MILAN — The second edition of Altagamma’s annual “Next Design Perspectives” summit will be held on Oct. 29 and hosted by Gucci at its Gucci Hub headquarters, located in the former Caproni aeronautics factory built in 1915 on Via Mecenate.
Focusing on socioeconomic macro trends shaping the future of design and creativity, Altagamma called on Deyan Sudjic to guest-curate the 2019 edition of the summit. Sudjic, the director of London’s Design Museum, is a journalist, teacher and writer, who also directed the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2002.
Kicking off the event, Altagamma will present a study commissioned from British researcher Ben Page, through his firm Ipsos Mori. Following this, the daylong event will focus on four main topics: mobility; home and work; hospitality, and fashion.
The roster of speakers has yet to be revealed.
Presenting the event with a press conference on Friday, Altagamma president Andrea Illy explained, “Next Design Perspectives was born with the idea to look at the future of design as a verb, rather than a noun,” underscoring the event’s goal is to focus on design processes. “We’re living a moment which I would describe as a change of an era, rather than an era of change, with de-carbonization and sustainability, as well as inclusivity gaining momentum. If we don’t take a step back to look at the future, it might look disorienting.”
Illy underscored that the aim of the initiative is to highlight and support “the competitiveness of the Italian creative industry, which accounts for 5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.” Despite geopolitical tensions, the companies Altagamma represents have overall grown 4 percent annually over the past few years and employ around 500,000 workers.
“We are very ambiguous about the future,” Sudjic noted. “It seems almost like a threat, and as [artist] Sterling Ruby once said, ‘The future is here but not evenly distributed.'” He pointed to digital disruption, the advent of car sharing and self-driving vehicles, as well as the evolution of workspaces.
Fashion-wise, Sudjic noted today’s speed of change forces fashion brands to rethink their communication strategies. “We’re moving toward the era of the ‘drops,’ and we aim to look at how all this will impact the way we use fashion as a means of self-representation,” he explained.
Despite the speed of a digital and technology-driven transformation, Sudjic noted, “human beings are programmed to look for social activities: Smelling, touching, tasting. They’re all things that Altagamma companies rely on.”
For the second edition, Altagamma has gathered a range of partners, including Italy’s trade agency ICE and the Fiera Milano association. In addition, the event can count on the support of the Lombardy region and Milan Municipality.
Held at Milan’s Triennale design museum, the inaugural edition of the summit last year attracted more than 1,000 attendees and around 17 speakers including Gucci president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri; architect and designer Philippe Starck, and John C. Jay, president of global creative at Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing, among others.