Dezeen Magazine

Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni

"Italy is the best place in the world to make design" says Piero Lissoni at Italian Design Day

Promotion: earlier this year the Embassy of Italy in London hosted Italian Design Day (IDD), which aimed to promote Italian design, focusing on its quality and artistry.

The IDD, now in its 7th edition, is held across all the Italian diplomatic missions around the world in the run-up to Salone del Mobile, one of the largest furniture fairs taking place during Milan design week 2023.

"Made in Italy is a platform of excellence, an undisputed celebrity of international markets, where Italy exports ideas as much as products and influences trends as much as paradigms," said the ambassador of Italy in the UK, Inigo Lambertini. "Italian design is the most advanced expression of this complexity."

As part of the London event, the embassy hosted a talk with Italian architect and founder of Lissoni & Partners, Piero Lissoni in conversation with deputy editor at Dezeen, Cajsa Carlson.

Two spherical lights
The talk focused on light and sustainability in the production process

Talking about his approach to sustainability, Lissoni told Carlson that creating objects with longevity was of great importance in Italian design and that he believed there is still no better place than Italy to create.

"For making my personal idea of industrial design or furniture design or life design, Italy is the best place," he told the audience. "Milano is the best place for technical reasons because when you are in Milano, you are surrounded by community and the culture."

"For me, if you want to make something different from the rest of the world, if you need to design something and somebody needs to produce something like a prototype or develop technologies, you are in the best of the best of the best in the world."

Italian design day talk
The talk was moderated by deputy editor at Dezeen, Cajsa Carlson

The event spotlighted the history and also the current state of the Italian design industry, of which 64,000 professionals are currently employed in the sector, according to the embassy.

Lissoni also touched upon his admiration for the great Italian designers of the 20th century who have gone before him. "The great masters – Castiglioni, Magistretti, Sottsass, Scarpa – they designed in the end, something absolutely outstanding," he said.

As part of the event, a series of furniture pieces designed by Lissoni for Italian brands operating in the UK were on display, including B&B Italia, Living Divani, Porro, Lema, Kartell and Flos.

Lighting designs displayed on a wall
Italian Design Day (IDD) aimed to promote Italian design, focusing on its quality and artistry

Now in its seventh edition, Italian Design Day is organised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Ministry of Culture, together with the Italian Trade Agency, Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (ADI), Fondazione ADI – Collezione Compasso D'Oro, Triennale di Milano, Salone del Mobile di Milano and Federlegno Arredo.

This year's Salone del Mobile was held in Milan from 18 to 23 April 2023, together with Euroluce, an exhibition on lighting.

By discussing the relationship between people and the environment, energy and sustainability, the IDD aimed to highlight the main ideas at the heart of Rome's bid to host World Expo 2030, with the theme "People and territories: urban regeneration, inclusion and innovation". The elections will be held in Paris, next November.

Lissoni set up his studio in 1986, a year after completing his training as an architect. He has become better known for his product design and interiors in recent years and has worked for a host of leading brands including Cappellini, Flos and Kartell as well as B&B Italia.

To view more about Italian Design Day, visit its website.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for the Embassy of Italy as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.