December 7, 2009 - Abitare - December Issue out
December 7, 2009

December Issue out

December Issue out

498 Special issue
December 2009

Italian Oxygen 2
The Inventiveness in Italy.


Beach toys made of sand, a temporary apartment in a former tram, rotating benches in a public square, an android to teach emotions to autistic children, a microchip used in airbags: these are some of the 42 projects selected for Italian Oxygen 2.

ABITARE 498, dedicated to the second edition of our special wide-ranging survey on Italian innovation, is out: a year on from the first edition, Italian Oxygen 2 is back, with the support of our readers who have sent increasingly large numbers of interesting projects in, making our decisions about them very difficult indeed.

This year, Italian Oxygen 2 – in collaboration with Oxygen, a quarterly journal created by Enel in order to promote scientific debate – repeats the underlying idea of the first edition, with projects from the areas of architecture, design, the visual arts, medical research, craft, cinema and video, graphic design and social projects. These will be voted for via ABITARE‘s website and the winner will receive his/her award during the next Milan Design Week, in April 2010.

The selected projects from the first edition started a life of their own: the IRI Chair by Paolo Cappello has found a producer – BES Italia. Alberto Tadiello won the 2009 edition of Furla Prize. The “Bestiario” in Reggio Emilia, an initiative for kids with neurological troubles, is hoping to become a permanent institution. The critical urban monthly Napoli Monitor has not lost its courage and is about to publish its second yearbook.

The projects of the 2009 edition are introduced by three overviews of contemporary cultural production in Italy, journeys into the worlds of architecture by Pierluigi Nicolin, of design by Anniina Koivu and of visual arts by Paola Nicolin. Italian Oxygen looks outside Italy through three self-portraits of Italians who direct foreign institutions and companies – Francesco Bandarin, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Emilia Terragni, Editorial Director at Phaidon Press, Mirko Zardini, Director of CCA, Montréal –, without forgetting the commitment of the President of the Milan Triennale, Davide Rampello, in promoting cultural activities in the world at large and in Italy. And in conclusion, we open the doors of the Literary Salon of Italian Oxygen with reviews, texts and images chosen from recent publications.

We were again looking for new ideas and projects – ranging from religious architecture to infra-structural design. The selected projects are able to lead to a cognitive shift – a ‘leap’ in the logical and rational resolution of problems, which allows us to understand things in different ways.

We received more than 600 proposals, which were a clear sign that this country is bursting with energy. There are thousands of people here who are able to think quickly and with purpose, and can make connections (in a serious way), which they also use to apply their ideas, and which in different fields keep up with the technological innovations, which are part of a globalized world. These authors are able to create unexpected and unusual solutions to circumvent the difficult circumstances within which they are forced to work.

We are convinced that today, in Italy, there is no need to invest in the politics of promotion of the ‘basic conditions for innovation’, which are, in any case, vague and difficult to ascertain. Instead we should think about ways of helping what has already got off the ground. A politics able to understand that even in the darkest recesses of society there are people interested in innovation. A politics that monitors, helps and enriches what is there and which – alone – has already begun to create things in our midst.

Discover Italy with ABITARE!

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