The Italian perspective

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/19 17:28:39

Milan Design Week and Film Festival arrive in Shanghai

For the past 53 years, the city of Milan, Italy, has played host every April to one of the world's three most important design fairs. In 2017, Milan Design Week attracted 300,000 visitors flocking to the city to participate in the event, which included 2,000 exhibitors from 160 countries and regions, making it the largest in the world.

As the fashion capital of Italy, Milan is home to many preeminent Italian designers, but also serves as a backdrop for international designers collaborating and inspiring one another. Historically, the world has come to Milan for events like Milan Design Week to see and be seen. But now, it seems that the wonders of Milan are being brought to the world.

Shanghai will be getting a taste of the Italian lifestyle this month as part of the second annual Milan Design Week Out Shanghai, held from November 23 to 25 at Shanghai Exhibition Center. The event aims to challenge attendees' preconceptions about Italian culture by showcasing the nation's most innovative designers.

"Milan Design Week is not only intended to strengthen the relationship and communication between China and Italy from a business and cultural perspective, but also make Italian lifestyle more accessible and affordable to a wider audience in China, who, we believe, has become one of the most significant markets for many Italian businesses," said a representative from the Jing'an Commission of Commerce.

Organized by the Consulate General of Italy in Shanghai, Italian Trade Agency and the China-Italy Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Jing'an district, the event is sure to provide a nuanced perspective of modern Italy. The schedule includes a variety of activities including master classes, demonstrations, food and wine tastings, discussion forums, as well as intimate cocktail parties and VIP lunches.

The festivities are divided into two sections. "Icons of Fashion" will be positioned outside the Shanghai Exhibition Center alongside Nanjing West Road and dedicated to introducing Italian fashion and style to the Chinese audience.

Additionally, the 1,000 square-meter exhibition center will be converted into an indoor "Garden of Lifestyle," serving as a backdrop for attendees as they experience the Italian lifestyle, design, food and wine.

Film fest

Preceding Design Week Out, a two-day film festival was held for the first time this year at Jing'an District Culture Center on November 18 and 19. Organized by the Italian Cultural Institute, Milan Design Film Festival is centered on four themes; Design, Architecture, Urban Planning and Sustainability.

These themes reflect the way that Italy has developed in the modern era and showcase the combination of efficient industrial production and aesthetic principles, which Italian designers have become world famous for.

In total, nine films were screened, including short films such as the delightfully simple The Flying Gardeners (2016), which gave viewers an intimate look into Milan's Vertical Forest and the daring botanists who care for it.

Longer works such as Maddelena!, an in-depth documentary about the so-called First Lady of Italian Design, Maddelena de Podova, examine her journey through the then-male-dominated world of furniture design.

As a continuation of the long-standing relationship between Italy and China, Milan Design Week Out Shanghai and the accompanying Milan Design Film Festival have brought Italian design to Shanghai to help visitors understand the Italian perspective, providing an intriguing counterpoint to the traditional Chinese lifestyle.

The story was written by Katie Kelly.

A poster for Milan Design Week Photo: Courtesy of Studio Stefano Boeri Architect

A poster for Milan Design Week Photo: Courtesy of Studio Stefano Boeri Architect

A poster for Milan Design Week Photo: Courtesy of MiCue Milano Design




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