Exhibition from Micro to Macro

From April 20 to May 4, 2018 Italian Design Association (IDA) and the Italian Consulate organised in the Shekou Design Museum of Design Society the Exhibition ‘From Micro to Macro’:Italian Designers in South China during Shenzhen Design Week (SZDW). Italian Ambassador Ettore Sequi inaugurated the show held in cooperation with NABA-New Academy of Fine Arts, Domus Academy, with the sponsorship of Taramelli Group. The 1300 sqm pavilion has been curated by the Department of Architecture and Design of Turin Polytechnic.

Italy is the Country of Honor during the 2nd edition of the Shenzhen Design Week (SZDW). Sponsored by the Municipality of Shenzhen, the SZDW, due to thematic breadth and quality of the submitted projects, is considered one of the most important events organized in China in the field of design.

The Italian participation develops throughout the Week with seminars and workshops, and takes the form of a Pavilion, especially designed by the members of an Association based in Shenzhen – Italian Design Association (IDA)–and curated by the Department of Architecture and Design of Turin Polytechnic. The event is promoted by the Consulate General of Italy in Guangzhou, and supported by Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Association, in partnership with NABA-New Academy of Fine Arts, Domus Academy, with the sponsorship of Taramelli Group.

Can a spoon and a city have something in common?

“From the spoon to the city” is the slogan created by world famous Italian architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers in 1952, on the occasion of the drafting of the famous “Athens Charter”. After many years, this statement seems to still be able to represent a valid starting point to show and describe the approach of Italian design and its intrinsic value when attending to modern challenges, especially those offered by contemporary China.

The theme of the exhibition, “From Micro to Macro: Italian designers in South China” has the ambitious objective to to highlight the strong presence of Italian design professionals in China, active in several, very different, fields of design. Even more importantly, it would explicit and enhance the ability of a single designer to manage in a flexible and coherent way the design process, adopting an approach that could be used at different scales of intervention. Moreover, such an approach can also be seen as a representation of a clear Italian vision, dedicated to investigating the complex challenge posed by the very idea of sustainable development. The pavilion would like to enhance the possibility in the design of single micro object, such as a spoon, to interact while being responsible within a broader complex system, such as the contemporary city.

With this consideration in mind, the exhibition has been divided into four sections representing specific attitudes permitting designers to move from Micro to Macro, starting from how they arranged their approach towards creativity. Unexpected, Mindful, Responsive, Interaction, do not represent a dimensional taxonomy, but the recombination of those possibilities truly offered by design, generating visions capable to overcome spatial boundaries and strategically give responses to contemporary issues.

The Italian Pavilion: Possibilities of Design is hosted in Shenzhen UCCN (Unesco Creative Cities Network) Exchange Center at Design Society | Sea World Culture and Arts Center. The exhibition “From Micro to Macro: Italian Designers in South China” shows the work of young Italian professionals based in the Pearl River Delta. 

The “Italian Day” on 22 April is also one of the most important moments of the Shenzhen Design Week. The Day has been an opportunity for discussion on the themes of design and sustainable development between Italian and Chinese professionals, through meetings and seminars that animated the Pavilion throughout the week. The Italian Day introduced to the Chinese public the themes of the multidisciplinarity of Italian design skills that, in the Pearl River Delta, translate into the ability to firstly manage the entire project cycle, and not just the product, then in the “sustainability” as a minimum common denominator of every initiative, and finally in a constant reference to the tradition of trade between the Mediterranean and the Far East along the Silk Road.

The ideal closing of the Week has been organized by NABA – New Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, an interactive presentation called “Design in the Air”, and on the “Milano Souvenir” project set up in the Pavilion spaces.