“Italy’s people have long been admired for the everyday creative expression that contributes to la dolce vita. This includes a culture of excellence in design that applies aesthetic considerations to everyday objects, taking them from the prosaic to the sublime,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry in his introductory message in the exhibition’s Italian Design Innovation – ADI Design Index 2012 catalogue.
Alessandro Sarfatti, former CEO of Luceplan, attributed the success of Italian design to the “fantastic alchemy” that exists between entrepreneurs, designers and suppliers. “These three actors have made Italian design what it is today,” he said. “The designer brings into the company his vision of the world, his ideas and then it is up to the company to stick to the project and realize it,” he said pointing to his experience in developing the iconic “Hope” lamp. Built around the idea of the lighthouse lamp developed by the 19th century French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, the lamp is the product of a lengthy iterative process. After months of experimentation, the mutual trust that existed between the company and the designers, made it possible to overcome design challenges and to produce a high quality, commercially successful product.
The evolving business landscape, however, is putting this traditional business model and these traditional relationships under threat. “The challenge for designers today is to rebuild these relationships and to reignite the creative process within companies,” said Valentina Downey who through her LAB.BRAIN.LAB project works with companies to cultivate the proactive and strategic use of design to boost performance. - WIPO Magazine