ISBG & Design

During the pre-covid era (... do we still remember it?), ISBG collaborated with the Consulate General of Italy in Jeddah to set up a number of annual events for the promotion of Italian culture in the world. Italian Cuisine and the Italian Language are naturally the main topics of these institutional events, but what I personally awaited for with the greatest interest and enthusiasm has always been the Italian Design Day.

Italian Design Day is a thematic review, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism. Includes a rich schedule of promotional activities carried out by Italian Embassies and Consulates around the world, all connected to Salone del Mobile in MIlan. In my opinion it is the most representative Italian event, the one that celebrates our creativity and our “wisdom of doing” in the most accurate way.

Design in Italy has well founded roots, it was attributed to Leonardo da Vinci!! and permeates all fields related to culture, art, philosophy, reaching the point of becoming an organized part of societỳ. Its modernitỳ is based on the concreteness of traditional craftsmanship and on an unconventional spirit of experimentation. Furthermore, thanks to the historical all-Italian conception that the beauty of design should be applied to mass consumer products, art and design in Italy coexist and influence each other with mutual benefit.

Since the Second World War, Design in Italy has developed to support the economic growth of the country, and has guided industrial production by shaping growth objectives.

The Italy of Design today best expresses a concept of positive globalization, it is a hotbed of international creativity that produces fusion of different cultures and civilizations, favoring not only production processes, but also dialogue between peoples. Thus certain ideas and certain uses spread to any latitude creating a sort of universal language in which many stories of the world can be declined.

Collaborating in the preparation of these events was exciting for ISBG, and allowed us to meet some of the “Design Ambassadors” sent by the Ministry to various diplomatic offices around the world: Massimo Franco Manager B&B Italia, Andrea Boschetti Urban Planning Specialist, Flora Ribera marketing expert, manager  and publisher, Dr. Leonardo Romei, academic and  author of a book on “Communication and information design”.

These cultural events also brought together the Italian and Saudi ISBG business community: architectural firms, construction environment and interior design companies having Italian brands as their main commercial partners; young designers, students and faculties of Architecture and Design looking for exchange, inspiration and opportunities to produce in Italy their ideas; last but not least, the wonderful Saudi public, in love with the beauty of Made in Italy.

They were all very successful and attractive events for the Saudi audience, but among all I would like to mention the 2016 “Parlare Italiano, Progettare Italiano” event which portrayed a fusion between the Italian language and design. The message was that of pride in the effort of so many Italian architects and designers who have worked in Saudi Arabia over the years, contributing to the growth of this great young country, while maintaining the prestige of Italian culture and lifestyle.

With the guidance of the then Consul Dr. Elisabetta Martini, a pool of Italian architects worked harmoniously on the realization of the initiative together with Distretto Design, a young Saudi company that represents prestigious interior design brands. Together they created an event of great impact, with interactive and three-dimensional displays that illustrated the various projects carried out by Italian architects in Arabia, and an impressive display of iconic pieces of Italian design, from furniture to lighting to objects. In addition, a series of Round Table events were held, where the public was able to interact with the protagonists.

Participating Architectural Firms

Studio 65 – arch.Franco Audrito 

Linea Progetti – arch.Paolo Leofreddi 

Archiade – arch.Emilio Dini Ciacci 

Interior Design Companies:

Distretto Design – Massimo Franchi per B&B Italia 

Urban Design – arch. Vincenzo Provenzano 

The Italian Lab – Marco Vivan 

It was experiences like this that gave ISBG the expertise and contacts necessary to facilitate and accelerate Italian companies eager to  enter this interesting market in an effective and concrete way. 

We know how to do it, and we do it well! Check out ISBG membership page

Alessandra Serafini

Alessandra Serafini

ISBG's President

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About ISBG

Italian Saudi Business Group (ISBG) is a not for profit private association based in Milan. It operates since 2013 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, under the patronage of the Italian Consulate General and The Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jeddah.

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