Grandioso! Design Festival Offers Viewers a Touch of Italy

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Grandioso! Design Festival Offers Viewers a Touch of Italy

If Italy only makes you think of "fusion" spaghetti restaurants, you probably spend too much time in Apgujeong-dong. When President Kim Dae-jung made an official visit to Italy in March 2000, the two governments made a joint declaration to cooperate in the field of industrial design. Follow-up discussions led to the creation of an Italian Design Festival, running Sunday through Oct. 21 in the Korea Design Center in Bundang, just outside of Seoul, under the slogan "Italian Design: Arts & Techniques."

The exhibition features the past and present of Italian design arts, and is a result of efforts by The Korea Institute of Design Promotion, the Italian Embassy, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Italian Trade Commission and Federlegno-Arredo, an Italian furniture company located in Seoul. The exhibition will be one of the main events during the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design 2001 Seoul week.

The show is divided into several sections. "The Triennale di Milano Permanent Exhibition: 100 Works of Italian Design" features creations from "Triennale di Milano," the internationally famed design contest that has been held for 70 years. The exhibitions will be divided by decade between 1945 to 2000 in order to show each era's characteristics and social background. For example, the first creation on exhibition will be Nizzoli 1945 typewriter, now an antique. For a look at the future, an overcoat designed by M. Ferrari will bookend the section.

The second event of the festival, "Tipo & Contro Tipo," showcases 40 to 50 works - armchairs, table lamps, stools, ashtrays - from 1991 to 2001. Under the design of Achille Castiglioni and Michele De Lucchi, and the planning of Giampiero Bosoni, the modern furnishing designs will likely attract Korean customers who have become big buyers of Italian furniture.

The third event will be a series of seminars with the theme "Italian Design Experience and Its Competitiveness." Big-name design professionals such as Silvia Suardi, Roberto Patti, Giampiero Bosoni and Alberta M. Prina are among the lecturers who will speak on the creativity and style of Italian industrial design and the traditions and innovations of Italian furniture design.

For most Koreans who have explored the Italian arts and techniques only through writings and photographs, the festival will be a special opportunity. There is no entrance fee for the exhibitions, but in order to take part in the seminars one must reserve a seat by calling 02-708-2057. Buses to the Korea Design Center will be available at the COEX airport bus station for free.



by Rhee Hyun-ju

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