December 11, 2008 - Abitare - Special Issue Out Now
December 11, 2008

Special Issue Out Now

Special Issue Out Now

488 Special Issue: Italian Oxygen
How to find out about innovation in Italy.
December 2008 – January 2009

Via Ventura 5
20134 Milano
tel.: +39.02.210581

ABITARE is 46 years old, or as we like better 45 plus 1.

Black tomatoes, space-suits, floating islands, fabric from trees, synthetic prosthesis, marble capsules, tree-houses: these are just some of the 45 innovative projects that constitute the special issue of ABITARE, dedicated to innovation in Italy.

Architecture, interiors, design, fashion, cuisine, research, science, production, publishing, visual arts are the fields that were explored by ABITARE to constitute a multiple kaleidoscope of the actual tendencies of Italy today.

If we had to summarise the identity of ABITARE in a few lines, we would say that it is a magazine which is always looking out for what is new: a magazine which – even today – takes a profound look at the worlds of architecture, furniture design and lived space and is constantly searching for signs of innovation. It was precisely for these reasons – on ABITARE’s birthday in June 2008 – that we decided to build on this original mission, by proposing a competition that aims to collect ideas and attract original projects that have been developed in Italy.

We were looking for new kinds of ideas and projects – ranging from religious architecture to infra-structural design – but what was important was that the projects analysed had to be 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, and with a conviction that a problem has been – at least in theory – resolved.

We received 400 or so proposals that came in from our collaborators and readers and which were a clear sign that this country is still 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 step with those technological innovations which are part of a globalised world. These people are able to create unexpected and unusual solutions to circumvent the difficult circumstances within which they are forced to work.

ABITARE selected 45 projects or innovative technical solutions which have something in common – they all refer – more or less directly – to objects, spaces, materials with a physical edge. This oxygen is destined – sooner or later – to solidify.

Our +1, the 46th project, will be the Ossigeno Italiano prize, an annual award for the best and most innovative project. This prize will reward excellence in terms of research and technical expertise – and will offer financial help as well as the possibility to link up with people who might be able to help the product be both constructed and distributed.

This year the prize will be decided through the votes of our readers – via the ABITARE website – and from next year onwards it will become part of a real campaign around inventiveness in Italy.

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 that which 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 that which is already there and which – alone – has already begun to create things in our midst.

Please, discover Italy with ABITARE!

Italian Oxygen

Via Ventura 5
20134 Milano
tel.: +39.02.210581

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