Johannesburg, South Africa – 18 March 2024: Italian Design Day, an annual initiative led by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, celebrates Italian design’s rich global heritage and innovation. This initiative serves as a platform for showcasing Italian designers’ diverse talents and contributions worldwide. Through exhibitions, lectures, and workshops, the event highlights the intersection of tradition and modernity in Italian design, emphasising its role in shaping the industry’s future.

The theme, “Creating Value: Inclusivity, Innovation, and Sustainability,” embodied Italian design’s essence: integrating inclusivity, fostering innovation, and championing sustainability in every creation. The theme underscored the importance of the production process in creating industrial design objects of high material and aesthetic value.

IL Lusso Luxury Living Emporium was a vibrant platform for the Johannesburg edition of Italian Design Day 2024. With esteemed guests, including Italian Ambassador Alberto Vecchi, industry leaders, and Italian design patrons, the gathering celebrated the Made in Italy ethos and encouraged conversations around innovative solutions to contemporary challenges.

The highlight of the South African edition was the presence of keynote speaker Marva Griffin, the renowned ambassador of Italian design and founder, curator, and artistic director of SaloneSatellite. Griffin engaged with guests and shared insights and experiences from her illustrious career.

Griffin’s lifelong dedication to showcasing and supporting emerging designers has made her a leading figure in the design community. Since 2015, she has served as an ambassador of Italian design, travelling the world to inspire and empower the next generation of designers.

Guests were also invited to explore the IL Lusso Luxury Living Emporium’s eighteen standalone boutiques, meticulously curated with a variety of iconic Italian design products by leading Italian brands, including B&B Italia, Baxter, Henge, Paola Lenti, Flexform, Arclinea, Maxalto, Exteta, Decastelli, Vitra and Giorgetti, captivating visitors with a multi-sensory experience.

The selection of IL Lusso as the host venue underscored the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ recognition of the showroom’s dedication to Italian design. Spanning 5000 square meters, IL Lusso offers an unparalleled showcase of Italian craftsmanship. IL Lusso’s global reach and partnerships with leading architectural firms solidified its position as the ideal venue for this celebration of Italian design.

Italian Design Day 2024 in Johannesburg was a testament to the enduring legacy of Italian design and its ability to inspire creativity, innovation, and sustainability on a global scale. Through engaging discussions, exhibitions, and networking opportunities, the event underscored the importance of collaboration and exchange in shaping the future of design. As Marva Griffin aptly demonstrated, the journey towards a more inclusive and sustainable world begins with a shared commitment to creativity and excellence in design.

About Marva Griffin

Marva Griffin is a prominent figure in the design world, renowned for her pivotal role in fostering emerging talent and promoting Italian design excellence globally. As the founder, curator, and artistic director of SaloneSatellite, Griffin has dedicated herself to providing a platform for young designers to showcase their work during Salone del Mobile. Her lifelong commitment to nurturing creativity and innovation has earned her recognition as an ambassador of Italian design, inspiring countless individuals to pursue their ambitions in the field. She travels the world promoting Italian design excellence, inspiring future generations of designers, and fostering international collaboration within the design community.

Griffin’s role as an Italian design ambassador underscores her influence and impact on the global design community, particularly in promoting Italian design excellence and fostering collaboration and exchange within the industry.

Photography: Luca Sola