IED at the Italian Design Day

The Italian Design Day is the fruitful result of the teamwork promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the Triennale di Milano, ICE/ITA Agency, the Salone del Mobile di Milano, the Association of Industrial Design and the Compasso d’Oro Foundation.

The 2020 edition theme is Drawing the Future. Development, Innovation, Sustainability, Beauty. The theme will be expressed with particular attention to sustainability by 100 “Italian design ambassadors” – architects, designers, academics, business people, critics, communicators – who will bring us the best of Italian design.

IED contributes to the project with several online lectures about Italian Design held by a selection of 7 Design Ambassadors from its world-wide network of professionals and with a special Scholarship Contest dedicated to Turkish students.


IED x IDD 2020 - International Scholarship contest for Turkey: Designing Imagination

In the framework of the Italian Design Day 2020, IED – Istituto Europeo di Design, in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in Turkey, the Consulate General of Italy in Istanbul, the Italian Cultural Institute in Istanbul, Yildiz Technical University, and the Istanbul Design Biennial will award 1 special merit-based scholarship to attend 1 Semester Course (IED Milano/ IED Firenze) in 2021/22
to the winner of IEDxIDD 2020 International Scholarship contest: Designing Imagination.
The contest is open to all the students and designers (aged 18+) legally resident in Turkey who want to challenge themselves with sustainable design.



Designing Imagination

Design is a tool to understand the present and imagine the future, proposing visions before solutions.IED as a school, in its methodology and all its courses is going beyond the traditional “human centered” approach and is embracing the “design for communities” one.We consider communities citizens of the same geographical areas, people working in specific industries and supply chains or temporary communities such as the students, sharing spaces and goals for a limited timeframe. 

Participants of the contest are called to present the concept of: a product OR a space OR a service or a combination of them being inspired by the theme of the Italian Design Day 2020 : Drawing the future. Development, Innovation, Sustainability, Beauty, and taking into consideration the theme of the Istanbul Design Biennial : Empathy revisited, design for more than one, as well as the IED approach described above.

Download the regulations above for more details.

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IED X IDD 2020

Each Ambassador of Italian Design was asked to write a reflection on the Post-covid reality taking into consideration the centrality of design in re-shaping the world. They chose to do it by talking about projects carried out by IED students or Alumni. Below is the selection of IED Ambassadors and here you can find the full programme of IED contributions to the IDD 2020 online lectures.

fulvio alvisi - woman in "sage"silk

woman in sage silk

Year: 2019
ProducerVictoria Xerra, Loretta Marino e Brigitta Gaiani, students in Fashion & Textile Design – Accademia di Belle Arti Aldo Galli – IED Group

Starting again after a forced stop, trying to combine the desire for normality with the awareness of the need for changed relationships with people and the environment. Color and design as a reinterpretation of communication and processes.
Video contribution to IDD.

riccardo balbo - tracy


Project: TRACY
Year: 2020
Designer: IED TORINO MASTER STUDENTS IN TRANSPORTATION DESIGN, coordinated by Alessandro Cipolli and Davide Tealdi
Producer: IED Torino and EDAG Italia

The restrictions imposed by the closure due to covid-19 have generated reflections on many aspects of daily life, including mobility. The new needs of the sector include concepts such as flexibility, security, sharing.

TRACY, the new concept vehicle created by the students of the Master in Transportation Design at IED Torino, is a vehicle that interprets the challenges of modernity and expands the concept of shared sustainable mobility. TRACY combines the concepts of micro mobility, private, public and shared mobility, proposing a solution with the aim of promoting a new sense of sharing even in  unconventional scenarios.

simona bordone - un patto bellissimo

un patto bellissimo

Project: The Gio Ponti’s Superleggera (1957) and the Anonimo contemporaneo (2019) by Francesco Faccin in conversation. Illustration Davide Sottile, IED Milano

Design is a multi-faceted form of thought that keeps us connected to the material world and therefore to our bodies. The pandemic has taught us a harsh lesson, confronting us with the unsustainability of our way of life and the prospect of a severe economic crisis. We have discovered that we are not monads. But design can contribute to a fairer and more democratic world, even though there are contradictions and tensions pulling in the opposite direction. This is why a pact between generations must be sealed. Every technology involved in design is a form of thought – be it time-honored craftsmanship or the most advanced AI research. Exchange between generations creates opportunities for different forms of thought. Positive relationships inspire good ideas. And the latter, in turn, lead to “things” of beauty.
Design thrives when collective.

stefano carta vasconcellos - cucina leggera

Progetto senza titolo

Project: Cucina Leggera
Year: 2018
Designer: Stefano Carta Vasconcellos

Lightness, contemporaneity, sensitivity towards behaviour and boldness project approach are distinctive elements of the Italian design that combined with modern projects needs, connected principally with social and ecological
impact can help to create a contemporary paradigm of design process extremely important in the actual context.
Video contribution to IDD.

alessandro manetti - ema


Project: EMA
Year: 2019
Producer: IED Barcelona and Hospital de San Joan de Deu in Barcelona

In recent months, global health systems and their chain of services have acquired a global role as the main tool for managing the pandemic. Precisely for this reason, greater awareness of the form and function of spaces and products in the hospital sector has spread. Anastasiia Kuliabina’s EMA electrocardiogram changes the paradigm of medical technical language and generates an empathetic speech with the youngest patient through the semantics of colors and the game metaphor.
Video contribution to IDD

andrea tosi - ied and the global goals jam


Year: 2019
Producer: IED in partnership with Amsterdam Digital Society School with the United Nations Development Programme

Designers and humanity as a whole are facing 2 global issues: Earth pollution and a pandemic, the latter interconnected with the first. Such challenges know no borders, nor cultural differences: they can be faced only by cooperation.

The need to switch from individualistic consumerism to validity for collectivity is the way to achieve sustainability through design.
Video contribution to IDD

igor zanti - the time is now!

the time is now

Year: 2018/2019
ProducerIED / Consorzio Italiano Detox / Greenpeace Italia

It is an increasingly widespread opinion that one of the contributing causes of the recent global health emergency is to be found in the over-exploitation of resources and damage to ecosystems. This is why the commitment to environmental sustainability cannot slow down and indeed must become a priority in the agendas of all countries and all industries.

The Time is Now! is a project by IED, in its focus on sustainability, issued in 2019 on the occasion of Pitti Immagine Uomo.
Video contribution to IDD



The 2019 edition was dedicated to the city of the future, with a focus on the relationship between design and architecture with space: physical, economic, social and environmental. IED contributed to the project with a selection of 8 Design Ambassadors.


Beijing – China
Riccardo Balbo – IED Academic Director

Design is a language that can enable changing processes. Its disruptive approach and its values foster innovation with a sustainable, inclusive and comprehensive perspective.

Lima – Peru
Alessandro Manetti – IED Spain Director

An incursion in the main trends that will have a strong impact in the next 15 years on the lives of the citizens at macro-cultural, macro-economic and technological levels. Let them be design-driven.

The different scenarios will be explored through examples, in which the Italian and European design - including both academic and professional projects - can play an important role by generating effective and innovative answers. Deflexor 2033 is a visual map that brings together these design scenarios and trends becoming a useful tool to guide - both companies and design professionals - in the generation of innovative solutions designed for new habits and new identities of the people.

Ankara – Turkey
Laura Negrini – IED Rome Director

Italy is not a country rich in raw materials. Therefore, Italian design has learned to transform those provided by others, to hand down productive knowledge, to build alliances, to transgress. With proud freedom and open-mindedness.

Times have changed and we are now living in an era of migrations, new technologies, fast-changing markets. Design and future city face the ability to operate within complicated systems, to connect knowledge within the community, identifying more exclusive and operational spaces, where there they seem to disappear. In an undisciplined way.
Today Rome might be one of the most tough cities for developing an overall strategic project and for the same reason the city is still capable to fulfil extemporaneous and discontinuous requests.
Based on these considerations, Italian un-disciplined design will present Bike Rome thesis project, developed by IED in collaboration with Roma Municipality . The project - involving 9 departments: Interior Design, Product Design, Graphic Design, Media, Sound, Fashion Design, Jewelry Design, Communication Design and Advertising Communications - explores multidisciplinary connections strategies aiming at integration, among cycling mobility and enhancement of the environmental heritage of the city, two components that are the basis of the prospect of a great connection between design and the city of the future.

Istanbul – Turkey
Andrea Tosi – Head of IED International Academic Relations participated in a panel on SMART RESILIENT APPROACH FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION

Passing through the projects developed by design students in IED Milano in the past few years, we realized that design is driving innovation towards a definition of environmental sustainability, revealing a new role for design in achieving resilience experienced by the citizens in their daily lives.

Well known as Italy’s financial, commercial, and industrial centre, Milan is one of the world capitals for fashion and design culture. It is now member of 100 Resilient Cities, a project pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation with a Resilient Office at City of Milan Municipality. The aim is propelling the city through the process of building resilience, especially by actions of urban regeneration to eliminate tangible and intangible barriers, while ensuring equitable access to public services and the introduction of technological innovations for urban connectivity and social inclusion.
For this reason, the paper aims at investigating the role of design in the relationship between resilience strategy, considering also the issue of new technologies that can therefore suggest new forms of personal belongings, and services designed to affect citizens’ resilience and adaptation towards climate, physical, social, economic changes and crisis at the urban scale.

Teheran – Iran
Giovanni Ottonello – IED Art Director
proposed a multi sensorial approach on SMART CITY, DESIGN, ART AND FASHION OF THE FUTURE

The vision of new cities obviously does not belong only to contemporaneity but cities that could be new or “on a human scale” have always been spoken / desired / dreamed of. The purpose of this intervention is to open a window on what is happening right now in the fields of creativity, also telling a brief history of smart cities and their contemporary implications.

Recent data state that by 2050 the global population living in urban areas will double and more than 70% of the inhabitants of our planet will live in a city. These alarming data make us think about broader and more complex issues connected with migratory flows, the work system, hygiene, means of transport, communication and integration. The next challenge will surely be played in finding a balance and management of these processes. The city therefore becomes a place of aggregation able to sustain and guarantee quality of life and relationship with the surrounding environment. Our era will therefore be marked by a new word: smart city. Behind it concepts that involve technology, research and new strategies are hidden.
Living an intelligent city also means being aware of how to live it and having the tools to feel ourselves part of a wider project. So Product Design produces shapes while Fashion protects us with innovative materials and finally the art moves on a railways track to draw our attention. Why the five senses? Because they are part of us and through them we are more stimulated. We must start from this for an unexpected future.

Ashgabat – Turkmenistan
Igor Zanti – IED Firenze Director

Taking inspirations from the work of Italian street artist Millo, that is part of a urban regeneration project- The Culture’s Garden- located just close to the headquarter of IED in Milan, we will start an excursus through different projects between design, art, architecture, territorial marketing, which show how arts are becoming one of the basic ideas to design new models of future cities.

Minsk- Belarus
Carlo Branzaglia – IED Milan Postgraduate coordinator
presented projects about REGENERATIONS ON URBAN SCALE

Regeneration means optimizing what already exist to avoid waste of resources (human, economic, territorial). It also means, therefore, giving back value to communities, culture to spaces, perspectives to economic activities: that’s why the word ‘regenerations’ is plural.

Regenerations are possible through a participated, horizontal and transversal co-design process in which the cultural and creative industries play a leading role.
Bargellino 3.0 is a project for territorial activation and urban regeneration of an industrial area at the gates of the city of Bologna that ends a process of co-design activities on an urban scale. It has been chosen because it represents the conclusion of a design model applied to industrial territories in which economics, society and culture interact under the guidelines of as strategic as flexible guidelines, run by an efficient administration.

La Valletta – Malta
Michael Robinson – IED Lecturer and Car Designer spoke about THE CASE OF ALFA ROMEO PANDION CONCEPT BERTONE

A historic company like Bertone is one of the few places in the world where is possible to create an innovative stunning project in an impossibly short time. Like the Pandion Concept.

"On October 15th, 2009, the CEO of Alfa asked me to create a concept car to celebrate their 100-year anniversary. The Geneva Motor Show, where the provocative, perfectly drivable prototype was presented, began on March 2, 2010. Only four and a half months after the request. That was my first project in Bertone as Design Director."

Great design is there even when you can’t see it.

Official Italian Design Day movie by OffiCine, the cinema lab born from the collaboration between IED and Anteo spazioCinema.

the 2018 edition


As cultural partner of the event, in 2018 IED was in 9 cities of the world with conferences, workshops and roundtables talking about Broken Nature – Design Takes on Human Survival:

Bangkok – conference about the Vespa story and a design thinking workshop with Federico Ferretti
Cairo – exhibition of Graphic Design students’ works alongside posters by Armando Milani, with Marzia Lodi 
Tehran – 2 conferences about sustainability in design by IED Art Director Giovanni Ottonello
Berlin – a conference and a roundtable presented by Alessandro Colombo
Montreal – conversations about Italian design with Salvatore Amura
Almaty – the contest Fashion for Future 2.0 was launched in collaboration with the Kazakhstan Fashion Week
Ankara – a conference and a workshop on sustainability with Carlo Branzaglia, IED Milano Postgraduate Director
Istanbul – Sustainability Through Aesthetics and Made in Italy with Andrea Tosi, Head of Academic Relation at IED

the 2017 edition


During the 1st edition of the World Italian Design Day, the Institute was present in Astana with a lecture about the evolution of Italian design in the last 50 years and in Kiev within the Interior Mebel exhibition.

IED Rio and IED Sao Paulo hosted the Italian designer and illustrator Massimo Giacon, while Barbara Amerio, entrepreneur in boatbuilding and partner for IED thesis projects was in Madinat, Kuwait as design ambassador, and so was IED Roma Director Laura Negrini in Ho Chi Minh City.