Fast-Forward Design. Rome’s First Broad-Based Project for Young Designers and Sustainability

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: November 2011 - Project end date: January 2012
Project number: 2011-29
Beneficiary: Sala 1 Associazione Culturale


The project FFW Design: Young Designers for a Sustainable Future, which for the first time in Rome concentrates on one specific sector of design, aims at setting the Sustainability into a spotlight and bringing this important theme to the attention of the general public, in continuation with the principles illustrated during the convention «Per un'architettura frugale», promoted by Fondazione Bruno Zevi, held in Rome on January 12, 2010. In addition, the event hopes to be an occasion for the visibility and promotion of production agencies and institutions interested in Recycling.

The project, which received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation,  consists of:
- a show of the prototypes of four young Italian designers;
- a show of the prototypes of four young Finnish designers;
- a web platform dedicated to the promotion of the entire initiative, across which  a census will be launched to construct an online archive of professionals, organizations, and agencies committed to sustainable design;
- a workshop and a competition open to design students from Rome.

Italian Designers
A show will be organized in Sala 1, International Center for Contemporary Art situated in the monumental complex of the Scala Santa in Rome, located beside the basilica of San Giovanni: four young Italian designers will be invited to present prototypes, conceived in relation to the exhibition space ("use-specific"). The exhibition was conceived as an occasion to present new ideas and prototypes to the attention of businesses. One of the objectives of the project is in fact to create a synergy between the creator and the company, in order to cultivate these new ideas.
Finnish Designers
In the same way, in the spaces of Tralevolte - Sala 2 architettura (adjacent to Sala 1) projects and prototypes of four young Finnish designers will be presented.
The opportunity to host Finland in this production concerning sustainable design seems opportune and timely, in that Helsinki, capital of Finland, was recently elected world capital of design for 2012.
The event will thus be a showcase of information and a preview of the initiatives that will reveal themselves in Finland in 2012, offering an excellent occasion for collaboration and partnership between the public institutions involved.
Traveling Route: Albano and Palombara
For both the shows, a traveling route is planned in collaboration with the communities of Albano Laziale and Palombara Sabina: the prototypes showcased at Sala 1 and Sala 2 will be transfered to the prechosen headquarters of the municipalities, between december 13-30, 2011.
Internet Platform - Census
A website will be launched, dedicated to the entirety of the initiative: in this way a functional platform will be available for the promotion of the event and an interaction with the public. In addition to providing information and complete documentation of the two exhibitions, the site expects to send a periodical newsletter and to launch a census, for the area of Rome and its surrounding districts, in order to construct an online archive of professionals, organizations, and agencies interested in field of sustainable design. Thus it will be possible to create an instrument enabling these groups to keep in contact, facilitating and motivating the exchange of information, and initiating research and development projects.
Workshop and Competition
At the same time as the opening of the exhibition in Sala 1, a workshop will be organized involving guest designers and a select group of students from the design schools in Rome. The workshop will be structured as an active laboratory in order to place in discussion methods, aspects and problems of work related to sustainable design. It will therefore be an opportunity for the formulation and renovation of ideas for both designers and students.
The competition "iPED - Idee Per un Eco Design" ("Ideas for Eco-Design"), will be launched to address all of the students attending the design schools of Rome and its surrounding areas. The competition will aim to reward the talent of the students. The designers must submit projects and prototypes which meet the criteria of frugality and sustainability, proposing creative solutions that could have an impact on everyday life, but maintaining a high functional quality and aesthetic. The project that best meets the above criteria will be rewarded.
The reward consists of the official presentation of the project at the closing reception of the event and also its publication to a webpage on the initiative's site, specifically dedicated to the project.
The Categories will be: Renewable energy, Recycle and reuse.

The project intends also to highlight the collaboration between the two partner organizations. The initiative is therefore conceived in order to continue on in the promotion of a culture of sustainable progress and in the exchange of experiences with other partners. In particular, it is anticipated to:
1. Offer widespread visibility to the work of the associates interested in recycling and of the agencies creating the design products;
2. Motivate the start-up of collaborations, joint ventures, and conventions between the involved institutions and between the participating agencies and public institutions.
In the perspectives that grow from the conducted research in this field and the progressive distribution of sustainable design products, there will be an immediate positive impact on the leading agencies involved with recycling and in the production of secondary materials made through the recycling of raw materials. It seems opportune that this project will reinforce and develop new synergies between the two sectors, with the goal to increase the demand and contribute to the diffusion, simultaneously, of "good practices" which all citizens are called to learn in the practice of waste and waste collection.

Sala 1 is Italy's oldest non-profit for contemporary art, begun in 1967 by the artist Tito, recuperating spaces behind the complex of the Scala Santa in Rome, and specifically geared to contemporary art that is not easily shown in museums of commercial galleries. Director Mary Angela Schroth began in 1985 a program of producing and curating exhibitions especially outside of the European and USA context: major exhibitions with artists from Japan, Russia, China, Iran, Bangladesh, Morocco, and many African countries have had their debuts in Italy at Sala 1. This year, the Sala 1 will organize the Pavilions of Iraq (the first since 1976) and Bangladesh (for the first time) at the Venice Biennale.
In particular Sala 1 has long had a particular interest in contemporary architecture, both for the link between contemporary art and the construction of new churches in Italy (long a battle of founder Tito Amodei) with several pilot project exhibitions with the CEI but also organizing exhibitions with the Istituto Nazionale di Architettura (INARCH) when their exhibition space was closed in the early 1990's. This contact with architecture was augmented with the creation of an informal link with the Bruno Zevi Foundation, given the role of Sala 1's curator Emanuela Termine who also collaborates with the Zevi Foundation. Ms. Termine was instrumental in a major conference in 2009 entitled Per un'Architettura Frugale (For a Frugal Approach in Architecture), bringing major architects from Indonesia, Namibia, Brasil and Europe in a series of conferences and workshops (plus publication) on the subject of sustainability and architecture/design ideas. Sala 1 has long had an identity of working with unusual and innovative projects, working with young curators and communications specialists for a major outreach for its program. Working on a global scale has been definitive for Sala 1, leading to many artistic collaborations, publications, and contacts that aim to underline the importance of culture as a tool for social and political change.

think global, act local
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