6 June sees the opening of “Tigullio Design District”. The organisers talk to DN: this is the new “glocal” event dedicated to design
The 6 to 12 June sees the first online edition: interview with the promoter, who, through local experience and a global vision are promoting the design culture of a precious area
The 6 to 12 June sees the first online edition of Tigullio Design District, a new “glocal” event dedicated to design. For an entire week national and international speakers will bring their professional experience in nautical design, the outdoors and lifestyle to one of the most beautiful areas of Liguria. They will also share their own personal interpretation of the event’s theme: “What is design?”, reflecting on the current role of applicational and professional fields which can revitalise the area.
“Think global, act local”: in line with this this theoretical vision by sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, the new Ligurian event aims to be a driving force for wide reaching cultural exchange and a showcase for local businesses (companies, designers, artisans and creatives), a meeting place for knowledge and an opportunity for rebirth.
Daily Nautica, which is the media partner for Tigullio Design District, interviewed the organisers.
How did the idea for Tigullio Design District come about, and what are its objectives?
Tigullio Design District came about in response to local needs to help revive its boating district and connection to the sea, which has been going through a darker period over that last few decades. Tigullio is a singular place, an area known internationally which will now become a new focal point for nautical and outdoor design.
Tigullio Design District is placing itself as an ideal connection between Genova and La Spezia, to demonstrate how eastern Liguria is a singular place in Italy in which to design, produce, study, research, promote and do business around nautical design, the outdoors and lifestyle. These are just some of the ideas that marked the development of the project, which in such a short time, has already become a point of reference for the industry.
What were the selection criteria for the contributors?
Selecting our guests was intense and targeted, with the aim of permitting designers from Tigullio, and more in general from Liguria, to connect with Italian colleagues and with guests from all the continents, in order to create an event with a clear local/global target.
Guests come from classic boating, so pure yacht designers, but we also have interior designers, industrialists and much more. Because boating and all products tied to the sea are designed by industrial designers who, in the various boating shows or in design shows fail to find adequate space to share their stories, which also happens to manufacturing companies as well.
The professional facets of design is a view that, up until now, only a few understand; it will take some time. What does an interior designer have to do with a yacht? A lot. And a service designer with the outdoors? Or a landscape designer with bays and city waterfronts? Our job is to focus on continuing to find masters and young talent who can work together and design for the future, obviously with courageous and visionary businesses.
The choice of such a broad theme – “What is design?” – for this first edition and this extremely international cut – how does this reconcile with a widespread “site” that is still “local”, in the positive sense of the term?
We carefully evaluated the topic for our first edition. We didn’t want to fall into the usual topics of ‘design and innovation’ or ‘design and sustainability’. Those who design know that, since design is first and foremost, research, these concepts are included, when we are talking about “good design”. So we asked ourselves what the area really needed in order to stand out again.
The choice fell on the most ordinary question, which is also one of the most complex to answer: a question which is both “local”, and applicable to large metropolises. Many were surprised: we like a challenge. And we are happy about what it is already bringing to our event. We hope that in the future we will be able to find themes that are equally provocative and make our guests really think.
What is the potential of an area like Tigullio and more in general Liguria, in regards to design, excluding the well-rooted boating sector?
The potential is infinite. In Tigullio and Liguria there are spaces and places that are a symbol for our country, famous around the world, an entire territory to revitalise. Design can respond to such complex challenges, starting with redesigning marine waterfronts, the hillsides and urban areas. So we aren’t only talking about yacht designers, but about landscape designers, service designers, product designers, web and graphic designers, because territorial promotion never ends.
And who else but designers can do all that? But, until designers themselves have the courage to step outside of industry prejudice and offer their services to local communities, it will be difficult to improve and above all to help others understand how design can help. Tigullio Design District, therefore, by working locally, will attempt to help this cultural sensitivity emerge, thanks to people from ‘next door’ and those from across the sea, naturally developing an active local/global debate.
The event is taking place at the same time as Milan Design Week, where, for the last few years, the boating industry has been present, is that a coincidence or was it intentional?
Tigullio Design District is taking place in the same days as Milan Design Week, which includes both the Show in Rho and the Fuorisalone around the city. They are two contemporary activities, yet with different management and organisation. Milan is for Italian design, but for the world all of Italy is design. Liguria, instead is the sea, in a historical sense as well as in a boating sense, with Genova, La Spezia and other areas, ports, districts which have helped make our region excellent and created generations of artisans, followed by architects, engineers and designers developing an entire design and product chain.
Milan has no sea, like Liguria doesn’t have a productive and active metropolis like Lombardy. For these historical and geographic reasons, we believe that Liguria, with one of the most beautiful seas in Italy, can and must dedicate itself to the boating industry, to the marine environments and the coasts with care an eye to the future. So Tigullio Design District is therefore an addition to Milan Design Week, becoming the first event in Liguria for international design and launching a message of inclusion and partnership between regions, in addition to cities belonging to the same region, demonstrating that together we can do better and do more.
Choosing the same week means offering something new and fresh that Milan, Genova and all of Italy can use internationally, showing that design in Italy is truly everywhere, from the biggest cities to the smallest towns. A concrete example of how a similar territorial model can be developed throughout the country, if you have the spirit and vision to do so.