Design Made in Hong Kong

Created and supported by the Italian Institute of Culture in Hong Kong, – directed by Stefano Fossati

Curated by Dr. Santina Bonini – Hong Kong

Coordinated by Paolo Cacciato, Asian Studies Group  director – Milan, Italy

Design made in Hong Kong 2020 – 2021   –   A dialogue through creativity

Logo design in hk 8

The project objective is the creation and promotion of creative projects on the Design thematic front, fostering the encounter with industry, brands and institutions to enhance opportunities of a global development and cooperation for the emerging generation’s creativity, supported by institutions and businesses.

The project offers designers, business and institutions partners from Hong Kong the opportunity to present their projects in Hong Kong and during the prestigious Design Week in Milan, and to obtain a free service of product placement, communication and promotion. This creating the platform to gain international visibility and recognition.

Overall plan

Design made in Hong Kong project operates from March 2020 to April 2021.

The initial phase aim to identify institutions, Universities and industries to explore and define partnerships and sponsorships for the projects development. In accordance with parties involved the curator will create a ‘Proposal for Creativity’ with proposed themes reflecting the Hong Kong culture and the involved parties expertise.

The organisers will support, facilitate and coordinate the projects development from concept to fruition. All participants will submit their own project to an international jury of design experts created by the organisers.

The prototypes of the selected projects will be exhibited in Hong Kong and the Milan Design Week.

The designers, partners and sponsors will have the possibility to personally take part in the networking and promotional activities of the event during Milano Design Week.

Beyond the frame introduced above, the cross cultural cooperation between Italy and Hong Kong is reinforced with a secondary “Call for Creative Professionals –  The Italian workshop in Hong Kong” that can introduce high level contents from Italy about the selected topic spread in Hong Kong.

Call for creative professionals 1

This call is announced by Asian Studies Group partnered organisation in Milano Genius format, involving post degree young professionals in Italy (in particular with joint support by important institutes operating in the field with base in Milan (as done before with Brera Academy or IED)

After preliminary introduction to some institutes in Hong Kong, we found big interest on local operators to meet and promote themselves towards involvement of  professionals from Italy as representation of international positioning as long as they would like to offer some potential opportunities on cooperation, due of the new regulamentation that will allow Italian citizens until 30 years old to get benefit through working holiday visa,

The “Call for Creative Professionals – The Italian workshop in Hong Kong” from Italy will be sustained by Milano Genius in Hong Kong through the Italian Institute of Culture as concrete opportunity to present a workshop selected by commission of experts among drafts and introductions collected in the next months.

The  candidate who will get selected in the Call for Creative Professionals, will be able to attend and  to manage directly  special workshop in October 2020 in Hong Kong under co-organisation of the event by IIC Hong Kong. (location and introduction will be kindly offered by institutional partner)

This frame will be also useful to involve on site local students that are finalising their works for participation to Milan Design Week 2021. The representative selected from Call for Creatives will be able concretely to support and guide the chinese participants after his / her workshop in Hong Kong

It will be then a great occasion for the beneficiary to introduce himself toward network of local institutes and operators involved also in the “Call for Creativity” that will define the prototypes designed for Milan Design Week 2021.

On doing that,  the project will be equal and mutually effective, introducing chinese concepts and products to italian scene during the most important event concerning design industry in Europe, and viceversa Hong Kong will host an Italian workshop selected among many presented by italian professionals interested to give a tribute to the topic of the concept.


Phase 1 – February to April 2020

  • Define partnerships with industries, institutions and sponsors
  • Define and regulate all parties involvement and duty
  • Create a briefing in accordance with all parties expertise and objectives
  • Launch the Call for Creativity ‘Design made in Hong Kong’ at the Italian Design-Day – mid March 2020. Potential location K11 Musea.
  • Define content, terms, partners of “call for creative professionals – Italian workshop in Hong Kong”
  • Launch in Italy of the  “call for creative professionals – Italian workshop in Hong Kong”

Phase 2 – May to July 2020

  • Define the projects operating schedule
  • Create the subject syllabus
  • Create the briefing
  • Define the sponsor/industry cooperation and support
  • Creation of a jury for winning projects selection
  • Deadline for presenting researches eligible for being official workshop into “call for creative professionals – Italian workshop in Hong Kong” fixed in June 2020
  • Assignment of benefit for official workshop into “call for creative professionals – Italian workshop in Hong Kong” fixed until middle of August 2020

Phase 3 – September 2020 to April 2021

  • Coordinate and execute the project by November 2020
  • workshop “call for creative professionals – Italian workshop in Hong Kong”can take place in Hong Kong on convenient time as preview of the final exhibition in Milan, so basically between october / november 2020
  • Jury projects selection by December 2020
  • Prototype construction by mid-February 2021
  • Projects exhibition in Hong Kong by February 2021
  • Selected projects exhibition in Milan Design Week, April 2021

Italian Genius embraces Korea and Japan through Nathalie’s voice.

Milano Genius continues on becoming connection point, on international base, for those projects that spread Italian creativity and arts into well framed fields and perspectives.

Another example of these artistic dynamism under the format Milano Genius is represented by #CrossingDistances, the international tour which sees Nathalie as protagonist of cross cultural journey through emotions and music.

The ideal of Milano Genius is creating a contact between different cultures, mainly enforcing contents from the municipalities of Milan towards international destinations, featuring on creative and cultural topics. That’s the reason why it suits to #CrossingDistances.

The format sustained by ACTAgency and ASGProduzioni after being introduced in Milano as first performing stage for the italo-belgian singer continued with successful participation in Korea (Seoul) and Japan (Tokyo).

Nathalie Tour Generale Cover

In particular for Seoul, where Nathalie performed on 26 and 27 of September, the invitation was important occasion to participate at the 11th Italian Film & Art Festival in Seoul, as cultural ambassador.

nathalie ifaf 4.jpg

Thanks to Nathalie and her artistic involvement on cross cultural dialogue through music and arts, Milano Genius could been properly represented in Korea for first time and in Japan (Live in Shimokitazawa on 28th of September) again after many activities that already have taken place in Osaka in 2019 about design, contemporary art, performing art and music as well.

Nathalie chitarra IFAF

The cooperation between Korea and Milano keeps going, in fact the organizing Company of IFAF is planning an edition of the Korean Film Festival in Milan in collaboration with Asian Studies Group, opportunity that will become another source of cultural exchange and mutual promotion for successful cooperation for the future.

Ifaf corridoio.jpg

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


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.


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.

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.


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


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 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.


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.


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.


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

Milan Design Week: Superstudio Group for Milano Genius, launches “Take a Seat” theme.

Let us to introduce today the partner for Design Days in Osaka for that concerns one of the three calls for design, launched in collaboration with Osaka City as part of Milano Genius 2019 for specific project named Design Made in Osaka

Superstudio Group, with its two locations Superstudio Più and Superstudio 13, has been the initiator, since 2000, of the project that has brought design out of the institutional headquarter of the Exhibition, proposing other modalities to spread it, during the event of Design Week in April, in the Tortona District, to then being extended to the entire city. An actual urban phenomenon also imitated by other Milanese areas and studied as case

history in the entire world.

superstudio più

superstudio 13

Superdesign attracts 130.000 visitors, professionals but also simple design lovers as well as Italian and foreign students, with the possibility to access free guided tours open to all citizens. The exclusive press office, located at the doorway of Superstudio Più, registers more than 2.000 journalists, over 40 partner headlines, and a press release on the event with more than 200 articles on our event.


Design Days in Osaka and Milan Design Week

take a seat

With regard to the collaboration between Superstudio and Milano Genius on the project “Design made in Osaka” (with official presentation during the Design Days in Osaka on March 1 st ), we propose the theme “TAKE A SEAT” for the Call for Creativity and its related competition.

Superstudio will be responsible for the selection of the projects gathered by Asian Studies Group, co-organizer with IIC Osaka of Milano Genius, and it will freely host chairs and seats created in real scale (prototypes or elements already in production) at Superdesign Show, the big event of Superstudio during Milan Design Week (April 8 th -14 th ).

The exact number of seats hosted and the exact location of the exposition will be defined only following the selection made by the artistic direction of Superstudio.


– The chair is the archetype of furniture

– The chair is needed not only to seat down

– Chairs are required to eat, to work, to study, to relax, to chat, to write, to fix, to experiment, to cook, to work with the computer, to teach, to confess, to cuddle, to lean against, etc….

– Every culture employs chairs

– The chair is history

– The chair is a cultural expression

– The chair speaks about aesthetics, usage, art, reason, madness, technology, tradition,

innovation, economy, status, taste, ethics, sustainability, sensibility, materials, progress, desires, dreams, etc…

– The chair talks about us

Why, considering all types of chairs existing in the world, have we asked designers in Osaka to take on chairs yet again?

Because we would like to invite participants to explore more deeply the object “chair”, also breaking the barriers of common sense and production to propose, if possible, prototypes coherent with the Japanese vision , cultural intersections, new technologies, common and possible uses of the chair.

We find it interesting how new generations concerning design, in a country that pays so much attention to aesthetics, ethics, traditions, future, human being, new technology and sustainability, could offer new interpretations to a product that has existed since forever.

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If Milano speaks Genius

Being Milan the city of great working opportunities and cultural development, it is easy to understand why fields like design, theater, music and performative arts of any kind are so important to allow people to appreciate not only their culture, but also foreign ones.

Given this positive framework, 2019 has been envisioned a great year in terms of cultural exchange among countries with very different traditions, with the aim of investigating lifestyles far from ours.

This is surely the case of Italy and Japan, that will merge their habits this upcoming year, thanks to our project named Milano Genius 2019,  already introduced as framework co-supported by Switch on Your Creativity (the 6th edition), promoted and developed by the Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka in collaboration with Asian Studies Group as Milan located and partnered organisation.

These two municipalities are not stranger to each other: both of them are in fact cities of EXPO (Milan in 2015 and Osaka in 2025) and they also share the status of sister cities. Milano Genius undoubtedly is a further opportunity for these countries to promote Italian artists, such as musicians, actors, dancers and artists in a series of events and cultural exhibitions between the months February and June.

An additional aspect of the project is that it aims to be developed in different locations around Osaka, from traditional theaters to more unconventional settings like museums, halls and universities. Here arts, culture and innovation will reach the so called “merging point”, where cultural boundaries of both countries will join to celebrate the essence of culture everywhere and in every form, thanks to a communication system that involves emotions and goes beyond the linguistic aspect.