New York Style Guide meets Venice Design Week – Chapter 1
From the 3rd to the 11th of October, Venice hosted the 11th edition of Venice Design Week.
New York Style Guide was invited and here we are, with the first article in a series dedicated to Venice and its design week. So for all design lovers, relax, get your favorite drink, sit back and enjoy as we guide you through one of the most unique events in Europe.
The concepts that coexist in the Venetian event are incredibly interactive and cross over a full experience of the city, and it is definitely worth exploring what Venice Design Week can teach about not just design, but also communication, empowering businesses, integration and connection. This is why New York Style Guide has decided to dedicate a series of articles divided into chapters, focusing on the structure, the content, the events, and of course, on Venice, the most unique city in Italy. For a matter of storytelling and cohesion, we decided as said to divide the experience in chapters, so wait for a Chapter 2 soon to come, up to a final chapter, unveiling all wonders of Venice, learning why this is one of the loveliest events in Italy.
If there is a merit that many people have in this area of Italy, is that despite Covid19 has been particularly aggressive, especially in the North, people in these regions have shown a wonderful and quick reaction, something that is really in their own DNA. Venetians as many others just don’t let anything discourage them. It is really not in the spirit especially in this part of the country, to let go and give up, and for sure Venetians never let fatalities stun and stop them. This is the city that for hundreds of years has been the heart of one of the most glorious Republics in Europe, and still delivers as a light in the dark.
Just in the spirit of its own history, the event aims to reconnect with Venice’s past: for many centuries, the city has been recognised as an important port where goods and ideas were exchanged, especially with the East. This festival is a way to continue the creative exchange that belongs here as in many historical Italian towns and cities.
As a first presentation to the event, for all those who never heard of Venice Design Week, we chopped the innovative concept in its main sections. So, with no further ado, let’s live and befriend its 11th edition.
What is the spirit of Venice Design Week?
Venice Design Week is a festival dedicated to design and innovation, it brings ideas and projects from all over the world. At the same time, it aims to enhance local businesses and opens the door to cultural experiences, with guided tours in Venice, deep diving into the creative spirit that is in the heart of the city. With high qualified universities, never-ending research and a tradition in art and handicraft, the many levels of creativity in Venice are to be considered something to breath and grab, as they hide or explode in front of your eyes everywhere in its streets.
“Venice Design Week – said architect Lisa Balasso, art director of the event – is an occasion for meeting and dialogue on how the design of every single object or system that surrounds us is fundamental to improve the quality of everyday life. The design week is also the ideal time to discover the city of Venice from a particular point of view “.
The theme for this year is “a step forward”, intended to question form and function and aiming to an incremental process that starts from the design of an object now stereotyped, re-designing it and giving it a new life.
What happens during Venice Design Week?
Every day is planned to combine meetings, conferences, exhibitions with guided tours through the city or to labs and ateliers that are very representative of the Venetian tradition, leaders in specific design sectors and that you can only find here.
One of the big challenges of this year, was to allow people to participate of the liveliness of the city during the festival, complying with the regulation that bans gatherings due to the pandemic. For this reason all conferences, awards, ceremonies and debates were held in presence and shared online in live streaming. For once it was necessary to keep things as easy as possible, even to test the effectiveness of the online experience and the response of the audience, and hence the majority of the conferences were held exceptionally in Italian, while ceremonies and contests kept their international soul.
NYSG had the opportunity to attend some of the conferences at the end of the week, and meet creatives that we will extensively write about in the following chapters. While we applaud the initiative to send the events online, we have to admit that this festival is planned to the smallest details in order to give you a total Venetian experience: that means that the locations chosen for the events are simply breathtaking, and in pandemic free times, we warmly suggest whoever has the opportunity to be there during the festival, to attend as many as well. They will not just enrich you with their content, they will open the doors to locations so spectacular that you will be amazed.
These are two of the locations we had the opportunity to visit:
the Ateneo Veneto
The Hotel Saturnia and International, where they held the ceremony for the Jewelry Selection 2020 awards
An experience at Venice Design Week includes opportunities to attend workshop with Venetian master artisans, discover the history of the city and how it connects with the history of design, discover new techniques, meet with new technology discoveries and spend time in beautiful concept stores. It’s a prismatic experience that according to the main focus of the day, would lead you eg to discover the art of glass, iron, ceramic, and more.
To learn about the historical aspects, Venice Design Week gave the opportunity to all participants to sign up for guided tours proposed by Go Guide, a group of qualified tourist guides. To mention some of the itineraries: “Tradition and innovation, Rialto today”, “Venice and the silk roads”, “Rialto between market and artisans”, “The restyling of Piazza San Marco “, and” Centennial graffiti: signs and drawings on the walls of the city “.
The INSTRUMENTAdesign, the VDW Jewelry Selection 2020, and the Light Art and Color competitions are organised by Venice Design Week. New York Style Guide will dedicate a chapter to every contest and the winners for each of them. To highlight the competitions shortly:
- “INSTRUMENTAdesign” is an international competition for designers and planners, that called designers to create objects inspired by antiquity. This was also an opportunity to dialogue with professors Eugenio Farina of the Italian School of Design, Enrico Giannichedda, expert in archeology of production, Alessandro Greco from Sapienza University and the director Alberta Facchi of the National Archaeological Museum of Adria.
- “VDW Jewelry Selection” international competition, now in its 7th edition, has as its theme “transgression”: 12 designers were selected from Italy, the United States, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil and the Czech Republic to compete on translating transgression into jewels.
- “VDW Light Art and Colors” is a international competition, sponsored by ADI (Industrial Design Association) of Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige, dedicated to the design of interior lighting, the design of lamps and lighting bodies.
Venice Design Week was also the opportunity to discover some tales about the city, through the concept store Edmond à Venice. There will be a chapter dedicated to this.
As a stage for new designers, with the “a step forward” theme, and its focus on reinventing and readapting, the festival gave the opportunity for designers to inform about their business: we will meet some of them, and of course we will focus on exhibitions, competitions and hopefully we will get to our last chapter fulfilling the hard task to present this festival and this city to our readers.
What will NYSG show in the Venice Design Week Chapters?
A lot of the festival: we have planned interviews, we will investigate Venice as close as possible, we will show the competitions and the winners, we will sum up the conferences and keep you informed on what is changing in many aspect of the design world: thinking, telling, teaching to say some.
NYSG has been granted exclusive interviews with creatives from many different fields, with just these few elements in common: they are from Veneto, Venice’s region, they are creative, they live in the circular economy, and some of them are already changing the world. There will be talks about Murano glass, of course, meetings with labs and new thinking. Even advising you on where to stay if you decide to visit the event next year.
We will guide you through the exhibitions and show videos wherever possible, tell stories about Venice that you did not even know about, but that is just thanks to the Venice Design Week organisation and the minds behind it, specifically thanks to architect Lisa Balasso, who literally opened up the door for our readers to have a very unique opportunity to live the experience in Venice, to see and read in our stories to come.
To Lisa our warmest thank you and heartfelt gratitude for the experience and the opportunity, and we extend our gratitude to the whole staff of VDW and Hotel Heureka: we will do our best to be up to the task of retelling Venice, the design week and all their magic.
An extra: as we talk about the art of blowing glass, we will enjoy a quick visit to the charming island of San Giorgio, in front of Piazza San Marco, for a special exhibition.
So stay tuned and look for the next chapters, VDW Chapter 2 is closer than you imagine.
While waiting, you can follow Venice Design Week on their instagram @venicedesignweek
All pictures, unless differently stated above, are courtesy of Venice Design Week