Spring of 2014 at GD Goenka University was marked by a 2-week study tour to Politecnico di Milano in Italy undertaken by its Fashion & Design students. The energy started building up for around a month culminating into a frenzied and excitement filled 2 weeks in Italy.
A major part of the study tour was a design workshop with Politecnico faculty, Professor Roberto Boni and his industrial designer assistant Filippo. The project was to design a space complete with graphics and the staff uniforms, which would promote the identity of a University to a visitor. As part of the workshop the students made a visit to a famous interior design studio of Milan, Storage Associati and had a presentation by its owner, Marco Donati. It was followed by a visit to Ratti, one of the oldest and most prestigious textile factories of Como, the silk district of Italy. The visit offered hands on live experience of the designer fabrics being woven and printed.
The highlight of the trip, however was SaloneInternazionale del Mobile di Milanothe Milan Furniture Week. Students paired with Italian design students systematically covered and explored all the areas of this amazing collection of the best designer’s work in the world at one place. They saw the works of the young designers and students in Salone Satellite, the established ones at the Fiera Milano complex and FuoriSalone and the changing museum at the Triennale. Product and communication design students could also visit the Ferrari museum.
In between, weekend trips were organized to the inspirational cities of Venice and Florence, where besides marveling at the stupendous architecture & scenic beauty, the students had an occasion to study the best examples of Visual Merchandizing. They could visit the showrooms of Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Prada, Gucci, Dolce &Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna, Versace, Miu-Miu, Breshka, Dior. In Florence they undertook a leather tour and understood the fine workmenship of crafted leather bags. Another visit was to the Gold market. In Venice they could also visit the factory of Murano and witness the European techniques of Glass making.
The most memorable part of the visit was the warm welcome and hospitality extended by the Italian hosts. All the SoFD students were paired with Italian students and they stayed with them in their apartment, ate with them and were together the whole duration of their stay in Milan. They went around the design districts of Brera, Lambretta and Tortona. The friendships generated will last a lifetime.
The trip rounded off with a final formal presentation and evaluation of their project by the students to the Italian professors; a meeting with the honorable Rector of Politecnico di Milano; and a joint dinner with all the students and their hosts in an Indian restaurant.