All About Italy (USA) - - Editorial - Martina Morelli

Lu­ciano Gal­im­berti, the in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous de­sign man­ager, is also the Pres­i­dent of ADI, the Ital­ian As­so­ci­a­tion for In­dus­trial De­sign. He talks with us about his vi­sion of de­sign and new prospects for the fu­ture.

The founder, to­gether with Rolando Bor­sato, of the Mi­lanese stu­dio BG + pro­get­tazione, ever and al­ways in the avant-garde in the sec­tors of ar­chi­tec­ture, in­te­rior de­sign, ex­hi­bi­tion de­sign and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Lu­ciano Gal­im­berti from the be­gin­ning set him­self the goal of go­ing be­yond the tra­di­tional ar­ti­sanal role of pro­fes­sional stu­dios, and in­stead op­er­at­ing with the con­cept of “de­sign think­ing” in var­i­ous hous­ing and work en­vi­ron­ments. “De­sign think­ing” means that the group helmed by Gal­im­berti has al­ways sup­ported the idea of work­ing on the de­sign of a project by bring­ing to­gether all of the in­ter­ested par­ties from the very first phases of con­cep­tion in a struc­ture based on stren­u­ous qual­ity re­search us­ing avant-garde in­stru­ments and a de­sign method that never ceases to amaze. His is a true vo­ca­tion that, to­gether with his in­nate pas­sion for the world of de­sign and art, earned him the nom­i­na­tion as Pres­i­dent of the ADI, the as­so­ci­a­tion that since 1956 has been a lead­ing pro­tag­o­nist in the devel­op­ment of Ital­ian in­dus­trial de­sign as a cul­tural and eco­nomic phe­nom­e­non. The ADI brings to­gether de­sign­ers, man­u­fac­tur­ers, re­searchers, pro­fes­sors, crit­ics and jour­nal­ists on a non-profit ba­sis to dis­cuss the themes of de­sign and to pro­mote and help im­ple­ment the most ap­pro­pri­ate con­di­tions for the de­sign of goods and ser­vices through cul­tural de­bate, in­ter­ven­tion with in­sti­tu­tions and the pro­vi­sion of ser­vices. In ad­di­tion, the ADI, since 1962, owns and man­ages the Golden Com­pass Prize, the old­est Euro­pean recog­ni­tion in the de­sign sec­tor, takes care of a col­lec­tion of the win­ning ob­jects from the var­i­ous edi­tions, and pro­motes his­tor­i­cal re­search and indepth di­dac­tic ex­hi­bi­tions. Each year, the ADI se­lects a se­ries of cre­ations for the ADI De­sign In­dex in or­der to high­light the best Ital­ian de­sign prod­ucts, which also com­pete for the ADI De­sign In­dex Prize for In­no­va­tion. Apro­pos this ini­tia­tive, Gal­im­berti has said: “De­sign is a sys­tem that puts pro­duc­tion into re­la­tion­ship with re­searchers, in­no­va­tors and engi­neers in or­der to en­sure func­tion­al­ity, so­cial value and cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance to the goods and ser­vices dis­trib­uted on the mar­ket.” Gal­im­berti of­fers us a per­sonal and fas­ci­nat­ing vi­sion of de­sign, speak­ing to us also of the fu­ture of the as­so­ci­a­tion.

Lu­ciano Gal­im­berti

You have an in­nate pas­sion for the world of de­sign and art that, to­gether with your nu­mer­ous recog­ni­tions gath­ered over the years, has earned you the post of Pres­i­dent of the ADI. Where does this propen­sity come from?

Ever since I can re­mem­ber, I have cre­ated at least one draw­ing ev­ery day. I have al­ways found it eas­ier to ex­press emo­tions and rea­son­ing by means of a draw­ing: I have the luck to be able to make thoughts con­crete in im­ages. I don’t draw par­tic­u­larly well, but I suc­ceed in eas­ily ex­press­ing the key con­cepts. Cer­tainly I think this is a nat­u­ral propen­sity, but art, de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture are more than that for me: they are a strong pas­sion that I con­stantly cul­ti­vate. They rep­re­sent my world and my work to make the world a bet­ter place.

Your mis­sion en­tails, on one hand, work that is rooted in the ter­ri­tory, and on the other hand, a larger pres­ence abroad. The start­ing point for both of these vec­tors is Mi­lan. Why?

If I dealt with Re­nais­sance art, I would cer­tainly base my­self in Florence. In­evitably, start­ing from Mi­lan high­lights the heart of a phe­nom­e­non which had its ori­gin there, but which has spread Ital­ian ideas and tal­ent through­out the world. I would coin the word “Glo­cal” to de­scribe it: it val­ues the lo­cal as well as global com­par­isons.

A process of in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion that has be­gun with the in­sti­tu­tion of the in­ter­na­tional ADI Golden Com­pass Prize: what will this open­ing bring?

The dif­fer­ence be­tween style and de­sign is that style gives form to prod­ucts and de­sign gives form to life, and be­cause this re­ally hap­pens, tech­ni­cal and sci­en­tific ac­tiv­ity needs to be com­bined with a sys­tem of shared val­ues. I await a con­fronta­tion on these val­ues and a greater con­scious­ness that man is the true cen­ter of any de­sign project.

“Ital­ian de­sign has al­ways dis­tin­guished it­self for hav­ing know how to put man at the cen­ter of its projects.” Lu­ciano Gal­im­berti, Pres­i­dent of the ADI, the Ital­ian As­so­ci­a­tion for In­dus­trial De­sign

There re­mains the fact that the pro­mo­tion of Ital­ian ex­cel­lence in the sec­tor passes through the Golden Com­pass Prize, for which you are re­ceiv­ing nom­i­na­tions. What is hap­pen­ing in the cur­rent de­sign panorama?

It’s less mono­lithic than in the past. I don’t see any ho­mo­ge­neous ten­dency, but cer­tainly an ever-greater con­scious­ness of the strate­gic value that de­sign as­sumes with re­spect to re­spon­si­ble devel­op­ment.

The com­plex net­work of the en­tire de­sign sec­tor gath­ers to­gether un­der the aegis of the ADI. How do you suc­ceed in get­ting so many dif­fer­ent re­al­i­ties to co­habit? The ADI has never been a sim­ple trade as­so­ci­a­tion; it was con­sciously cre­ated as a place and con­text for con­fronta­tion and syn­ergy be­tween the var­i­ous com­po­nents of the project, with the sim­ple but ex­tremely ef­fec­tive con­sid­er­a­tion that to cre­ate good de­sign one needs to have a de­signer, a busi­ness, a distri­bu­tion chan­nel, a com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem, and, fur­ther on, an ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem. Know­ing each other and talk­ing with each other is quite use­ful and af­ter 60 years of his­tory I would say that the idea is re­ally good.

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