Design Exhibition

Florence Biennale – Design

The Florence Biennale has engaged in design, thus broadened their horizons: a new insight into that fascinating world will be offered in a dedicated pavilion within the framework of the XIIth edition of the International Contemporary Art Biennial of Florence, to be held at the Fortezza da Basso from 18 to 27 October 2019.

Making such a choice means responding to the stimuli from many artists who have participated in the past editions of our biennial and are multitalented individuals working also in the fields of architecture and/or design, especially in graphic design and other major clusters of the so-called creative industries.


The Design categories

In the newly unveiled Florence Biennale Design Pavilion, light will be shed on breakthrough projects envisaging old and new technology, and competing in six contest categories, namely Architecture & Town Design, Industrial & Product Design, Interior Design, Fashion & Jewellery Design, Communication & Graphic Design, and Technology & Game Design. Indeed, the Design exhibition, to be set up by a renowned studio of architecture and design, represents an attempt to showcase new ideas for innovation and development while fostering values such as aesthetics and sustainability, already promoted within the previous edition of the Florence Biennale.


The International Jury

The projects presented will be examined by an International Jury of design experts, including Perla Gianni Falvo, Association for Industrial Design – Tuscany; Giuseppe Furlanis, Direttore ISIA, Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche in Florence and President of Consiglio Nazionale dell’Alta Formazioine Artistica – Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca; Angelika Nollert, Director of the Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum in Munich; Deniz Ova, Director of the Istanbul Design Biennal; Alexandra Sankova, Director of the Moscow Design Museum; Regina Schrecker, Fashion designer; Hunter Tura, President & CEO of the Bruce Mau Design with units in Toronto, new New York, and London; Enrico Vergnano, Professor at Institute of European Design in Turin; Wu Haiyan, School of Design Art, China Academy of Art.

The theme: Ars et ingenium. Towards Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy of Similitude and Invention

This edition of Florence Biennale is part of the 2019 programme of initiatives aimed at celebrating the genius and art of Leonardo da Vinci. By unveiling the Design pavilion in his native town, the Florence Biennale also remembers his imagination and experimental approach to designing machines, devices, and new inventions – some of which were so pioneering that they would have aroused amazement for five hundred years since his death.

The essential part of the theme of the XIIth Florence Biennale may thus be interpreted giving novel meaning to the wording ‘ARS ET INGENIUM’. In their own right, these words would have conveyed much broader meaning to the early humanists, who would also attribute cosmological significance to them. On the stage of contemporaneity, however, we have dared to indulge in a play on words to allude to the ‘Art + Design’ binomial which we are showcasing this year for the first time.


Design in the past editions of Florence Biennale

During the past editions, the Florence Biennale has already awarded and exhibited some of the most important designers and architects, such as Ferrari & Pininfarina (“Lorenzo il Magnifico” Design Award 2003), Harley-Davidson (“Lorenzo il Magnifico” Design Award 2005), Agatha Ruiz De La Prada (“Lorenzo il Magnifico” Lifetime Achievement Award 2011), and Arata Isozaki (“Lorenzo il Magnifico” Lifetime Achievement Award 2017).


The International “Leonardo da Vinci” Lifetime Achievement Award

Florence Biennale is glad to announce that the International “Leonardo da Vinci” Lifetime Achievement Award will be give to Elsa Peretti, jewellery designer (Tiffany & Co.); the graphic designer Paula Scher (Pentagram, New York); and, in memoriam, to the Italian fashion designers Ferruccio e Wanda Ferragamo.


The catalogue

On the occasion of the Florence Biennale 2019 the official catalogue of the Florence Biennale, published by Rubbettino Editore, contains color images and informations about all participating artists and designers.

The volume will be distributed in Italy through Messaggerie Libri, Amazon.it, and the most important book fairs (such as those held in Bologna, Turin, Rome, and Frankfurt). Copies of the volume will also be sent to Italian libraries in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and other European cities. Furthermore, the FB Catalogue will be made available at the bookshops of the Venice Biennale, Triennale di Milano, and Artefiera Bologna as well as in the museums of Padua, Bologna, Florence, Rome, and Verona.


Download the presentation of the theme