Torino Design of the City 2021

Rediscovering the human dimension of the city through design
The international exhibition Torino Design of the City is back

From Sept.15th to Oct. 31st, a rich programme of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and festivals, in person and online, aimed at creative people, policy makers and residents.


This autumn, the world of design culture and innovation will be back in the spotlight in Turin, which from Sept.15th to Oct. 31st will become the meeting place for creative people, policy makers and citizens, engaged in a participatory and multidisciplinary debate on the fundamental contribution of design as a factor of social, economic and cultural growth and a tool for rediscovering the human dimension of and in cities. For the 5th edition, the international Torino Design of the City event has further enriched its packed calendar of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and festivals, which can be attended both in person and online.

The project, conceived by the City of Turin with the support of Fondazione CRT, Compagnia di San Paolo, the Chamber of Commerce of Turin, the Polytechnic and the University of Turin, implemented with Turismo Torino e Provincia and in collaboration with Tavolo Consultivo del Design, which involves about 50 public and private entities, is an inclusive, sustainable community, capable of networking and imagining the future.

On the strength of its tradition of car design and its historical industrial vocation, in recent years Turin – since 2014 the only Italian city among the 30 UNESCO Creative Cities for Design – has promoted a new strategy open to innovation in the sectors of technology, culture and tourism, which finds expression in this annual event of international relevance.

After the long and difficult period of closures – not only physical – due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many Torino Design of the City events have chosen to focus their content on this theme. Starting with Graphic Days (Sept. 16th – 26th): “Touch is the fil rouge of the 6th edition,” say the festival’s artistic coordinators Fabio Guida and Ilaria Reposo, “an invitation to rediscover physicality and sensoriality, but also to stay in touch. As a matter of fact, in addition to the exhibition activities within our main venue, Toolbox Coworking, we will be reaching out to citizens; during the festival, graphic design will be an opportunity to explore the territory and access unusual places and locations usually closed to the public”.

For the 5th edition of Utopian Hours, to be held from Oct. 8th to 10th, Torino Stratosferica proposes the theme of the 1,000 minute-city. “It is a positive hymn to the future, to imagine a city no longer linked to the materiality of the territory but to the very idea of being citizens, always and everywhere,” explains Luca Ballarini, Founder & Creative Director of Torino Stratosferica.

“In October” adds Circolo del Design Director Sara Fortunati, “we are concluding a 6-month period in which over 45 events took place, including exhibitions, international conferences, talks and workshops dedicated to the theme of the humanisation of technology. This schedule has given a wide audience the opportunity to explore, through different languages, the different implications that this theme can generate today and has highlighted the new challenges for the world of design”.

The initiatives of the City of Torino
To inaugurate and close Torino Design of the City there will be two important appointments organized by the City. On Sept. 16th and 17th at the Castello del Valentino, seat of the Politecnico di Torino, the international workshop “Automotive Project” will involve the local stakeholders and those of the other UNESCO Creative Cities of Design (Saint-Etienne, Graz, Kortrijk, Detroit, Nagoya, Geelong and Puebla) in order to exchange experiences, visions and work together on a future sustainable mobility for the environment, the people and the economy. Starting from the experience of “Torino Mobility Lab”, an urban transformation project co-financed by the Ministry of the Environment in the San Salvario district, a contribution will be stimulated with respect to the key concepts Human scale, Product scale and City scale identified in previous international comparisons.

On Oct. 29th, on the other hand, the meeting of the Italian UNESCO Creative Cities at the Polo del ‘900 will bring to the table a reflection on the current crisis – which influences all aspects of what we define as a “creative city”, affecting the creative, productive, distribution and training fabric – and the responses put in place over the last twelve months. The delegates from Alba, Bergamo and Parma (gastronomy), Biella, Carrara and Fabriano (craftsmanship), Bologna and Pesaro (music), Milan (literature), Rome (cinema) and Turin (design) will take stock after a year of working together and lay the foundations for identifying the future projects that each city will implement individually or in collaboration with each other.

Among the other initiatives, on Oct. 15th at the Fiera del Libro (Stand Città di Torino) the World Design Library projects will be presented to the public, the first national and international public library dedicated to design and environmental sustainability promoted by the City of Torino, the World Design Organization (WDO) and the Politecnico di Torino, and the Torino Automotive Heritage Network, which aims at enhancing the tangible and intangible heritage linked to the automotive industry. The Creativity Forum. Carrara for the UNESCO Creative Cities (Sept. 24th-26th), the Festival of Sustainable Creativity, Biella Città Arcipelago (Oct. 1st-3rd) and the round tables from the UNESCO Creative Cities of Design network (Oct. 12th-14th), this year live from Geelong (Australia), will all take place in virtual mode.

The programme of Torino Design of the City
Once again this year, the Torino Design of the City calendar includes dozens of events organised and promoted by the organisations working on design and participating in the Advisory Board. Below is a selection of the most interesting appointments that will involve the city:

Sept. 16th – 26th
Toolbox Coworking (Via Agostino da Montefeltro 2)
The 6th edition of the international visual design festival, Touch, addresses the theme of reconnecting the senses in visual communication. The programme includes exhibitions, performances and experiential activities in the Toolbox Coworking space, as well as initiatives throughout the city. On display are visual projects by illustrators and young designers, posters dedicated to social issues as part of the Posterheroes contest, an in-depth look at social design and a focus on Ukraine, the 6th edition’s guest country. Sept. 17th is “In the City day”, the appointments organised by visual design studios and cultural institutions in Turin; Sept. 19th sees the opening of the Abracadabra exhibition at the Egyptian Museum; Sept. 25th and 26th sees an open-air exhibition-market with the works of artisans and artists. A project by Print Club Torino, Plug and Quattrolinee

Until Sept. 30th
Circolo del Design (Via San Francesco da Paola 17)
This is the theme that guides online and offline Circolo del Design’s cultural content until Sept. 2021. The humanisation of technology is the great challenge that technological progress is facing from an ethical, economic, social and environmental point of view: a challenge made particularly evident by the pandemic situation, with its imposed digital acceleration, its physical limitations and consequently our renewed habits of consumption, relationship and use of services. What paths are our data taking online? How much space are the virtual places we inhabit taking up in our lives? How much do we mediate our emotions through devices? To what extent can technologies represent a design tool for the planet? And what can design do?

3. OBIETTIVO. The datapoietic art that makes us sensitive to world problems
Sept. 15th – Oct. 31st
Opera Barolo (Via delle Orfane 7)
The first datapoietic object is a lamp that will never switch off until extreme poverty in the world falls below the 500,000 mark. Powered by data from global institutions, Obiettivo’s pulsating red light is a burning alarm about social justice that keeps us awake and aware. The installation at Palazzo Barolo is a symbolic act across time and space: through data, the poor of Turin whom the Marquises Giulia and Tancredi housed in that entrance become the poor of the whole world. Conceived by the Iaconesi/Persico duo in 2019 in partnership with ICONA, PlusValue and the research centre HER/Nuovo Abitare, the work was acquired in 2020 by the Collezione Farnesina and is currently competing for the Compasso d’Oro.

Sept. 16th – Oct. 30th
San Salvario District
In 2017, the Ministry of the Environment formalised to the City of Turin the award of the “Torino Mobility Lab” project within the framework of the “National experimental programme of sustainable home-school and home-work mobility”. The area chosen for the project is the San Salvario district, a densely populated part of the city with a significant mix of functions on an urban scale that vary in terms of impact and users over a 24-hour period. “Torino Mobility Lab”, promoted by the Viability, Transport and Infrastructure and Education and Schooling Departments, was conceived and developed by a project unit of the City of Torino composed of technicians and experts from the Mobility Area and the Sustainable City Laboratory of ITER (Istituzione Torinese per una Educazione Responsabile), with the collaboration of the Politecnico di Milano (Department of Architecture and Urban Studies), the Bike Sharing operator “Tobike”, Grandi Stazioni SpA and the ATI coordinated by the Local Development Agency of San Salvario.
With the conclusion of the project phase, the “Torino Mobility Living Lab” initiative proposes a programme of initiatives to discuss the challenges launched by the San Salvario project: the extension of innovative urban design tools, strategies for experimental and structural interventions on public space, the opportunities of shared mobility, dialogue and conflicts with local communities, actions to involve the educational system, processes of accompaniment and social communication.

Sept. 25th – Oct. 3rd
Oval Lingotto Fiere (Via Giacomo Mattè Trucco 70)
Expocasa is one of the most important Furniture and Interior Design Shows, an event that for over 50 years has brought together the best furnishing proposals in the widest range of exhibits in Piedmont. In the past as well as today, the Exhibition presents its loyal audience with the best and most innovative furnishing proposals and solutions for domestic spaces, particularly in this period that is changing the way we live in our homes, making them an increasingly personal and multifunctional place. In the wake of the success achieved in Sept. 2020, Expocasa 2021 will be held again in autumn, with original areas and themed exhibitions that will further expand the exhibition offer and an interesting and up-to-date calendar of events to involve visitors to the event even more actively.

6. DISTRIBUITI E CONNESSI. 5 years of Hackability: technology and design as innovation infrastructure
Oct. 4th – 8th
Rinascimenti Sociali (Via Maria Vittoria 38)
The exhibition showcases some of the work and projects developed by Hackability, the non-profit organisation set up in Turin in 2016 to bring together the skills of designers, makers and digital artisans with the needs (and inventiveness) of people with disabilities. In order to bring these worlds together, Hackability has developed a co-design methodology capable of operating close to the places where people and communities live: in companies and fablabs, in cultural, sporting and tourist centres, in neighbourhoods and communities in inland areas, creating innovative and customised solutions for autonomy and care. Co-design in this perspective, in addition to designing objects and solutions, becomes an infrastructure for redefining welfare and cultural services, making them more inclusive, developing social cohesion and new skills. The initiative is organised by Hackability within the framework of the Biennale Democrazia and Torino Design of the City 2021, with the collaboration of Torino Social Impact and the support of Rinascimenti Sociali. At 5.30 p.m. on each opening day there will be a short talk.

Oct. 8th – 10th
La Centrale Nuvola Lavazza (Via Ancona 11/a)
“The 1,000-minute city (the city is everywhere)” is the theme of the 5th edition of Utopian Hours. The international festival of city making, organised by Torino Stratosferica, is back with a 3-day programme packed with high-profile contributions and guests. The event recounts the best of “city making”, gathering international best practices, including visionary challenges, ambitious projects, social and technological innovation. Utopian Hours gives voice to the ideas and protagonists of the most interesting urban innovations: policy makers, activists, entrepreneurs and innovators share their experience, stimulating new visions on the future and on the very concept of “city”. Utopian Hours is also a moment to imagine together a stratospheric Turin: during the festival there will be space for proposals for a city at the best of its potential, from visiting experts (the Visiting Urban Explorers) and brilliant residents.

Oct. 16th – 6.30 p.m. (inauguration)
MPR/HUB Gallery (Via Sacchi 28 bis)
The regeneration of the porticos of Via Sacchi through art en plein air, with interventions on the shutters of the shops participating in the initiative by students of the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts in Turin. #Portici d’Artista is a project in progress, from Sept. 10th to Oct. 16th. The opening event tells the story with curators and artists. The unveiling of the history of the street and the city is the theme chosen for youthful creativity, consistent with the architectural context, to enhance the heritage. Portici d’Artista is sponsored by Circoscrizione 1, with the support of Torino Creativa in relation to the “Guidelines for Urban Art – Muralism – Street Art”, in collaboration with Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti, Department of Architecture and Design of the Politecnico di Torino, organised by Comitato Rilanciamo Via Sacchi.

Nuvolari, Varzi, Campari and other heroes of the Cuneo-Colle della Maddalena
Oct. 26th, 2021 – Jan. 9th, 2022
MAUTO (Corso Unità d’Italia 40)
The roaring uphill race “Cuneo-Colle della Maddalena” and the wild state of Italian roads of the time are at the centre of a new exhibition that the National Automobile Museum, the Municipality of Cuneo and the watchmaker Eberhard are opening at MAUTO. “Quei temerari delle strade bianche” promises the public powerful suggestions: 40 images taken by the photographer Adriano Scoffone in the editions between ’25 and ’30 and populated by the myths of the time, Nuvolari in the lead. And then three of the sensational cars that challenged each other, inserted in the scenographic and narrative system curated by Giosuè Boetto Cohen with the collaboration of Angelo Sala, former director of the stage design of the Teatro alla Scala. But the exhibition has other surprises in store for its visitors. The public is welcomed by the notes of a suite for organ and orchestra dedicated to engines, written by Marco Robino, Peter Greenaway’s musician. Alongside the original score, there is also a multi-projection reconstructing the atmosphere of the town of Cuneo in the first half of the 20th century.

Oct. 30th
La Centrale Nuvola Lavazza (Via Ancona 11/a)
The meeting, in line with the initiatives of the newborn ADI Museum in Milan, was created with the aim of recounting the ideas, research and theoretical/practical development of the projects that led to the creation of the excellent products from Piedmont that won the Compasso d’Oro Award. The prestigious projects, told in the first person by the winning designers and companies, reveal what is most precious in a creative design process that has been awarded an illustrious prize: passion, curiosity and creativity that take concrete form in experiments with new materials, technologies and processes… right up to the finished product. Meetings that, like new keys, open the doors to the backstage of Piedmontese design exc140x200_MANIFESTO_2021ellence, through the voices of the experience and passion of internationally renowned designers and the companies that have made them so.

All appointments and details can be found on the website

See the full programme Opuscolo_2021_WEB-3-1(1)