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Italian Design Day 2020 – Drawing the Future

ITALIAN Design Day (IDD) 2020 celebration on October 22 witnessed more than 1,800 Facebook users joining in the Live event on virtual webinar with presentations from highly respected designers and academicians from Italy.

This initiative between the Embassy of Italy and Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Italy Design Institute (UniKL MIDI) has been an ongoing process since the establishment of UniKL MIDI in 2019.

Italian Design Day highlights the importance of design in light of the global pandemic, focusing also on mobility in the new dimensions of space and time as well as on the power of innovation, technology and sustainability through cultural preservation to make our cities smarter, accessible, safer and more liveable for our society.

His Excellency Cristiano Maggipinto, Ambassador of Italy to Malaysia. said: “We are forced to draw the future. Design has helped us and will continue to help us. This year’s theme “Drawing the future. Development, Innovation, Sustainability and Beauty” is fitting for the world we are living in now in light of the global pandemic. We need to work together to design a better and more innovative future.”

The design competition participants were challenged to submit projects for products with innovative solutions and to tackle the challenges posed during the COVID-19 pandemic, its aftermath, or for the prevention of a similar global health pandemic.

First place winner Tay Soon Teong from the Malaysian Institute of Art designed an infrared thermometer for kids, creating a product “out of the normal”, entertaining kids with fun elements and a new way to check their temperature.

Universiti Putra Malaysia undergraduate Celine Lim Tze Lin won second prize with an all-purpose sanitizing capsule, an effective and quick solution for every parent.

Nur Athirah Zainal of UniKL MIDI was third. She created a wearable safety kit with social distancing sensors designed for children to store their mask, sensors, detachable sanitizer and pockets.

The products designed were required to display attractiveness inspired by the Italian identity and most importantly pass a variety of international

safety standard tests related to choking hazard, sharpness, magnets, chemicals, moving parts, strangulation hazard, and more.

In his welcoming address, UniKL Acting President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Prof. Dr Shahrulniza Musa emphasised in his speech that the establishment of UniKL MIDI reaffirms the cooperation between Malaysia and Italy in the fields of human capital development, transfer of design technology and creative design industry.

“The partnership established between UniKL and other training and higher learning institutes in Italy, which specialise in creative design, provides a viable platform to UniKL MIDI in the move towards establishing its position as a centre of excellence on design” he said.

“UniKL aspire to be one of the top universities in the world by offering enriching university experience towards achieving academic excellence and enhancing graduate life success. UniKL has designated strong and comprehensive industrialmanship programmes for our students to strengthen their employability prospects such as career guidance, industrial engagement and alumni engagement,” he said.

Industrialmanship programme is a structured internship programme that is designated based on industrial academia collaboration and linkages. It is a concept to introduce UniKL students to industrial culture and real working environment in order to increase students’ employability prospect from as early as the first semester up to the final semester upon graduation and beyond.

Prof Dr Shahrulniza welcomes more involvement and participation from the Embassy of Italy, Italian institutions and industry to collaborate in various potential areas including students’ final year projects (FYP), student placement for internship, industrialmanship and opportunities for job vacancies for UniKL graduates.

The Government of Italy has designated the month of March as Italian Design Day. However, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic the event will be officially held on Nov 5 2020 in which 102 Italian Embassies, Consulates and Trade Commissions worldwide will hold events to recognise the uniqueness and contribution of Italian Design.

The Italian design industry statistically takes up 10% of total furniture products manufactured: if we consider the top 100 luxury brands worldwide, 24 of them are Italian. That is one quarter concentrated in Italy, which is Europe’s leading country for number of design companies, third

for added value and for number of employees.

His Excellency Mr Maggipinto highlighted the strategical importance of design in Italian industry and lifestyle as Italy’s contribution to the world. The Embassy supports UniKL MIDI in their current and future collaborations with Italian Institutions and industry players, such as with the University of Bologna (with a 2+2-degree program with joint sponsorship), the Italy Malaysia Business Association (IMBA), with Italian designers in the development of new creative arts and design program, establishing Railway post graduate programme”

“The ‘Italian way’ is not only art and food but also advanced industrial know-how which translates into reliable and beautiful design objects which connect us with the world”, he remarked, adding that “This year’s panel of speakers took into account the impact of the ongoing pandemic especially in the design industry and aimed to also provide industrial insights for designers to emerge better and stronger from COVID-19.”

Ambassador Maggipinto concluded his speech by thanking all sponsors of the Design Competition, and expressed the “Embassy’s support towards UniKL and MIDI in their current and future collaborations with Italian Institutions and industry players, such as with the University of Bologna (with a 2+2-degree program with joint sponsorship), the Italy Malaysia Business Association (IMBA), with Italian designers in the development of new creative arts and design program, establishing Railway post graduate programme.

This year’s theme “Drawing the future. Development, Innovation, Sustainability and Beauty.” was addressed during the virtual webinar by highly respected Italian speakers, such as Prof. Silvia D’Ambrosio of Politecnico di Milano and “Ambassador of Design”, Prof. Luca Fois, also from Politecnico di Milano and “Ambassador of Design” in past editions, architect Luigi Campanale, CEO of SCE Project Asia, Mr. Daniele Campetella, CEO of Biesse China and Biesse Asia and Mr. Manolo Bossi, Designer, of the Manolo Bossi Design Studio.

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