April 18 2007, at 6 p.m., at the Sala Buzzati in the main offices of the Corriere della Sera newspaper in Milan, the debate GEODESIGN: Design as the driving motor of the city-world was held. The debate was organised by the monthly magazine Abitare and by World Design Capital Torino 2008, and included the presentation, for the first time ever, of the international competition Torino Geodesign, one of the defining projects of World Design Capital Torino 2008.
Chaired by Italo Lupi, Director of Abitare, Sergio Chiamparino, Mayor of Torino and President of World Design Capital Torino 2008 and Stefano Boeri, coordinator of the Torino Geodesign project, discussed with world-renowned architects, critics and designers the profound metamorphoses underway in the forms of production and use of design and the potentially explosive role of major cities in the promotion of design as a key factor for social cohesion. Zaha Hadid and the Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana, Guta Moura Guedes, President of the Biennale ExperimentaDesign in Lisbon and Member of the Advisory Committee of World Design Capital Torino 2008 and John Thackara, Director of Doors of Perception discussed this issue from their sometimes very different stances.
Stefano Boeri noted how “In this new, global condition of planning, producing and commercialising complex tools, the big step forward is the dizzying increase in “self-organised” design.” This type of design is created by communities of users who organise limited-series productions to respond quickly to demands with limited numbers and timeframes, and destined for immediate distribution. This form of design was primarily developed in major Third World metropolises, but it has taken hold in Western cities as well, responding to the needs of new life styles or inventing new forms of survival. This type of design is vital, energetic and intensely experimental, produced with low technology and poor materials, thanks to informal economies, and often has a highly symbolic meaning.”
Focusing attention on people instead of objects, Torino GeoDesign sets itself the goal of building new forms of enterprise in local user communities through the creation of a complex network of relations in which the distinctions between clients and users, producers and beneficiaries disappear. In a dynamic system far removed from a welfare rationale, designers become the catalysts for heterogeneous experiments and reactions that are triggered by the new types of interaction.
Sergio Chiamparino explained that “As part of the calendar of Torino 2008, the first World Design Capital, the second phase of the year is centred on the relationship between design and the economy. During this phase, the Torino Geodesign project will be the event with the highest visibility. It will involve the various design communities in Torino and companies in the region in the planning and production of complex tools, in order to leave a physical and a cultural legacy in the city. It will also be a model for further design opportunities that answer the needs of contemporary urban life.”
Torino 2008 World Design Capital
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