WIPO Hosts Exhibition on Italian Design

Geneva, September 21, 2005
Press Releases PR/2005/414


A unique exhibition spanning 50 years of Italian design featuring items from the prestigious Compasso d'Oro ADI collection will open at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on September 26, 2005, coinciding with the opening day of the annual session of the WIPO Assemblies. The exhibition, “Flair & Function – 50 Years of the ADI Compasso d'Oro Award,” has been organized jointly between WIPO and the Italian Government and seeks to highlight the importance of design (Adobe PDF) in the commercial success of a product.

WIPO Director General, Dr. Kamil Idris, said the exhibition “showcases the country's excellence and flair in this area which have brought economic success, international recognition and respect for the “Made in Italy” label. I should like to thank the Italian Government, in particular the Ministry of Productive Activities, as well as the Italian Patent and Trademark Office (UIBM), the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE), the Italian Association for Industrial Design (ADI) and Italy's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, for their generosity in sharing with us this remarkable exhibition.”

"In our increasingly image-conscious world, the "look" of a product is a key ingredient in its commercial success. It is often the design – not necessarily the practicality – of, say, a handbag, a coffee cup or a lamp that prompts us buy it rather than another similar article,” said Dr. Idris, noting that companies invest large sums of money and expertise in the development of designs that appeal to changing consumer tastes. He stressed, “while the functional elements do not generally differ significantly from product to product, the design or appearance is likely to be one of the major determinants of success in the marketplace. This is why an awareness and understanding of the potential advantages of the intellectual property system are so important to the success of the business strategy of any designer, especially when it comes to protecting commercially valuable designs."

Italy's Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Productive Activities, Mr. Roberto Cota, who will attend the opening of the exhibition, thanked WIPO for hosting the exhibition on Italian design which, he said,“underscores the value of Italy's experience in this field.” He said “Design means many things: quality in planning processes, technological innovation, entrepreneurial flexibility, the availability of competences and creative skills.” Mr. Cota added “The widespread need for functionality and beauty in everyday life has also developed into a tool for sharing culture: Italian design has made a strong contribution to the concrete realization of this vision. Intellectual property is the only instrument that enables protection of both the economic and cultural value of goods.”

Mr. Carlo Forcolini, President of ADI and a renowned designer, said “design is the pride and honor of Italy. We are a nation that prides itself on excellence in design. This collection exemplifies the many achievements of Italian designers over the past 50 years.”

The exhibition features more than 50 objects which exemplify Italian talent and creativity in design across a wide range of sectors. These exhibits have all either received the prestigious ADI Compasso d'Oro Award or been shortlisted for it and now constitute part of the Award's unique Historical Collection. Set up in the early 1950s by famed Milanese designer Gio Ponti, the ADI Compasso d'Oro has become one of the most important and respected awards in this field. Awards are granted by qualified international juries to designs ranging from toys, sports gear, car interiors, furniture and electric appliances to Websites.

This exhibition provides an impressive retrospective of Italian innovation in the field of design, including objects such as Bruno Munari's famous toy monkey (Compasso d'Oro Award 1953), Vico Magistretti's “Eclisse” table lamp (Compasso d'Oro Award 1967) and Giorgetto Guigiaro “Brera” car (Compasso d'Oro Award 2004).

The exhibition is open to the public from September 27, 2005 through November 30, 2005 from 09:00 to 17:00.

For further information please contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at (+ 41 22) 338 81 61, 338 95 47 Fax: (+41 22) 338 82 80, E-mail: publicinf@wipo.int.