University Design week

Bocconi in 8 Design Expressions

, by Andrea Celauro
For Design Week, the University emphasizes its focus on the design industry with an event on 18 April with the opening of an exhibit of eight objects by eight designers curated by architect Roberto Palomba. And on 16 and 17 April, the Domus Breakfasts will discuss the frontiers of design at SDA Bocconi

Eight design objects, expressions of eight design entities that embody concepts alluding to some of the founding values of Bocconi University. This is the way the University has chosen to highlight its attention for the world of design, in an exhibition opening during the Milano Design Week, which traditionally complements Salone del Mobile, the Milan International Furniture Fair, and is held on 15-21 April this year. Eight objects specially selected by architect and designer Roberto Palomba, co-founder of Studio Palomba Serafini and Compasso d'Oro Awardee, which will remain on display at the entrance of the SDA Bocconi School of Management for the entire duration of the Design Week.

"Design pervades our consumer experience and our lives," says Antonella Carù, Dean for Development and Alumni Relations with students and Head of the University's Arts and Humanities Committee. "It is an expression of creativity, culture and managerialism, i.e. the product of a multidisciplinary approach, something that typically characterizes the development of knowledge in our university."

The exhibition will revolve around eight elements: the famous Zanotta beanbag, for example, was chosen by architect Palomba, the curator of the exhibition, as a symbol of the freedom and independence of Bocconi; Teixidors was selected for the ethical and rigorous approach of the Spanish company to textile production, which exemplifies the University's principles of legality, honesty and integrity; the adverts created by Ikea where chosen because the Swedish company was among the first to interpret societal changes in contemporary living. And, again, the catalog of the Milanese furniture company Kartell is included for its spectrum of creations embodying freedom of expression, pluralism and harmony in diversity. The social commitment of the cc-foreducation Foundation created by the Italian company cc-tapis is an example of the solidarity and valorization of diversity typical of Bocconi; and the inclusion of the young designer Sabine Marcelis is an example of the University's attention to merit and the development of individual skills. Finally, symbols of Bocconi's tension towards quality and social responsibility are respectively Poltrona Frau, which is credited for the attention to the quality of the product and employment relations throughout its history, and Carl Hansen, as evidence of the Danish design firm's work with ecological sustainability which is also a value pursued by Bocconi University.

To celebrate the exhibition, the symposium "Value by Design" will be held on Thursday 18 April at 6 pm, a meeting open to design operators and enthusiasts (here is the link to register) with opening speeches by Bocconi Rector Francesco Billari and SDA Bocconi Dean Stefano Caselli. The event will also be an opportunity for the University to state its desire to establish a 'Bocconi Design Award' which starting from 2025 will award leading companies of the design industry every year.

"Design is a sector that has always aroused great interest on the part of Bocconi University," explains Rector Francesco Billari. "A universe rich in professionalism and entrepreneurial excellence that has always contributed to extol the virtues of our country. I want to remind you that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the foundation of CLEACC, our undergraduate program in Economics and Management of Art, Culture and Communication: an anniversary that testifies the long-standing attention that Bocconi has devoted to professionalism in the world of culture and artistic expression also through its educational offer."

"For SDA Bocconi School of Management, the point is that design and creative industries, the fulcrum of Made in Italy, are an important object of study and teaching in a business school like ours," says the Dean of SDA Bocconi, Stefano Caselli. "Among the characteristics of our school there is the transversality of the faculty and student community. Those who approach us do not do so for merely consuming a graduate course, but as a step along a path that opens a dialogue with us not only on the topics of managerial training, but also on personal passions and culture in the broader sense."

"There is a connection linking design, its community and a university like Bocconi," explains architect Palomba. "I had the task of identifying the node that can connect these worlds, by carefully selecting eight realities that represent excellence in design today and can be put in relation with some of the founding values of the University. An acknowledgment of the projects and people that represent the state of the art and that see we see as the foundation for the future of this relationship. I believe that the new managerial skills that design needs to evolve today have a natural home at Bocconi, something I believe is fundamental for the future of this industry. This selection represents more than a prize, it is the starting point of a common path that will see greater mutual interaction. I seize the opportunity to thank all the participants involved for having contributed with their enthusiasm to this #0 Edition."

But the exhibit and the event of 18 April won't exhaust what Bocconi has in store for design this year. In fact, on 16 and 17 April, the Domus Breakfasts will return, the talks organized with the architecture magazine to discuss design at SDA Bocconi. On 16 April, from 9:00 to 10:30am, attendants will discuss 'Design dell'evoluzione ed evoluzione del design, dall'estetica alle neuroscienze ' (register here), while on 17 April, again from 9:00 to 10:30am, the debate will focus on Sostenibilità e AI: le sfide del progetto nel XXI secolo' (register at this link).


translated by Alex Foti