Smart Cities 2020

Smart Cities 2020

Monday, 29 February 2016


Image above: Duilio Forte – Ursus: .%20Novel%20Living%20Concepts?dl=0&preview=ROOMS_Forte+(2).jpg 

An extract of one of the projects briefs- in the “ROOMS. Novel Living Concepts” exhibition (title in Italian “STANZE. Altre filosofie dell’abitare”)- Curator: Beppe Finessi, Layout: Gianni Filindeu, Graphics: Leonardo Sonnoli. XXI Triennale International ExhibitionPalazzo dell’Arte, Milan 2 April – 12 September 2016. 

“…DUILIO FORTE sees architecture primarily as a highly skilled and imaginative practice. His house, which grew over the years like a termite mound of original and wacky objects and solutions, all built with his own hands, is the synthesis of his creative fantasy. His project absolutely had to be associated with the books that have re-evaluated the craftsmanship aspect of homo faber, even from a highly technological perspective, such as 3D printing which enables all kinds of products to be designed and manufactured at a distance: Richard Sennet, The Craftsman (2008) – and also Stefano Micelli, Futuro Artigiano (2011); and Chris Anderson, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution (2012).

This project comes under the heading of “domestic landscape” according to the principles of the ArkiZoic manifesto.“On 12th February 2009, the 200thanniversary of Darwin's birth, AtelierFORTE laid down the principles of ArkiZoic style in a manifesto based on a set of seven rules inspired by the geological eras, thus underscoring temporal continuity with the Phanerozoic era, the aeon in which life on earth was explosively affirmed.” There are five particular fundamental points:

 I. Put your soul into your work
 II. Use natural and traditional shapes
III. Use drawing as an emotional sketch
IV. Adopt heuristic methods
V. Leave room for chance, error and the incomplete 

The design is a proposal for contemporary living, made possible by the speeding up of communication today. The size of the social group is determined by the ability to maintain personal connections. Monkeys, for example, manage to make up groups of up to 30 individuals. Language has enabled social groups of up to 150 people to be formed. 

In partnership with Rimadesio….”

The fascinating 2016 edition of the Salone del Mobile in Milan traces a trigonal graph, in order to re-define the current way of design thinking, as predicted. Three major events are about to get explored by the connoisseurs , the entrepreneurial  locomotive and the general public- three paths  that will attract the attention and they will boldly create the navigational coordinates of the fair, this April.

The excitement hits the roof as always- because of the flawless pre-meditation and the execution of the central idea- in the exhibitions “ROOMS. Novel Living Concepts” and “21st Century. Design after Design”. 
In the first case , 11 ROOMS designed by 11 architects for different functions and projected uses, referencing Philosophical  horizons chosen ad hoc from themes explored by contemporary writers- a concept that we have never witnessed in such an in-depth manipulation and originality. 
At the “21st Century. Design after Design,(the pivotal event to this year’s XXI Triennale International Exhibition manifestations at the Palazzo dell’Arte), we are expecting the usual key-point of the fair: an avalanche of cracking new design concepts and beyond- and their impact  on the society now, as the latter evolves throughout exceptional political circumstances and economic standards.

The SaloneSatellite- the third important axis is where  the fair endeavors the support and promotion of young designers. An impressive catalog 2016 –a showcase of promising, new design blood, under the credible mentoring of the Salone, in its spacious premises.

We are so looking forward to embrace every aspect of the three mentioned above…The exploration is soon about to begin! 

For additional details concerning, not only those three exhibitions but other ventures this year- plus exhibitors lists  and visitor orientation, please check:

Warm regards;-))


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Can’t see the Forest for the Trees….in Design and Applied Arts Higher Education? SAKIS BITIS sharply explains.

Picture above by Yiorgos Markozanis,

Athanasios (Sakis) Bitis is a Forester and Environmental expert with a Masters of Science in Educational Management and Administration . As the Vice Principal of  the legendary Diplareios School in Athens ,(Vocational Institute for Tourism Administration  and Computing /IT nowadays)- a landmark in 20th century Athenian Educational History of Applied Arts, also characterized by design historians as the hellenic “Bauhaus”-he also runs the Life-long Learning center of the school, creating short courses like the unique Marquetry art and craft workshop. Mr Bitis answers basic questions regarding education in Applied Arts and Crafts todayQuick-mode, wood-axe type replies -revealing bare, essential aspects and concerns.

All4design-design4all: What do you believe to be, from your experience , the most important /global problem in Applied Arts Higher Education today?

Sakis Bitis: I will focus mainly on Greece, where our educational system
does not have the privilege to organize a well planned infrastructure  of Professional Counseling, like in countries with High Economic Growth Rate (ex. Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Ireland).
The result of this policy is that talented citizens remained un-promoted, along with the fact that gifted youth will never exploit their fluencies and tendencies towards specific sectors. 

A4D-D4A: How an educator perceives in society today, the design vocation and profession?

S.B.: The design profession has many different fields and specializations,
for instance  industrial design, furniture, interiors, fashion etc.
A designer conceives, designs and makes products , based on his/her original prototypes. He/she tries to combine creativity and technical knowledge in order to provide solutions  for a specific use, functional and with distinctive aesthetics . A professional designer starts from a concept, creates some original first droughts, compares and suggest alternatives to the customer-commissioner, alters  and readjusts the ideas according to the brief, until he/she renders  the final, complete prototype, ready for (mass or limited) production. It is a personal process, as well as team work. Adequate communication and mutual understanding with others-fellow designers and technicians- are fundamental in order to complete a project and deliver the outcome on time.

A4D-D4A: Why there is such a time- lapse or even a deep gap , between the Applied Arts educational system and the actual, design working world- in many countries today? 

S.B.: “Connecting academic studies with the job market”: a huge chapter, various positions have been registered on this. I read somewhere that it is almost considered disgraceful to liaise science with production necessities or  academia to production standards. I clearly claim for academic curriculum and work  to get interconnected, with no exclusion  whatsoever of local culture: thus, meaning the Traditional Arts and Crafts. Education here in Greece  was extremely theoretical  and quite dated in many areas of study. The Schools, Institutes and Technical Universities  of Applied Arts and Crafts that could eventually create new groups of professionals and thriving new markets – also related with the Tourism industry in the country- were driven to a downfall, with no significant role anymore.  The educational system, the academic curriculum, the teaching staff, the students individual profiles and the particularities of the market – are the key factors to guarantee the transition from the academic environment to the job search and territory.

A4D-D4A: Sensorial Trend Analyst  Zuzanna Skalska (, referred in  her recent  lecture  under  the title “Awareness of change: 5 Trends that are changing our Living & Working Landscape(The Stage, IMM 2016, Cologne )- “to a person being rich in the future, as the one person who can make something”. How do you react to this approach?

S.B.: My personal view is identifying somehow with Zuzanna Skalska, in the following clause:

“…The citizen we will recruit at the high ranks of administration
in the future, other than his academic or professional skills, he should master the craft of making something or repairing something….”

A4D-D4A: A student , who has fulfilled his/her studies in Finance- announces  to you that he/she decides to change professional orientation to become a  carpenter/furniture maker. What piece of advice would you give him/her?

S.B.: Follow your heart….. !!!

Thanks a million dear Sakis Bitis!

For more information on Sakis Bitis and Diplareios School in Athens-
news, ventures, workshops and programs, please check:


Sunday, 7 February 2016


The UK “Sunday Times”, on the article about digital television signed by M. Bore, back in October 1998- clearly stated that we are heading “to the future online,(with a common server at home),  but we must remember that converting from analogue to  digital (transmission) is simply a switch in the delivery mechanism and without some other changes is going to be unnoticed”.

Almost 20 years later, in the IMM fair in Cologne this year the Smart Home special event  reflects the evolution on the principal above, launching  a new domesticity era. Homes and apartments are becoming intelligent , through a series of devices, interfaces and applications, embracing the individual needs of the contemporary citizen’s lifestyle. “Automatic for the people” attitude, renewable and sustainable energy efficiency (electricity, gas, water), personal entertainment space,  ergonomic comfort in a flexibly navigated surface, design and planning for the care of seniors or handicapped – the new HOME is designed cleverly as a hub of energy saving (therefore economically affordable), social care , creative preoccupation (time-saver) and maximum security against intruders.

The whole project is thriving with innovative ideas and solutions in lighting, heating and cross-platform programming in the home area, kitchen and bathroom utilities,- with companies involved such as Berling LED Vertriebs GmbH, BMW AG (except automobiles the company is a leader in renewable Biomass energy), Grohe, hfh Solutions/ lemon light Gmbh & Co. KG, Marentec Antriebs, Steuerungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG, MENNEKES Elektrotechnik GmbH & Co. KG, Miele & Cie. KG, Nolte K├╝chen GmbH & Co. KG, Paperflow, Rheinenergie AG, snom technology AG and Vodafone.

The whole attempt  in the Smart Home niche can be proved  a bit of a risk though for local industry, (despite patents/copyright strict protection laws in EU ), through the fact that IMM remains a trade fair essentially, with competition in the area of “smart technology", from  its Asian rivals - India or China for example- the latter intensifying its commercial presence in the show this year.

For more information , videos and details on the presentations in Smart Home area-please check (or leave a message on the blog for further orientation):