Last Stage of a Long Journey

—– ADI Design Index 2019 in Milan and Rome

by: lunaviola


Design in Italy:

My 10 plus “veteran” years in Italy are equally daubed by the magnificence of Rome and the elegance of Milan. Rome, as my first touching point in this piece of beautiful land remains until today in my heart as a dear second home. Your whole life would simply not be enough to discover a mere corner of its divine and immense beauty. Milan instead, unfortunately is a city with which after so many years, I still acclaim the inability to a build up an intimate relationship. Sure naturally comes up to the question: Then why still Milan? If I need one justifiable reason to convince myself, I would rather say because it’s an intelligent and nutritious spirit power station.

Milan always proudly boasts itself as the world capital of fashion and design. In fashion, here it has Milan Fashion Week, together with that of New York, Paris and London as the 4 fashion weeks to guide the fashion trends to the whole world, but obviously Milan knows the best how to commercialize this sector and makes it an economy booster, meaning much more than just street shooting of eye-catching beautiful ladies and handsome gentlemen in fashion magazines that you browse after dinner to kill your spare time.

As for the design part, here Milan has the biggest exhibition in its global sense: every year Salone del Mobile attracts nearly 400,000 visitors from more than 180 countries for worshiping this sacred design destination, not to mention the part of Fuorisalone, which forms together with Salone del Mobile the whole package idea of “Milan Design Week”, that flourishes the city center to stage continuously the most innovative, inspiring and cutting edge design ideas.


Talking about design, how could we possibly not to mention ADI and Compasso d’Oro Award? If you are stunned what all these terms are talking about, then you have to make up this part with some wiki time. Here what it is briefly in 2 lines:

ADI and Compasso d’Oro Award


Arisen by idea of Gio Ponti, the “Founding Father of Italian Design”, Compasso d’Oro Award was established in 1954, is up to today still the most historical and influential international design award, practically let’s say the benchmark and Oscar in the world of design.

The award was organized for years by “La Rinascente” department store, yes, exactly that one you always go for shopping in the Duomo Square, then in 1964, passed the management and organization to the reclaimed ADI – Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (Association for the Industrial Design). Again, as what fashion does for the city and the country, ADI also plays a leading role in the development of the industrial design as a cultural and economic phenomenon. Remember it was DESIGN in capital letters that played the key role as the motor in reshaping Italy from the after-war ruins. No wonder knowing no precedence and competitors, Compasso d’Oro Award, as nowhere else in the world of international design, has been recognized as national heritage for its “exceptional artistic and historical interests and value”

ADI Compasso d’Oro Design Museum

Today ADI is completing a process safeguarding the memories of design culture and the growth of this historical Heritage dating back from 1954.

Finally, eventually, last but not least: What a delighting news to hear that a permanent ADI Compasso d’Oro Design Museum would be available to the public in April 2020 to showcase the historical collections of the award, which by its very nature made up of the automatic regular stratifications and a reflection of the classical choices by producers and consumers for more than half a century, represents a unique cultural testimony.

The museum site is right now under refurbishment in the old Enel building right in the heart of China Town. It is predictable that in the very near future, when we talk about Paolo Sarpi area, it would no more be a place for 10 cents shopping in Chinese shops or repairing your cell phones, rather, a new landmark for design in Milan.


ADI Design Index 2019

Since 2000, as a tradition, every year ADI presents the ADI Design Index in the form of a book and an exhibition tour so as to display also the public the candidates of the selected products destines to participate in the next edition of Compasso d’Oro Competition.

From today until the 20th of October, In Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology, you may visit the 226 rigorously selected product pieces featured in the ADI Design Index 2019 (970 nominations were applied this year as against 746 in 2018). together with last year’s selection (172 products and projects), it completes the choices that will be submitted in 2020 to the international jury of the XXVI Compasso d’Oro.


This year the focus will be on the variety of design solutions and sustainability. There will be one section entitled “1,300 kilometres of Made in Italy design” expressing geographically how each territory, with the common theme of Made in Italy, has its own economy and its own attitude towards design and its own way of satisfying users’ requests. A growing attention is then given to sustainability. This value is now a regular feature of Italian design culture and is reflected in many of the selected products.


Luce Liquida by Anna Barbara, ZAFFERANO


V6 by Bonetto Design-Center, LA SAN MARCO



Smatrik by Tokujin Yoshioka, KARTELL


Hashi by Federico Delrosso, DAVIDE GROPPI


Wheely by Giuseppe Bavuso, O.G.T.M. OFFICINE MECCANICHE

The exhibition is curated and designed by Cortesi Design. Just a little footnote, Angelo Cortesi himself was once the president of ADI from 1985-87, and then back as president again from 1991-92.

The exhibition will last only for one week. Run run run before getting too late and bet your favorite pieces in the awarding list. Who knows if you may guess right when the final result reveals next year.



Open to the public: 15 – 20 October 2019 

Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology 

Via San Vittore 21, Milan



Open to the public: 23 – 26 November 2019

Casa dell’Architettura – Acquario Romano

Piazza Manfredo Fanti 47, Rome