A “national heritage”: this is the prestigious accolade conferred in 2004 on the historical Compasso d’Oro collection. Over 400 pieces that – since 1954, when the prize was established, have attracted the attention of the Italian Industrial Design Association (Associazione italiana per il disegno industriale - ADI) and which represent contemporary Italian design excellence in terms of planning, product and research.
As of today, that collection includes the “New Rkk” two-channel ceramic kiln by Sacmi, designed by the engineer Isao Hosoe. What convinced the jury, which recommended the Sacmi kiln for the sought-after prize, was its sheer practicality and an imaginative use of colour that corresponds to the different temperatures inside the kiln. An aesthetic factor that blends with excellence and technological innovation – the very essence of contemporary industrial design – in a double channel kiln that allows simultaneous firing of different products.
The award selection process is a tough one, taking place many months before the event itself; even just participating requires a ranking on the ADI Index, the list of products that can compete for the prize. That list represents the very best ‘made in Italy’ products, built and marketed in the three years prior to the event. So having two products listed on the ADI Index (the kiln plus a press from the Imola series) is already quite a success for Sacmi Imola. Now comes this key recommendation, which will make the kiln a permanent feature of the “for times to come” collection; the impact in terms of the visibility of the product, the company and the designer will, given the numerous public showings of the collection in Italy and abroad, be extremely positive. Yet Sacmi is no first-timer in this regard: the historical ADI collection already includes the single-layer FMP kiln which received, in 1998, the Compasso d’Oro award itself.
All products awarded prizes or commended as part of the XXI ADI Compasso D’Oro will be exhibited at the Venaria Reale palace – on the outskirts of Turin, the “world design capital” of 2008 – starting on 26th June, the day of the official prize-giving. They will remain on display to the public until 31st August, after which these Italian-made gems will take up their place in the historical collection, which bears witness to fifty years of national design excellence.