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2 September 2022
Projects that look to a sustainable future, icons of the 1900s and a focus on responsible design
Until 11 September, the Adi Design Museum in Milan hosts the twenty winning projects of the Compasso d’Oro, the most important Italian design award. Twenty ideas oriented, as ADI points out, to sustainable and responsible development. But also, to the simplification of life in light of its changes and the innovations required to respond to them. The jury of Annachiara Sacchi (president), Mario Cucinella, Stefano Micelli, Cloe Piccoli and Mirko Zardini wanted to emphasize the plurality of paths with which it is possible to provide answers to the fundamental problems of our time. The prizes awarded were intended to underline this plurality of directions, highlighting the designer’s contribution as a crucial junction of innovation processes “. Plurality. Because plural is the field of application of design intended as a tool for solving problems, an aspect described by the variety of award-winning projects.
Design as a solution
In the days of the pandemic, images of Isinnova Easy Covid-19 bounced on the web: a diving mask transformed into a makeshift breathing device. A frugal response to a complex problem awarded by this edition of the Compasso d’Oro which encompasses not only the design capacity but also the idea of reuse and sustainability promoted. In the healthcare sector, XOSoft, a device to help those with movement difficulties, and the Mia robotic hand were also awarded.
The innovative, functional, and essential furniture
The Compasso d’oro 2022 awarded solutions that make even small domestic environments complete and flexible. In general, attention was paid to the function and how this is translated into furniture. Among the awarded projects there is for example the Belt lamp by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Flos: it is a strip of leather, hence the name belt, in which the LED is integrated. A lamp that can take on different configurations, while being, in its structure, reduced to its essence. Minimal but with character, concrete in carrying out its function. Just like the Plato chair by Jasper Morrison for Magis. Made of die-cast aluminum, it is light, stackable, and suitable for both indoors and outdoors. Awarded by the Compasso d’Oro because “essential and rigorous, it distills the very idea of the chair. A contemporary, resistant, and long-lasting object in the name of sustainability “. The concreteness, knowing how to focus on the problem and solving it in a timely manner also become an aesthetic inspiration: the result is essential and elegant lines, versatile and suitable for different types of contexts of use, from private to contract.
The quintessence of iconic furniture
In parallel, the Compasso d’Oro for Lifetime Achievement awards significant personalities and projects of their time. Lessons for designing the future. This XXVII edition awarded, among the products, the Serie Up seat by Gaetano Pesce for B&B Italia. Designed in 1969, it evokes the shapes of a female body in its most generous and counter-current manifestation. The Compasso d’Oro for Lifetime Achievement also awarded the Ghost chair by Cini Boeri for Fiam in 1987. An innovative armchair from a formal and structural point of view, entirely made of 12mm curved glass, the result of avant-garde design research that leads with it the reflection on the desire to dematerialize furniture.
The third product career prize was awarded to Joe Colombo’s Minikitchen for Boffi. Designed in 1963, it was surprisingly ahead of the present times. A compact and complete mini kitchen that today, even more than yesterday, meets the needs of flexibility and completeness of small spaces.
The personalities of international design
The national career awards went to nine Italian personalities of international importance in the field of design. There are two women awarded: Rossana Orlandi, gallerist, and courageous talent scout and Rosy Vago, founder together with her husband of the furniture company Vago. Next to them, seven male personalities: Giovanni Anceschi, Francesco Binfaré, Giulio Cappellini, Antonio Citterio, Brunello Cucinelli, Michele De Lucchi, Giancarlo Zanatta.
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