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The Beauty of Sustainability

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Italian Cultural Institute

39 Belgrave Square

London

SW1X 8NX

United Kingdom

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A lecture by architect Massimo Iosa Ghini

On the occasion of the second edition of the Italian Design Day, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the Italian Trade Agency, Fondazione la Triennale di Milano, Fondazione ADI-Compasso d'Oro, Salone del Mobile di Milano, Fondazione Altagamma.

Sustainable is a very fashionable term, as it should be, just as we should support everything it represents, during this completely positive green revolution. Yet, it has a feel about it of something “to be borne”, something exuding a touch of negativity. In sustainability, there’s an idea of effort, of strain, which, though necessary, might hint at an aversion to innovation and creativity.
Italian design is known world round for its ability to create innovation and to do so even with relatively scarce resources (a classic example is the use of wheels from airplane landing gear for the Vespa design). Above all, Italian design is known for its ability to mix technical aspects and ethical and aesthetic concerns, making our products diverse and easy to love. And beautiful?
We’ve never completely absorbed the Bauhaus lesson about the deterministic effect of function over form, preferring a broad humanistic design for everything from the spoon to the city. The contexts of our cities with their aesthetics of decorated representation, not at all technocratic, fostered this leaning. We became sensitive, skilled creators of aesthetic experiences and charming uncertainties, inexplicable by any logical reasoning, spurred only by the ceaseless pursuit of beauty.
Indescribable beauty, rebelling against any method; yet, so clearly recognizable when seen emerging from the neutral field of visual background noise.
(Massimo Iosa Ghini)

In this lecture, Massimo Iosa Ghini will talk about the humanistic idea of ​​careful design typical of the Made in Italy tradition, which combines energy saving and environment integration techniques without losing sight of the idea of expressing an aesthetic opinion, a character, a style.

Massimo Iosa Ghini (Bologna, 1959) is an architect, graduated from the Politecnico of Milan. Since 1985 he took part in avant-garde groups of Italian design, e.g. by founding the group Bolidismo and by joining the Memphis group with Ettore Sottsass.
He has been working in the field of product design, architectural and museum planning, public transport, as well as in the design of retail chains all over the world, developing projects for major international groups such as Ferrari, Capital Group, IBM Italia, CMC Group Miami, Seat Yellow Pages, Alitalia and many others.
His design and architectural works have been awarded honourable mentions including that of the Compasso D’Oro Award ADI, and various awards including the Good Design Award by the Chicago Athenaeum, the Red Dot Award and the iF Product Design Award, Germany, the Roscoe Award, USA, the IAI AWARD Green Design Global Award and the IAI Awards, Shanghai, China.
In 2013 the Triennale in Milan dedicated an entire anthology to his 30-years professional career, which was also hosted in 2014 at the Bologna Modern Art Museum, MAMbo. In 2015 one of his retail concept, KIKO MILANO, won the Best Retail Global Expansion award at MAPIC 2014. In 2015 Fondazione Marconi and Marconi Institute for Creativity awarded him the Marconi Award for Creativity in recognition of his creativity skills. In 2017 and 2018 he was appointed as “Ambassador of Italian Design” on occasion of the Italian Design Day, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the promotion of Italian and Italian lifestyle.

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Italian Cultural Institute

39 Belgrave Square

London

SW1X 8NX

United Kingdom

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