Master Classes

Master Classes

Three internationally-renowned Italian architects, Michele De Lucchi, Stefano Boeri, and Roberto Palomba, took it in turn to lead the Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai Master Classes, providing an opportunity for the audience to explore the most topical issues around the development of the design industry in China and around the world.

We asked them for their thoughts on the third edition of the event, on how Italian design is experienced in China and how the Chinese and Italian cultures compare.

Michele De Lucchi reported that he had been very struck by the Chinese culture, the arts culture in particular, and how it engaged with Western culture with such immediacy and efficiency. The designer hoped that these two visions could finally come together to help make for a better life on our planet. Stefano Boeri talked about the success of the event and the positive response of those present to the news of the new Design Museum opening in Milan. Lastly, Roberto Palomba described China as being open to a future in which Italian design is becoming increasingly popular and appreciated.


Michele De Lucchi with Yung Ho Chan

Michele De Lucchi reflects on the new type of architecture spawned by the changing demands of living in the contemporary world. The Earth Stations are not just buildings, but philosophical triggers for exploring alternative ways of looking ahead. These stations are physical nodes that connect various parts of the earth in a single social network, over and above the traditional hubs of collective living made up of traditional squares. While town centres will always be irreplaceable, their raison d’être is challenged by the exponential growth of chaotic and impersonal town suburbs. The Earth Stations were created to take the pressure off historic centres and revitalise the peripheral areas.

At the end of his speech, Michele De Lucchi talked to Yung Ho Chang who is noted for his remarkable sensitivity towards local components, which he respects in each of his projects, while remaining conscious of the value of the new global languages. His distinctive trait is his deep focus on the relationship between architecture and city and between city and territory.

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Stefano Boeri with Liu Yichun

The main theme of Stefano Boeri’s master Class is interaction. According to the architect, design concerns the physical and temporal interaction between businesses, creative energies and society and between contemporary cities and their territory-wide networks. Consequently, in order to get a handle on the world of design today we need to reflect on the relationship between design, geo-economics and geopolitics, increasingly intensified by global flows.
He talked to Liu Yichun, founder of Atelier Deshaus, whose distinctive trait is a profound reflection on the connections between architecture and the context, particularly the natural one, in which it is inserted. A master of organising and articulating spaces, his aim is to come up with unerringly different and continually evolving physical experiences for the users of his buildings.

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Roberto Palomba with Fu Rong Chen

Roberto Palomba is the co-founder with his wife Ludovica Serafini of the studio Palomba Serafini Associati. Two people, two demands and two complicit yet different visions which methodically balance creativity and function, innovation and longevity. The aim is to generate places and products capable of sharing the lives of those who choose them. Roberto Palomba’s intervention is a short foray into Italian design: 25 years of Italian design embracing uniqueness and identity, creativity and territory.

He talked to Fu Rong Chen, founder of the WUU brand, for which he creates contemporary furnishings, lights and accessories, while continuing to take part in broader artistic and design projects. He is particularly interested in the basic materials and elements of design, and his work tends towards the timeless and iconic feel typical of the approach of the great masters of European design.

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