection of natural resources, without neglecting the ancient craft techniques, quality and attention to detail.
"Made in Japan" is increasingly identified with the idea of a Design characterized by innovation and technological research, in line with the current research of Italian Design.
Witness the presence of projects by Italian architects in Japan - such as Renzo Piano, Aldo Rossi and Mario Bellini, Michele De Lucchi, Piero Lissoni, Antonio Citterio, Archea, Sergio Calatroni etc - as well as in Italy the architectures of Japanese architects from Tadao Ando, Toyo Ito, Arata Isozaki, Kengo Kuma, SANAA (Kazujo Sejima), Kenzo Tange etc. or the products of Japanese designers such as Toshiyuki Kita, Tokujin Yoshioka, Naoto Fukasawa, Shigeru Uchida, Yoshimi Tanaki, Setsu and Shinobu Ito, Toshiko Mori, Mist-o, Nendo etc. for Italian companies.
Even the Universities of Milan – e.g. the Polytechnic and Design schools (IED, Istituto Marangoni, Naba) see the large presence of Japanese Students.
It is certainly a choice dictated by a great attraction for the Italian culture and lifestyle.
Numerous Japanese designers have found a home and fertile ground for their creativity in Italy, especially in Milan.
Among these Makio Hasuike was among the first to found his studio in Milan in 1968. In over fifty years of activity he has developed numerous projects and since 1982 he has founded the design company MH Way, a leading company in the production of luggage.
In Milan since 1989 also Kazuyo Komoda, designer, where he opens his own studio. For ten years Keiji Takeuchi </ strong> has been coming to the city to found the European headquarters of Naoto Fukasawa's studio and in 2015 he founded his own studio (Boffi, De Padova, Living Divani, Fucina).
Kensaku Oshiro also collaborated with architectural firms from 2004 to 2016 and in 2017 he opened his own studio, OSHIRO. While the artist Satoshi Kawamoto decides to open in Milan, after Tokyo and New York, the third Green Fingers Market, a space where plants and shrubs mix with objects. Still others such as the design studio Mist-o, Noa Ikeuchi and Tommaso Nani, and the visual artist Haruka live and work between Italy and Japan.
In 1990 Interni conceived the FuoriSalone event, the famous Milanese Design Week which over the years has become the most important Design Week for creativity, projects and performances at an international level.
In December 2021 we published and presented Volume XXX-Y 30 Years of FuoriSalone | 1990-2020 Milano DesignStories: over 500 pages, more than 1000 images.
To celebrate this confrontation between our two cultures, also in the Big Events of Interni in April, during the FuoriSalone, we worked with numerous Japanese designers, already in our first edition of the 1998 we had among the various installations that of Toshiyuki Kita, and so to follow in the following years, in the Triennale, Castello Sforzesco, University of Milan, the Brera Botanical Garden and other iconic places (historic buildings, multistores, etc.) of the city.
All the installations that we are going to present in chronological order and which see the participation of Japanese architects and designers almost by chance have a common denominator, Light, the theme of this year's edition of the IDD: The quality that illuminates< /strong>. The Energy of Design for people and the environment.
Light protagonist during the day but even more so in the evening.