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The Italian Design Arcipelago: Benvenuti
The Italian Design Arcipelago: Opere


Interior Design | Product design 


YEAR: 2019.7.13 - 2019.7.27

SIZE: 250 sqm


CLIENT: Italian Institute of Culture Tokyo


PROJECT BY: Matteo Belfiore Architecture

Matteo Belfiore - Project leader, Curator

Elisa Cecchetti - Drawings, Interior design collaborator

STATUS: Completed

PHOTOS: Lamberto Rubino

Organized in the occasion of the Italian Design Day 2019 – promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – the exhibition describes the “behind the scenes” of Made in Italy, the creative and productive processes that make it so unique and appreciated in the world. Italy has maintained a leading role in design for decades, thanks to its ability to integrate aesthetics values with functionality and technological innovation. This design principle was also stated by Vitruvius, who described beauty (venustas) as a result of functionality (utilitas) and constructive reliability (firmitas). 

This synthesis again emerges in this exhibition, embracing a selection of the best Italian design brands in Japan. 

The exhibition’s concept draws inspiration from the image of the archipelago. In addition to the geographical reference to Japan’s islands, it also represents the archipelago of Italian design firms. Each brand is intended as an island with its history, identity, organizational model, and specific language. Altogether, they acquire history, identity, form, and expression: they become a system, which affirms its weight and influence in the international sphere. From here comes the title: Italian Design Archipelago.

The exhibition’s design is inspired by the Japanese Karesansui, the traditional stone garden where the water is simulated through gravel or sand, shaped similarly to waves. 

The backdrop of the setting is imagined as a forest and realized with suspended trunks veneers. The inspiration comes from the concept of shakkei, the “borrowed landscape” often embedded in the traditional Japanese gardens.

In its intents, this event aims to achieve a deep integration of two different cultures – Italian and Japanese – that share similar identity roots: founded on architecture and nature, grown with the design.

The Italian Design Arcipelago: Testo
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