NIGHTS CALLED MILAN: INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST MICHELE GORLERO

By Kevin Carrara

Nights Called Milan has just started in Osaka and in order to celebrate the success that it is receiving across the ocean, we wish to offer you an interview with Michele Gorlero, voice and essential figure of this initiative.

Milano Genius 2019 pursues the goal of enhance the relations between the two twinned cities of Milan and Osaka offering the Nights Called Milan initiative produced by the Italian Cultural Institute in Osaka alongside the Swissôtel Nankai in Osaka. This project is patronized by Municipality of Milan and is sponsored by iFOODQ and distributed by ASG-Produzioni, branch of Asian Studies Group.

Before the start of the interview, we offer you a quick introduction to Michele Gorlero made by Paolo Cacciato, Director of Asian Studies Group and focal member of the production of Milano Genius:

Michele Gorlero is an artist that has already started to focus his professional theatre experience in order to approach the Japanese culture and society. This can be seen thanks to his participation as co-protagonist in the Asian Studies Group theatre production Fushikaden. Michele immediately came to my mind for the Nights Called Milan initiative. I believe that his sensibility and skill will reach the Japanese public that will be bewitched by a play in which words’ meaning leaves the narration to voice and gesture.

What is your opinion regarding the Nights Called Milan event in which Milanese music meet the typical Lombardy’s cuisine?

I was born in San Remo, but I lived in Milan for twelve years, so I consider myself as an adopted Milanese. Regarding Nights Called Milan, I believe that Milanese cuisine and songwriting tradition are two excellence of our country. This experience focused on the cooperation between those aspects will allow the mutual growth for both of them, while emphasize the Milanese atmosphere and tradition. Nights Called Milan will permit to everyone, especially Japaneses, to experience emotions common to us Italians but that can be expressed differently in some societies. Our art is completely different from the one in Japan especially when talking about music. In fact, there are themes that are completely new to Japaneses and the first example of this statement that comes to my mind is the song “La Parola Io” of Gaber that translates in “The word I”. This play focus itself on the personal ego inside every person and I believe that it will allow to the guests of the Dinner Gala to experience and consider for their first time this particular and selfish aspect that the songwriter decided to analyze. I look forward to watching firsthand how Japaneses will relate to the Italian way of life.

Do you believe that the meaning of the track will be able to surpass the linguistic barrier and reach the Japanese public? Furthermore, what is your personal experience with Japan?

I see the linguistic barrier as a valuable addition to every play. I consider it as a thin veil that if used right can bring great profit to the show. The producers of Nights Called Milan had the brilliant idea to deliver to the guests a description in Japanese, English and Italian regarding the meaning of each song. Even if the attendants won’t have an exact translation, that will be for the better since this decision will allow them to bond the meaning of the texts given to them and the words that will come out of my mouth. This procedure is commonly used in abstract art exhibitions in order to give to people the opportunity to think critically and to give their own interpretation regarding what they see. Vecchioni, Jannacci and Gaber were three songwriters very experienced in transmitting emotions to their public. They were true masters of their sector and I believe that thanks to their work even Japaneses will be able to understand what we wish to communicate to them. Many of the songs chosen for Nights Called Milan contain a deep meaning that cannot be understood focusing only on their texts. For example, without spoiling anything too much, I will sing a particular track in a jolly way while my coworker, Alberto Mancini, will play his piano in order to express sadness and anguish. Thanks to those arrangements made by the songwriters, the public will surely make an inner analysis to give the song the meaning that suits it the most. This type of correlation is different for each person and is easily influenced by what we experienced during our life. I was always fascinated by Japan. In fact, I already had the pleasure to work in Italy in productions focused on the Japanese way of life like Fushikaden. This experience will be my first opportunity to export the Italian culture in Japan and I live this duty as a great honor and pleasure. I honestly believe that Nights Called Milan will be a wonderful experience.

Annunci

Genius is back to Milan from Osaka. Mistero Buffo with Elisa Pistis for Urban Theatre

By Kevin Carrara

On 5th of May at 9 pm Elisa Pistis will bring at Corte dei Miracoli in Milan her re-interpretation of Dario Fo’s play Mistero Buffo. The performance is offered by Paolo Cacciato, director of ASG-Produzioni. Milano Genius 2019 is produced and organized by the Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka thanks to a collaboration with ASG-produzioni. Furthermore, the initiative is patronized by both the Municipalities of Milan and Osaka. In order to present to our readers the point of view of Mistero Buffo’s director, we interviewed Elisa Pistis.

What is Elisa Pistis’ Mistero Buffo and how does it relate to Dario Fo’s play?

My Mistero Buffo is of course no copy of Dario Fo’s work, rather it develops from a very simple starting point: a woman who alone stages Mistero Buffo. My re-worked version starts therefore from a feminine sensibility, that doesn’t exclude the master’s point of view, but which necessarily has a different expressive outcome.

I keep Dario Fo’s vision as a starting point when I begin to approach his texts. However, my goal is to re-elaborate the material at my best in order to perform it according to the needs of our times, which are completely different from the ones when the play was written.

How the Japanese public reacted to the show?

Japanese viewers were very focused and intrigued by the play. The public was large, very silent and respectful. One of the strengths of Mistero Buffo is its physical and gestural language, that allows the comprehension of the play even for people coming from a cultural background very different from the Italian. The work of instant translation made by the interpreter has permitted to everyone in the public to dunk themselves into the world of Mistero Buffo and enjoy it at its fullest.

What is the major insight you gained with this experience in Japan?

Surely, this experience in Japan developed my desire to expand my theatre work to all over the world. It was an opportunity of both artistic and human growth. I could see numerous performances and learn the expressive modalities of this thousand-year old nation. I was fascinated by one of Team Kabuki’s play, five hours of pure show with an active participation from the public. I was intrigued by the fact that at the end of the performance, after the drop of the curtain, the actors didn’t come out to take the well-deserved applause. The exchanges during the play between them and us, the viewers, were enough. Unlike in Italy, it is not common to thank the public and bow while waiting for the applause. So the five hours flew like in a moment and at the end of the show the exchange of emotions and regards was not needed. I dunk myself into the Japanese culture visiting less touristic places and trying to grasp some aspects of the local way of life. During my visit, I realized that few days aren’t enough to fully understand a population and its history. Instead, one should live there in order to do so. Since my work is focused on words, it was beautiful to listen their language. I took home the memory of many acoustics typical of Japanese alongside their way of greetings and playing music.

What should we expect on 5th of May in Corte dei Miracoli?

I hope to find a moment of sharing, since Mistero Buffo is a performance focused on the direct relation with the public. I like the idea to talk straight to each person attending my plays. I believe that a space like Corte dei Miracoli will be perfect in order to create the atmosphere that I seek. I hope to make people laugh lots and maybe make them shed some tears, too. I wish to transmit a part of myself in the play and leave an emotional message with the intent of making the public think while enjoying a beautiful evening together. For me it is very important that performances become a way to get in touch with people.

Milano Genius 2019: Organizers, Patronizing cities and Designers meet each other at Palazzo Marino.

By Kevin Carrara

The Milano Design Week represents for Milano Genius 2019 an opportunity to strengthen institutional and cultural ties between the two twinned cities of Milan and Osaka. The project, produced by the Italian Cultural Institute in Osaka and coordinated by Asian Studies Group, allowed young and talented designers to exhibit their works, selected under different themes, located to three important partners:

Take a Seat in Superstudio Group.

Design and Planet in Asian Studies Group.

Cool Japan in Corte dei Miracoli.

The joint efforts of the organizers, the patronizing cities and the partners resulted in an important event on April 8. Last Monday, the figures who have invested more in Milano Genius 2019 met with the designers involved in the project at Palazzo Marino in Milan:

Paolo Cacciato, President of Asian Studies Group.

Yuji Amamiya, General Consul of Japan in Milan.

Silvia La Ferla, Chief of the International Relations and Cooperation Development office of the city of Milan.

Gisella Borioli, CEO of Superstudio Group.

Federico Filippo Fagotto, Director of Corte dei Miracoli.

The Meeting

Paolo Cacciato, as co-organizer of the event, summarized the project Milano Genius 2019 and the value that it represents for the two twinned Municipal Cities of Osaka and Milan. He emphasized the importance that ASG has always given to creativity and young talent: he has always tried his best in order to create opportunities to express such qualities. He also pointed out already planned events in Osaka of culinary, musical and artistic nature.

During the ceremony, the guests had the pleasure to hear a speech from Yuji Amamiya, the General Consul of Japan in Milan, in which he stated how much proud he is of the project:

It has been a great joy for me and this Consolate to learn that in occasion of the Milano Design Week there would have been hold an event like this one, capable of representing a starting point for youth Japanese artists and designers and for their international activities.

Silvia La Ferla pointed out the relevance of Milano Genius in order to enforce and strengthen the relation between Milan and Osaka and how cultural and creative exchange are the foundations for a greater mutual understanding necessary to create, together, projects and tools that benefit both realities. Then, the Municipality of Milan donated to each designer some images of Milan of past years, believing that the medieval beauty of the city will help them remember the wonderful collaboration that took place here.

Federico Filippo Fagotto talked about the importance that he gives to art and creativity. Furthermore, he spoke about his pride and joy regarding the wonderful collaboration that Corte dei Miracoli found working alongside Asian Studies Group, a long-standing collaboration that began with a casual meeting between him and Paolo Cacciato. A fortuitous event full of opportunities, personal growth and mutual benefit.

Last but not least, Gisella Borioli pointed out how she started her personal relation with Japan during Osaka Expo 1970 and how her personal passion could finally be applied in a creatively and valid project. Working with Japanese designers has allowed her to absorb part of their culture while encouraging new collaborations in the future.

At the end of the institutional speeches, certificates of participation in the Milano Genius 2019 project were delivered to every designer by the individual partners. The involvement of cultural partners, city institutions and young creative people is a winning formula that benefits and brings honor to all those involved.

Jacopo Fo: Mistero Buffo in Osaka, discovering Italian culture and history through Commedia dell’Arte.

1528887698-incontro-jacopo-fo

When we decided to describe italian Genius considering Milan as general frame for selection of various representations, from arts to music, including design and theatre we couldn’t ignore the role of Dario Fo for those aspects that concern Italian theatre and literature and his tribute for revival of Commedia dell’Arte into contemporary performing scenario.

We absolutely wanted to explain to japanese people how, thinking about Italy, they cannot ignore the heritage represented by Fo’s activity, in particular about one of his most important works, Mister Buffo, that was performed for the first time 50 years ago at Milan University.

The occasion has been represented by Milano Genius in Osaka (12 of April 2019) at Osaka Central Public Hall thanking the production by Italian Institute of Culture under direction by Dr. Stefano Fossati who accepted to present first ever in Osaka, Fo’s masterpiece performed by Fronda Anomala, with official distribution by ASGProductions.

With great pleasure of organisers, Jacopo Fo, Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s son, decided to send greeting’s video, focusing in particular on commitment of Elisa Pistis, for this performance in Japan member of Fronda Anomala, who is currently working hard on special version of well known Mistero Buffo.

Fo_4

Elisa is wholly involved on important new re-adjustment of Fo’s masterwork that will be followed for future performing opportunities in Asia by ASGproductions (managing direction by Paolo Cacciato) that will also present solo version by Pistis of the work on 5th of May in Milan at Corte dei Miracoli (Via Mortara 4) always as part of Milano Genius programme and special tribute to Dario Fo.

pistis solo

You can enjoy Jacopo Fo’s video contribution as follows.

Design And Planet at Asian Studies Group: Japanese approach to environmental sustainability

April is the month of Design for Milano Genius 2019. The last of the themes of the Open Call, Design Made in Osaka, a project produced by Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka and coordinated by Asian Studies Group, is presented at Milano Design Week 2019 under the name of Design and Planet with a focus on the delicate but important theme of eco-sustainability.

As for the European presented in Osaka on November 3rd 2018 at the Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka, this time Milano Genius 2019 allows young Japanese designers to introduce their own work on the theme of environment and sustainability, so as to favor a renewed cultural exchange between Osaka and Milan, twin cities.

Despite the small number of projects selected for this theme, they are closely linked by two different ways of approaching the topic, with a style that reflects the difference in age and path of the artists.

The selected works will be exhibited at the colorful theatrical space of Corte dei Miracoli (Via Mortara 4, Milan) and at the Milan headquarters of Asian Studies Group (Via Eustachi 9, Milan) from 9th to 14th April partecipating to Milano Design Week 2019.

Mayumi Kuwayama with “Molecules”

Mayumi Kuwayama is a contemporary artist born in Osaka. Despite her young age she does installation art and object creation in various spaces such as hotels, shops and department stores. In collaboration with Re: fa, a Japanese company that creates innovative chairs and sofas but that also replaces them by old design pieces and fabrics, has given life to “Molecules” a chair created by the union of small fragments of recycled fabric coming from industrial and home processing.

All the pieces, joined together, like many small molecules, allow the structure of the seat to vary continuously and in an agile way, depending on how it is assembled, to satisfy the desire of personalization of each of us.

The flexibility of the work and the recycled material, assembled in a rather simple but carefully studied manner, have allowed the reuse of otherwise useless material giving them new life and new possibilities of expression.

Mayumi Kuwayama and Re: Fa have therefore given a particularly modern look to the issue of eco-sustainability. An eco-sustainability that meets the needs of contemporary man who requires customization and the possibility of changing the environment, even the seat, according to his taste.

Wataru Kurogi With “Endangered Insect”

Under a completely different perspective, the work of Wataru Kurogi, a 22-year-old student attending to design course at the Art University in Osaka, called Endangered Insect attempted to show the extraordinary beauty of some endangered species generally not advertised and welcomed by the general public.

In fact, when we think about endangered animals, we underestimate the importance and beauty of small-size animals. This is especially true for insects that most people feel disgusted with.

This project allows the audience to appreciate such species that are frequently forgotten by the public and the attention of the media rather for the large mammals featured in numerous films and documentaries.

A design that wants to attract attention and presents a theme under a different vision from the common perspective. Despite the very young age, the designer’s eyes have shown a strong ability to know and see the environment in its most intrinsic beauty, an ability usually belonging to individuals of a more advanced age. A design that therefore wants to amaze and, above all, to teach.

Two artists from two different generations who dialogue with each other and who want to emphasize the importance of eco-sustainability both in inanimate things and in animate beings.

Cool Japan at Corte dei Miracoli: Unusual Everyday Objects

Milano Genius 2019 continues to propose high-quality artistic content and Milan Design Week 2019 happens to be the next scheduled event.

Our project, produced by the “Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka” and coordinated by “Asian  Studies Group” as far as Milan is concerned, will significantly take part during the “Design Week” from April 9th to April 14th thanks to the participation of a specially selected group of Japanese designers.

Milano Genius works with “Corte dei Miracoli” within the “Design made in Osaka” project, for one of the three themes of the event, the one named “Cool Japan”.

Differing from “Take a seat” and “Design and Planet” (respectively presented at Superstudio and ASG headquarters in Milan in the same period), “Cool Japan” deals with many artifacts created by talented Japanese artists, whose works have been selected by the organizers of the event. Afterwords the designers will have the possibility to exhibit their projects within such a prestigious event as the “Design Week”.

“Cool Japan” will allow you to appreciate contemporary works in a typically Japanese style with reference to cultural pop dimension.

The artists we are going to present now, together with Mayumi Kuwayama and her work “Molecules“, will participate on April 8th 2019 at 7.00 pm, at the “Milano Meets Osaka through Designers“, an event organized at “Corte dei Miracoli” (Via Mortara 4, Milan).

estratto milano meets osaka

It will be a special preview where you can find an official presentation and interesting themed networking.

MASAKI MURATA: TERRACE FAMILY

Product designer, he graduated from the “Sogo College of Design in Osaka”, Japan, and worked at the experimental design laboratory HERS. He then worked as a freelance product designer based in Osaka since 2010. He currently designs appliances, furniture, lighting, toys and many other products; his aim is to inspire the public through his creations.

Terrace family is the collectino that you will find at Corte dei Miracoli

MATSUMOTO ATSUSHI: BUSH

The design succeeds in combining relaxation, culture and natural elements. In his work we find an important presence of wood that forms the basis of the structure and great care in combinig materials with praticality,in order to offer a moment of relax and calm.you can also place books and magazines in the inside of the work in the name of multifunctionality so that art is not an end in itself but useful and valuable.

RYUICHI MATSUOKA: “TAKATORAYA SHIRT”

This is a piece of art drawn on paper called foil with watercolor technique; once the foil is cut (strip shape), a weaving machine creates a fabric whose pattern “rebuilds” the painting using silk thread and a piece of cloth. This Nishijin manufactured fabric is then transformed in clothes.

The top of the foil is also coated with gold leaf since the aim of the artist is to express the color and the gloss of Japan’s original painting materials.

As a result, we can appreciate the work from all perspectives: clothing brands, contemporary art, traditional crafts, Japanese culture, aesthetic and functionality.

SEISYU KAMATA: “BRUSH ART JAPAN”

Brush art uses a writing shodo brush. The “Japanese shodo” was popular long time ago and it was used to add color to a protected calligraphy. Now the aim of the artist is to establish a new culture extending the application of this technique to all the words. Beautiful kanji fonts are used to add color and the artist expresses herself with calligraphy skills. Brush art expresses softness, kindness and sometimes powerfulness. It adds an artistic point of view, gradation and multicolor use.

SHINICHI TANAKA: “THE PLAYING CARD”

These texture cards feature the embossing technique. Users can perceive information by only using the sense of touch. All information has been converted. For example black means concavity and red means convexity. The cards are double layered avoiding signs to be exposed at the back side. These features allow users to play equally, without support, even though people are not able to read braille.

Given such premises, Milano Genius 2019 continues its successful journey among culture, creativity and innovation. Now all that we have to do is wait and discover what is going to happen

TAKE A SEAT AT SUPERSTUDIO: WHEN DESIGN MEETS CULTURE AND CREATES INNOVATION

Milano Genius 2019 continues to propose high-quality artistic content and, since April is now approaching, Milan Design Week 2019 happens to be the next scheduled event .

Our project, organizedby the Italian Institute of Culture Osaka and coordinated by Asian Studies Group as far as Milan is concerned, will significantly take part during the Design Week from April 9th to April 14th thanks to the participation of a specially selected group of Japanese designers.

As already mentioned, Milano Genius works with Superstudio Group within the Design made in Osaka project, for one of the three themes of the event, the one named “Take a Seat”.

Differing from Cool Japan and Design and Planet (respectively presented at Corte dei Miracoli and ASG headquarters in Milan in the same period), Take a Seat deals with three seating artifacts created by talented Japanese artists,whose works have been selected by the organizers of the event. The three designers will then have the possibility to exhibit their projects within such a prestigious event as the Design Week.

The exhibition concerning Take a Seat will take place at the Superstudio Più location, in an area like the Tortona district, where Superstudio has given a vital contribution to its urban redevelopment, and the selected projects that will be available from April 9th are “Exist Chair” by Luna Naito, “Venation” by Mayumi Kuwayama and “With Bamboo” by A Chi x cosi = eco (formed by artists Akino Iida, Eko Yasuno and Koji Sakai).

The “Exist Chair” project has been developed by young Japanese student Luna Naito, who currently studies Design at the University of Osaka. Being her main aim that of creating artworks tightly connected to nature and capable of unconsciously attracting the audience, her project seems a sum up of her beliefs, thanks to a chair that recalls a big creature standing on its four legs.

Exist Chair by Luna Naito

In addition, the way in which it is constructed creates the illusion of the plane plate to be bent. With its simplicity in design and materials (maily wood) , the chair is not strange but still very noticeable. Also remarkable is the fact that for its assembly glues are not needed, allowing this project to be considered as an example of sustainable art.

As far as “Venation” by Mayumi Kuwayama is concerned, the main focus is the philosophy of “sustaining”. The veins in which energy is free to flow can become complex, they can sustain themselves and others too. The artwork’s theme is that  “A storm reinforces nature and all human beings are connected to nature through roots.” It doesn’t matter how strong and destructive the storm may be, the tree will always survive as human beings do. Beyond all difficulties and problems, our roots will become always stronger. Nature and human beings live together and they have been connected since forever.

Venation by Mayumi Kuwayama

The project, created using fiber of hemp and wire, shows Kuwayama’s experience in art installation and design object creation, works that she often presents in a variety of highly attended locations.

With regard to the third project, “With Bamboo” by artistic group A Chi x cosi = eco, it aims to be a piece of furniture for Landscape Design. This means that such designs are to be considered as elements that fit into the natural scenery, apart from being comfortable for our bodies. For example, bamboo forests are familiar or nostalgic for Japanese people.

In its structure, its continuing tall lines generate fresh air, allowing this project to be considered as something more than just a physical tool. Design should be friendly with nature, as well as nature is kind with human beings. The chair is also a “bamboo forest”, created with bamboo sticks from Wada city, that aims to represent a solution for the abandoned forests in Osaka.

With Bamboo by A Chi x cosi = eco

A brief explanation of the selected projects is therefore needed to allow the audience to fully understand their deep meaning and the logic behind their creation. Only a careful observer will in fact be able to appreciate the beauty that Milano Genius 2019 and Design made in Osaka offer to us during the upcoming Milan Design Week 2019.


Mistero Buffo in Osaka, a play to go beyond linguistic diversity

After the Italian Design Day 2019 in Osaka and its focus on design as an instrument for urban redevelopment and creative expression, our Milano Genius 2019 produced by Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka, continues to propose high quality content through a variety of cultural events concerning Contemporary Art, Theatre and Food in the months to follow.

More specifically, in April (on April 12th)  the attention will be on the performance of Mistero Buffo, theatrical representation by Dario Fo and Franca Rame that, thanking collaboration with Italian Institute of Culture of Osaka will be reinterpreted at the Osaka Central Public Hall (municipality of the city) by theatrical company Fronda Anomala thanks to an innovative prospective that merges performative evolution and continuity.

MG2019 - MisteroBuffo A4 jap

The famous play by Fo and Rame recalls a tradition during which jesters used to wander from a city to another to narrate engaging stories with the aim of breaking, in some ways, traditional bonds connected to linguistic diversity while addressing an ever-changing audience too: rich and poor people, with different origins and traditions.  

The theatrical company Fronda Anomala, formed by Elisa Pistis, Diego Coscia and Lorenzo Tolusso, will interpret this old practice once again, with great energy but especially with an important moral to impart: bringing current messages to the public through universal and old stories.

The result of this recipe is a performance that not only entertains and moves the audience, but also makes people reflect through the simple use of hyperbolic language, mimic and gesture but, at the same time, avoiding the use of massive theatre props.

Dario Fo and Franca Rame

Another key factor that makes this representation so innovative is the way in which communication is conceived. As a result, Mistero Buffo by Fronda Anomala plays with different languages, from Piedmontese and Sardian to non-existing languages. However, the audience still perceives central concepts and feelings; the magic expressed by the actors will in fact  help them to prevent the main message of the play from being damaged. 

The location,bchosen for the representation by Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka, is another element that seems anything but random. Being the municipality of the city, this building represents a symbol for the entire Osaka (alongside Osaka’s castle) and it is often used to host cultural, artistic and social activities that help both visitors and performers to dedicate time and passion to culture.

Osaka Public City Hall

Given such premises, Milano Genius 2019 continues its successful journey among culture, creativity and innovation. All that’s left to do now is wait and discover what is yet to come.

Design made in Osaka, when design meets innovation and sustainability

Design represents a fundamental theme within Milano Genius 2019 and the “Design made in Osaka” project. After the Italian Design Day 2019 produced by Italian Institute of Culture, our activities will continue to propose high quality content regarding design starting from these upcoming weeks. 

As a result, from March 4th at the Osaka City Hall with introduction by IIC Osaka,  will be hosted special exhibitions to present design artworks by young Japanese designers who have previously been selected. More specifically this first week (from March 4th to March 11th) will be dedicated to a series of panels, already presented during last year Italian Design week in Italy regarding the theme “Design and Planet”.

Design and Planet panels

The following week (March 11th– March 15th) will then be dedicated to propose the main aim of Milano Genius itself: helping young Japanese designers to reach a wider and international audience and present artworks that celebrate innovation, creativity and sustainability. Our Design made in Osaka project has in fact selected artworks that belong to three different themes, being “Design and Planet”, “Take a Seat” and “Cool Japan”.

Osaka City Hall

These same artworks will then be presented in Italy at different locations, after being first exhibited at the Municipality of Osaka.

With regard to “Take a Seat”, on March 1st the Italian Design Day in Osaka produced by Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka has seen the participation of the official Ambassador for the city Gisella Borioli, who already introduced this topic, supported by the Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka and coordinated by Asian Studies Group. The CEO-owner of Superstudio Group hosted a speech during which she discussed not only the process that has led to the urban redevelopment of the Tortona district, once suburban, but she also presented the designers whose artworks has been chosen within the Switch on Your Creativity hub (6th edition) and that will be part of Milan Design Week at Superstudio in April. 

As the name suggests, “Take a Seat” deals with any kind of seating artifact, that shows particular features concerning materials or developing process. In particular, the artworks “with Bamboo” by Akino Iida, “Exist Chair” by Luna Naito and “Venation” by Mayumi Kuwayama resulted to be the selected seats that better enclosed the spirit of the project.

Venation by Mayumi Kuwayama

Concerning, on the other hand, the “Cool Japan” theme, we were looking for interior objects/pieces which could express distinctive features of contemporary Japan or help to understand it in an interpretative key which was also innovative, lively, artistic and charming for its esthetic or use.

Among the different project proposed, the selected ones are Kamata Shinku with “Brush Art Japan”, Masaki Murata with “Terrace Family”, Matsumoto Riku with “Bush”, Ryuichi Matsuoka with “Takatoraya Shirt” and Shinichi Tanaka with “The Playing Card”.  The exhibition of this artworks will take place at “La Corte dei Miracoli” in Milan, location of the artistic residence of Asian Studies Group (ASG-Res).

The Playing Card by Shinichi Tanaka

Last but not least, Design and Planet proposes once again the main theme of sustainability through the pieces “Endangered Insects” by Wataru Kurogi and “Molecules” by Re:Fa and Mayumi Kuwayama at the headquarters of Asian Studies Group in Milan, via Eustachi (Porta Venezia area).

Our activities within Milano Genius 2019 therefore continue within the following months, predicting stimulating artistic opportunities for both visitors and designers.   

Osaka panders Milan through the Italian Design Day 2019 to discuss urban redevelopment

Scheduled for March 1st at 5.30 pm at the Knowledge Salon (Knowledge Capital) in Osaka, the Italian Design Day 2019 is ready to start, as a cultural initiative supported by the Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka and in collaboration with Asian Studies Group.

Special attention during the IDD 2019 will be paid on a talk presentation by its official Design Ambassador Gisella Borioli, Owner-CEO of Superstudio Group and creator of the international event dedicated to contemporary design called Superdesign Show.

In her talk, the nominated Ambassador for the city of Osaka will analyze the process of urban redevelopment started by Superstudio in an area like the milanese Tortona district, originally considered suburban and now converted into the archetype of fashion&design district, that has been able to redefine the concept of design for the entire milanese environment.

Gisella Borioli

This important urban rebirth also contributes to strengthen the bond between Osaka and Milan, both cities of EXPO that share a twinning status too, with the former city that conceives the latter as an example to look up to. As a result, the redevelopment of such a degraded area  is studied by the prefecture as a extraordinary case of economic and urban upgrading that is worth special attention.

Furthermore, the location chosen for the event seems anything but random. As its own name suggests, the development of Knowledge Salon was in fact part of a redevelopment project for “the last prime land in a city center,” and attracted much public attention, as it was specifically created to celebrate knowledge of any kind.

Knowledge Salon (Capital Knowledge)

As a consequence, the example given by Milan and the Tortona district represented an important path to follow for the city of Osaka, which started its action with the construction of the Knowledge Salon, whose biggest aim is to become a hub for innovative contents and to enhance the high potential of The Umekita district (Osaka station North district).

By using cutting-edge knowledge as a resource under the theme of proposing, experiencing, and learning future lives, Knowledge Capital fosters a variety of creative and innovative contents that significantly contribute to the prestige of the city.

Both municipalities of Osaka and Milan have gathered the important that such innovative projects can bring to Milan, not only nationally but also internationally speaking. That is why the Municipality of Milan decided to grant Milano Genius 2019 the patronage although the event does not physically occur in the Italian country.

In addition, during the talk there will also be discussed the importance of Japanese design artworks exhibited at Superdesign Show over the years thanks to a speech by Chiara Ferella Falda, Director of Communication and Special Projects of Superstudio. Last but certainly not least,  the “Take a Seat” project in collaboration with Asian Studies Group will be deepened too.  

Given such preconditions, the Italian Design Day 2019 with its theme “The City of the Future” forewarns a stimulating discussion about the importance of design in urban redevelopment as well as an occasion of cultural comparison and exchange for both realities that share different styles and cultures.