After passing through the majestic entrance of Palazzo Isimbardi, it seems impossible to find space to stand in the courtyard. Especially if you are not on time. But fortunately the XXIV Compasso d’Oro ADI awards ceremony is also slightly delayed.
15 June 2016, 17.33. Paola Marelli took the microphone and began the celebration of the historic and prestigious award. Compasso d’Oro ADI has acquired its prestige by taking on a daunting task: to identify the best of Italian design, to draw attention to it and to disseminate it.
Luciano Galimberti, Presidente of ADI, was next to speak. He announced the biennial nature of the event, but specified that: «It is not any less selective as a result of this. The award is a distillation of poetry, technology and innovation, a sort of Nobel Prize for design». In order to comprehensively honor the discipline, Vincenzo De Luca, Director General for the Promotion of the National Economy (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), announced that he wanted to create a day dedicated to design on 2 March 2017 that will promote the Salone del Mobile.
After the introductions by renowned figures in the industry, there was a brief presentation of the Young Awards and 56 Honorable Mentions, an important part of the ceremony: «It isn’t a consolation prize, but rather a concrete recognition that highlights outstanding product design», Galimberti declared. Meanwhile, the products that were mentioned attracted the attention of the audience, who moved from the stage to the portico to observe them in the flesh.
But the best spot was reserved for the winners. Key words in the design world that encapsulate traditional Italian values. Simplicity and innovation, craftsmanship and technology, style and sustainability: these qualities underly all of the 13 creations selected by the jury. Starting with Flos and Luceplan, acclaimed brands in the Design for Living category. The first was awarded for Ok by Kostantin Grcic, which preserves the traditional refinement of an iconic product, while nonetheless representing an evolution; the second for Ascent, designed with perfect simplicity and creativity by Daniel Ryebakken. 5MM featured in the same section, a collection that unites aesthetic qualities and a sustainable design in a tap signed by Treemme. Its pursuit of lightness, technology and robustness earned the Vela chair by Tecno (designed by Lievore Altherr Molina) the Compasso d’Oro for Work. Several other winners followed, from the sound-absorbing Flap panels by Alberto and Francesco Meda, to the Omnia Technogym system and the Ferrari FXX K.
The trophies were entirely awarded to men (from Italy and abroad) who have dedicated their lives to design. Franco Moschini, Ugo La Pietra, Fabio Lenci, Ezio Manzini, along with Rodrigo Rodriquez, Carlo Bartoli, Luciano Benetto and finally Roberto Pezzetta and Antonio Macchi Cassia were the Italian designers (though not exclusively) who were awarded the Compasso for their Lifetime Achievement. The celebration was completed by three international figures who have enriched the design industry with creativity and experimentation: James Dyson – who was unable to attend the event – Ron Arad and Makio Hasuike. The latter concluded her speech in perfect Italian: “I am amazed that I was included among the international designers, given that Italy has been my country for over 50 years!”
We conclude in the same vein, astounded by the very best of design.