“Quality that illuminates. The energy of design for people and the environment”

MARCH 9th, 2023 H 11.00,

Book your seat: www.embassyofitaly.co.za/idd2023

The Italian Design Day is held worldwide every year by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through the Italian Embassies, Consulates and Institutes of Cultureto promote Italian design and architecture. In this framework, on March 9th, 2023, the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Institute of Culture will host the event “Quality that illuminates. The energy of design for people and the environment”, at the University of Johannesburg Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Discussions will focus on the role of architecture and design in improving people’s quality of life in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, with emphasis on light, energy, design and creativity, and, more broadly, on urban regeneration and smart cities, consistent with the candidature of the City of Rome to host EXPO 2030.

The importance of light in design lies mainly in the possibility of modeling shapes and playing with them, creating illuminated, pleasant and livable places, both inside of our houses and shared spaces, and in our neighborhoods outside.

Thanks to the inspiration of architects and lighting designers, artificial light represents a strategic instrument for a modern and sustainable development of urban areas, thus contributing to achieve social inclusion and offer services to all. The conference will consider the growing role of private companies (with the Italian ENEL Green Power as one of the major producers of renewable energy in South Africa) in providing a reliable supply of electricity and light, as innovative partnerships between all relevant stakeholders – public institutions, private sector, civil society, local communities –  are crucial and ought to be further fostered. 

Moderator: The Head of the Department of Fashion Design of the University of Johannesburg, Prof Neshane Harvey

Ambassador of Italy, Paolo Cuculi

The opening remarks of the Ambassador will present the excellence of Italian design, architecture and technology, and its internationally acknowledged creativity and innovation. He will also focus on the candidature of the City of Rome to host the Universal Exposition in 2030, whose theme is “People and territories: urban regeneration, inclusion and innovation” and aimed at promoting a new paradigm of widespread, interconnected and sustainable urban model. A new approach is indeed needed to make our future truly smart, agile and eco-sustainable.

Matteo Vercelloni

He is a renowned Architect and Professor of History of Design at Politecnico University in Milan. His brilliant professional career began while still at university, cooperating with the company Uniplan. He currently works as an architect to design buildings, master planning, interior and industrial design and teaches at Politecnico, Nuova Accademia delle Belle Arti, Istituto Superiore di Architettura e Design, Istituto Europeo di Design, and Accademia di Brera. His contribution aims to enhance the symbolic meaning of the concept “quality that illuminates”, in relation to the high quality of Italian design in history. He will open the panel showing how Italian Design is promoting circular economy, through the analysis of Italy’s history and its masters of past and present.

Speaker from UJ Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

Paul Pamboukian

He is the Director of the Pamboukian Light Design studio, founded in 1990, specialized in architecture, interior design, music and theater. Paul was chief lighting designer at the State Theatre in Pretoria and responsible for the lighting of many operas, ballets and theater productions. He has also worked on Production Projects for product launches, show staging, lighting design, and the distribution of theater lighting and control systems.

He will focus on ….

Enel Green Power SA

With a view to translating the solutions envisaged by designer into everyday life, a representative of Enel Green Power will underline the role of the company in providing South Africa with electricity and lights from renewable sources, in the context of the current challenges of energy transition in the country, that South African Government is committed to promote.  


Prof Neshane Harvey

Head of the Department of Fashion Design of the University of Johanneburg


Introductory remarks

Paolo Cuculi

Ambassador of Italy in South Africa


Matteo Vercelloni

Architect and Professor of History of Design, Politecnico University in Milan


Leon Krige

Professor of Architectural theory, design & photography

University of Johannesburg


Paul Pamboukian

Director of the Pamboukian Light Design studio


Sentle Nell

Chief Sustainability Officer, Enel Green Power SA


Light lunch

Book your seat: www.embassyofitaly.co.za/idd2023

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