“To create shared value in each of our projects” – design perspectives with Luciano Galimberti

The President of ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale) Luciano Galimberti talks about Italian design: its past, present, and future heritage

Italian design is one of a kind that has long history and future legacy yet to be seen. Therefore, it is not a surprise to find one of the largest museums in Europe dedicated to design is located in Milan: the ADI Design Museum, which features all the winning entries of the Compasso d’Oro Award, the most prestigious Italian design accolade.

Brilliantly promoting and giving value to the great cultural heritage, the ADI Design Museum was part of the MuseoCity event in Milan earlier this year (read our guide to the 10 best design museums in Milan and around), where its narrative and experiential spaces invite to interaction and exchange of ideas of designers and general public as well.

Luciano Galimberti, President of ADI since 2014 – © Martina Bonetti

DesignWanted had the opportunity to interview Luciano Galimberti, President of ADI since 2014.

During his time in ADI, he has lead the way with the unique objective to contribute to a new vision of design thinking for the many different challenges of contemporary society.

In this interview, Luciano Galimberti gets to talk about design as a discipline, what is expected for the future of design, the role of Italian design and its values, and the role of designers in today’s world.

ADI Design Museum _ Facciata Vetrata _ © Martina Bonetti
ADI Design Museum – ADI Design Museum façade – © Martina Bonetti

Thinking about the figure of the designer, what is the role of Italian design in the world today? How can young professionals express the values ​​of our past while responding to current challenges?

Luciano Galimberti:

“The values ​​of the past must have a correspondence with contemporary ones, otherwise the risk would be to create nostalgic proposals that have little to do with the profound meaning of design.

In this perspective, I believe that young professionals, more than being singers of the past, must take on the responsibility of being explorers of the future.

MISURARE IL MONDO _ © Martina Bonetti
ADI Design Museum – MISURARE IL MONDO – © Martina Bonetti

After all, Italian design has always done this (exploring the future) with some success, without chasing captivating fashion and shapes, but by building deep relationships.

This allows us (Italian designers) to be appreciated at all latitudes because we speak to the intimate of needs of humans.”

Often when we talk about Italian design, it is associated with the furniture world. What other product categories should be considered excellent examples of Italian creativity, especially considering the many technological innovations of the last decades?

Luciano Galimberti:

“The Compasso d’Oro award, in its first edition in 1954, demonstrated how design is a vast and rich territory, with solutions for all our daily activities and in every typological area.

The dialogue with innovation is a fundamental method factor for design and therefore the rapid growth of technological innovation can only be understood as enrichment.”

 Esp Presente Permanente - 2018 Furoshiki Vibram_Decostruzione del modello _ © Martina Bonetti
ADI Design Museum – Presente Permanente – 2018 Furoshiki Vibram, Decostruzione del modello – © Martina Bonetti

From your point of view, in terms of ecosystem, which sectors of the Italian design sector are the most competitive on the international scene today? And which ones could be subject to improvement?

Luciano Galimberti:

“Design is a systemic discipline, and for this reason it easily dialogues with the most structurally systemic thing there is that is life. This consideration leads us to reflect on the continuous improvement process that Italian design can have, and that I believe should introduce in every area.

I don’t believe in marketing positioning, I think rather that it is more important to build value in each of our projects, create shared value, capable of contributing to the improvement of the civil community.

ADI Design Museum _ Presente Permanente - 1979-LA FAMIGLIA DEGLI STRIPS-Rivestire di senso _ © Martina Bonetti
ADI Design Museum – Presente Permanente – 1979, LA FAMIGLIA DEGLI STRIPS, Rivestire di senso – © Martina Bonetti

The latest Compasso d’Oro was the first to have a declared theme: development, sustainability and responsibility, a trinomial that sets no boundaries to the fields of action and the strategic nature of design.”

The ADI Design Museum is situated in Milan’s piazza Compasso d’Oro with entrance from Via Ceresio 7 or Via Bramante 42. It was also featured in our guide to the best 10 design museums in Milan and around.

ADI Design Museum – Cumulatori – © Martina Bonetti

The venue is open to the general public, with the permanent exhibition featuring 2000 objects that have been granted the Compasso d’Oro from 1954 to today. The unique collection of design wonders is enriched with new acquisitions following each edition of the award.


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