The Consulate of Italy in Karachi organized the fourth edition of Italian Design Day 2020 at Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi on Monday 16 November 2020. The Italian Design Day is the annual theme-based review launched in 2017 by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration and with the support of the Ministry for Heritage, Cultural Activities and Tourism. The theme of the 2020 Italian Design Day was “Designing the future. Development, innovation, sustainability and beauty” and it is closely linked to the proactive capacity of Italian design and the extended Made in Italy system to think up ever newer development scenarios, capable of overcoming self-referential rhetoric and keeping the improvement of our lives and the protection of the planet at the center of what is on offer. This is an even more topical issue when considered in the context of the health emergency due to global pandemic the world currently experiencing.
The event was organized in open air space with social distancing and SOPs as per guidelines of the Government of Sindh.
Recently arrived new Consul of Italy in Karachi, H.E. Danilo Giurdanella welcomed the participants and expressed his gratitude to people of Karachi for a warm welcome that he and his wife received after their arrival in Karachi. The aim of organizing this event was to engage the cross section of the business community based in Karachi, and provide a stepping-stone for enhanced commercial engagement between Italian and Pakistani companies in the Design and Architecture sector.
Mr. Giurdanella also mentioned about the presence of Italian Design and Architecture history present in Pakistan that dates back to the years 60 and 70s when an Italian architect Alfredo Kotzian designed few houses and a church in Pakistan. His works in Karachi and other cities of Sindh are being documented by a team of young architects from Indus Valley School of Architecture and will soon be published in collaboration with the paramount books.
Renowned architect Mr. Akeel Bilgrami in his presentation talked about “Sustainable, Game Changing Urban Project in Karachi, by developing a Kolachi Wetland Reserve and Chandni Park under the People and Nature Initiative (PANI), is a group of Pakistani’s who want to address environmental degradation of the rivers and coastlines of Pakistan.
As part of this project, the 118 acres of mangroves area along Mai Kolachi would be made into Kolachi Wetland Reserve, within which the Chandni Park on 12 acres, would be the First Eco-Friendly Park in Pakistan. This initiative is intended to be a prime example of good environmental practice and sustainable development, seeking to provide for the varied and conflicting factors of conservation, tourism, education and recreation, accessible to all including the physically and visually handicapped.
Mr. Michele Premoli Silva through zoom link from Milan talked about “Sustainability of Architecture in Relation to Respect for the Genius Loci”. Mr. Silva shared his experience as an architect working in different countries and stressed the need of involvement of local partners and artisans preserving the local culture and traditions while working on any project. In his presentation, he mentioned European cities, which are the result of millenary stratifications where the greatest compositional “defects” occurred in moments of post-war reconstruction dictated by real housing needs. However, those moments have not cancelled the cultural and urban history,rooted over the centuries. In his opinion,a good contemporary architecture helps to project history into the future. He stressed that we cannot run the risk of making mistakes in order not to compromise the future of a country, which could risk eliminating its own cultural tradition in a few years.
Ms. Roberta Vecci from Novacolor Italy gave her talk via zoomlink and talked about Novacolor’s journey in Pakistan and the road to Innovation, Sustainability and Aesthetics.Mr. Hafeezulllah Shaikh, CEO of Novacolor Pakistan with his team gave a live demo of design technique and Novacolor products.
Mr. Iftikhar Shallwani, Commissioner of Karachi in hi s speech welcomed the new Consul in Karachi. He shared his aspirations with audience as administrator of Karachi and welcomed ideas from Italian partners about collaboration and development of Karachi on sustainable footing.
Mr. Hassan Askari, the Vice President of Italian Development Committee gave vote of thanks. The event was followed by an Italian aperitivo and networking session. Local representatives of Italian companies also displayed their design products, namely: BuilPro showcasing high end luxury Murano glass basins from Glass Design Italy and aluminum windows by ALU K, the leading international brand with its headquarters in Italy. Novacolor Pakistan displayed their elaborate product line for wall finishes. YOCA Design studio displayed their tables that won a design award in Italy.