Among all the sectors that have the biggest impact on the Italian industry in the world, the design sector offers a well-established cultural and productive tradition in Turin and in Piedmont.
This tradition is brilliant and tangible and it establishes itself thanks to the creative excitement of young designers that can turn artisans’ “know-how” and handicraft mastery into a new approach to the design sector.
This craft mastery involves different areas, such as architecture and décor, the agri-food industry, fashion, green chemistry, technology applied to the wine sector, the digital design sector, the automotive and aerospace industry, jewellery and the high-quality textile sector. It is the most original combination, including tradition and nonconformity of the Piedmontese industry at the same time and it has created high-quality products with unique syle that have also become symbols of contemporary art. Some of them are part of the most important world collections in design and art museums, such as FIAT Cinquecento; Bialetti’s Moka; objects and accessories by Alessi; Lagostina and Sambonet, two legendary companies of Distretto del Casalingo and Rubinetteria nel Verbano, an industrial area in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola where the most famous electrical appliances used to be sold; Gufram’s curious lips sofa, cactus-like coat stand and chaise longue pratone that are the core elements of the extraordinary pop collection of Gufram industry in Turin.
Turin was the First Design World Capital in 2008 and in 2017 and has been UNESCO Creative City in the field of Design since 2014. This city has in fact made the design sector the cornerstone of its post-industrial development. In Turin, applied arts are a vital part of history and the city identity, as can be seen from the recent opening of the cultural centre Circolo del Design with an interesting programme full of training and communication initiatives.
In Turin the design sector seems to have endless areas in which it can be applied, such as the industrial car design, with well-known companies like Giugiaro and Pininfarina; the food and wine sector; the vermouth and chocolate sector; the pastry-making and artisanal ice-cream industry and the futuristic “space food” sector, which is food especially made for astronauts in orbit on the International Space Station by the company Argotec.
The city of Turin is an experimental laboratory driven by curiosity and passion. It is also an outstanding centre of clothing brands and outdoor equipment, such as Ferrino and Basicnet (including Robe di Kappa, Superga, K-Way, Jesus Jeans); luxury boats designed and created by the company Azimut and the famous writing tools, leather goods, watches and papers created by the legendary company Aurora.
A world of quality and research which, in some cases, can be discovered with special tours in the companies, that could be considered as the first initiative for industrial tourism in Turin.
This region also has an ancient textile tradition, with a complete production supply both for the clothing and the décor sector and the manufacturing of woolen yarns and fabrics and other high-quality fibres.
Especially in the Distretto del Biellese (one of the most outstanding industrial areas for the textile sector) you can find world-renowned brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana, Piacenza Cashmere, Zegna Baruffa, Miroglio Vestebene, Lanificio Cerutti and several other companies.
Hats are still indispensable classy accessories today and the province of Alessandria is where you can find them, thanks to its legendary brand Borsalino. The district of Valenza Po has a long and fine jewellery tradition established at international level and offers hand-made jewels created using sophisticated techniques.