60 different companies and 9 graduates in Product Design and Graphic Design from the Accademia Italiana participated in the 2012 edition with their 47 prototypes.
The nine graduates were: Alfredo Ascari, Giacomo Baldini, Varvara Verbitskaya, Natalia Chobanu, Daniele Giannetti, Giulia Manzini, Bilge Gozde Ozdengil, Diletta Orlandi and Cla Tschenett.
Some of these students are Italian while the others are from other countries all over the world. They represent the international body of the Accademia Italiana.
A preview of these prototypes will be on show at the exhibition ‘Rethinking the Product' that will be held on Tuesday 11th September 2012 at the Textile Museum in Prato (the inauguration will be at 7.00pm).
From the 19th-20th September 2012, the prototypes will be on show at the prestigious London design exhibition ‘100% Design', a reference point for the European and North American prototype markets.
The exhibition will then be on show at the Trade Centres in the provinces of Tuscany for 6 months.
Natural materials, essential lines, aesthetic objectives but above all, practicality of use were the characteristics that the companies requested the young designers to take into consideration in line with improving contemporary design.
The young designers started working on their projects in May, the renderings and the models were developed and by July the prototypes had been produced by the companies concerned.
On average, each student produced 4 prototypes in collaboration with 2 companies for each project, making a total of 47 prototypes.
Walter Conti, the Head of the Graphic Design department at the Accademia Italiana, responsible for coordinating the designers' projects, stated that: "The initiative by the Trade Centre is an opportunity to assess the quality of the teaching and the realities in embarking in this type of career, measuring oneself with the marketing strategies, the production realities and the primary materials, thus passing from theory to practice and from designing to producing. The Accademia Italiana guarantees students a good point of departure. Some of the companies involved in the project have already made professional contact with our ex-students. I was impressed to see the depth of quality in the work of these young designers as they are immersing themselves in the professional world".
The Accademia Italiana is an excellent example of a ‘living school' in which the students are "spotted" by the big names or are able to branch out on their own with success. In fact, the level of student job placement is around 90%.