25 Years of Design: Design Made in Hong Kong 2022

Organised by: Stefano Fossati, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong

Supported by: Italian Cultural institute in Hong Kong

Part of Italy-China Year of Culture and Tourism 2022

Curated by: William Figliola, founder of Novalis Art Design gallery

In collaboration with: Novalis Art Design gallery, Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI), Hong Kong Furniture and Decoration Trade

Memphis group: Ettore Sottsass, Martine Bedin, Michele de Lucchi, Matteo Thun, Peter Shire, Arata Isozaki

31 Aug – 3 Sept 2022

Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention centre


Design Made in Hong Kong is a project first launched in 2019.

It was the evolution of “Design Made in Osaka”, a project I curated during my mandate as Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Osaka.

For several reasons, 2019 will be remembered as the beginning of a challenge affecting the entire international society. The search for new operational protocols and procedures was a must for everyone at any level.

The main inspiration and goal of the project was the creation of a working dialogue between Hong Kong and Italy in the field of Design. Hong Kong and Italy have a long history of cultural and business exchanges where Design plays a strategic role. For this reason, creating a vast network of enthusiastic collaborators and partners, including academics, professionals, companies, and students, was relatively easy. The participation of a high number of qualified students was a distinctive highlight of the project.

In 2020, teams from three Universities in Hong Kong worked on subjects crucial for the future of Design, in close contact with Italian designers. The exhibition “Milan – Hong Kong Design: New Forms and Functions in Parallel with Italian Iconic Works” (Hong Kong Arts Centre, 26th March to 4th April 2021) showcased prototypes and projects made by the universities and the creations of the three Italian designers (Federico Peri, Sara Ricciardi and Federica Biasi) who had worked with the teams.

The third sector of the exhibition, called “Italian Design Masters”, was intended to guide the visitors through works that made the history of Design in the world. Aldo Cibic, Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass and Gaetano Pesce, were some of the creators of the “Italian iconic works” on display.

This third sector was generously curated by Mr William Figliola, founder of Novalis Art Design gallery in Hong Kong. Happily, despite all the difficulties we faced in the last two years, the projects and prototypes from the Hong Kong universities could travel to Milan during the Milano Design Week in September 2021, thanks to the 5Vie Association.

It was the third part of the exhibition, dominated by the revolutionary style of Memphis design and the intuition of William Figliola, which inspired the present edition of Design Made in Hong Kong 2022.

The new edition of the project keeps the same pattern and spirit of the previous one: the creation of a strong and practical connection between Italian and Hong Kong creativity in the field of Design at various levels (professional, educational, and industrial) with great attention to the young generation.

The main partners of the 2022 edition are the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) and Novalis Art Design Gallery. Since 2022, students from HKDI have been developing furniture through seminars with Novalis Art Design Gallery and their HKDI professors with the concept curated by Mr William Figliola. They have been tasked with creating their contemporary interpretation of the Memphis Group. The projects created by the team will be on display, together with a retrospective of the Memphis production at the “25 Years of Design” exhibition at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre.

I want to thank all who have actively participated in this project, especially its young protagonists, the university students, who I hope have found an opportunity for cultural growth and the desire to deepen their knowledge of Italy.

I think that projects like Design Made in Hong Kong and the exhibition “Italians” (Art Basel Hong Kong 2021) show that the Italian Cultural Institutes can play a role that exceeds the promotion of the national culture and involves the stimulation of economic exchanges.

Stefano Fossati

Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong