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On 14 March, the Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Italian Trade Commission (ICE) and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macao celebrated Italian Design Day with initiatives under the theme ‘Manufacturing Value – Inclusiveness, Innovation and Sustainability’, chosen for its 2024 edition and promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Culture.

In collaboration with the School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, a panel discussion titled ‘Design between tradition and innovation: sustainability in the Italian manufacturer process’ was presented  at Tai Kwun. The panel discussion was moderated by the Testimonial of the Italian Design Day in Hong Kong Walter Mariotti, Editorial Director of the architecture and design magazine Domus, featuring four designers and artists from Italy, Andrea Bonaceto, Tiziano Guardini, Piergiorgio Robino and Gianni Giuffrida, who, together with four other local experts, explored the sustainability of Italian design manufacturing in the fields of architecture, fashion, art and furniture. Italian design chairs were displayed at the event, which were provided by the showroom ‘Andante’, one of the leading importers of high-end Italian furniture in Hong Kong. The Consul General of Italy in Hong Kong Carmelo Ficarra emphasised in his welcoming remarks the ability of Italian design to generate and spread culture through fine products. 

Italian Artist Andrea Bonaceto is widely known for his artistic practice that explores the intersection of visual art, poetry and technology. He has received several awards, including Forbes 30 Under 30 Italy 2019, Talented Young Italian Award and Fortune 40 Under 40 Italy 2023. Fashion Designer Tiziano Guardini, also known as “the designer of nature”, was the winner of the first Green Carpet Fashion Award as Best emerging designer. He has created an innovative and deeply conscious approach to fashion: ECOuture. This approach has been embraced and promoted by both Milan Fashion Week and his most innovative exhibitions such as Fashioned From Nature at the V&A Museum. Piergiorgio Robino is a functional artist, known for experimenting with new materials, particularly resin. Architect Gianni Giuffrida is qualified as a member of the ARB, Architects Registration Board, and the RIBA, Royal Institute of British Architects, in 2013. He started working for Pininfarina in 2014 and has since led numerous projects in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including the Air Traffic Control Tower in Istanbul and the Higold Headquarters in Foshan.

Several educational activities were also organised at Hong Kong’s main universities, where the four designers and artists held lectures and meetings with students. Testimonial Walter Mariotti, on the other hand, visited the East Kowloon Cultural Centre, which is currently under construction, and other cultural venues and contemporary architectural buildings in the city, in preparation for a publication on Hong Kong architecture to be included in Domus in the coming months.