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Study Tours to Politecnico di Milano

Study Tours (both outbound and inbound) are planned under the cooperation with Politecnico di Milano. For inbound tours, Politecnico students will come to School of Fashion & Design at GD Goenka for a period of 2 weeks to get inputs on Indian culture & heritage as well as on the Indian design industry. The outbound tour to Milan of a similar duration for the GD Goenka students is planned in Spring every year to coincide with the Salone Di Mobile(Milan Furniture Fair).

2016 Tour

SOFD Students Industry Project With Canovahome in Milan

In October 2016, a group of 16 students and 2 faculties from the School of Fashion & Design (SoFD) attended a workshop at Politecnico Di Milano (PDM)Milan, Italy. This workshop was part of a pilot project being undertaken by SoFD in collaboration with PDMand Canovahome for designing a collection of carpets for the Italian market. The partner company Canovahome, which is based in Milan, is a supplier of high-end carpets to the Italian and European markets.

The research and study began in India, when the participating students visited the Indian production partners of Canovahome in Panipat to understand the basics of carpet production. The two-week project in Milan started with a welcome addressby Prof. Eugenia, followed by the students presenting an overview of their Panipat visit and their learning’s. The subsequent days saw rigorous lecture sessions by Prof. Arturo, Prof. Lorenzo, Mr. Enrico (owner Canovahome), Ms. Raffaella (designer Canovahome) and Prof. Promil Pande combined with guided visits to museums, cultural centers, trade districts and exhibitions in and around Milan. The students got their first direct experience of the Italian culture and society enabling them to also practice their Italian language skills. The classroom sessions saw the students working on their concepts and refining their designs based on the constant feedback given by Ms. Raffaella. The end of the rigorous two weeks saw the students exhibiting their designsthrough an impressive thematic display of their workssupported by candlelight, av presentation and fusion music. Some students also used a special carpet design software called ‘Galaincha’ to render their designs for a realistic look. It was a proud moment when the owners expressed their delight with the outcome of the workshop. All the designs developed received appreciation. We are happy to share at the time of writing this article that eight designs are in various stages of production and finishing. The carpets will be exhibited in the Milan Fair.

Cultural orientation visits

a. Study visit to Brera Design District, Milan- The students went on a visit to the district of Brera, which has become a design district, hosting many famous shops of designer products and brands. As per its website, ‘It is a territorial marketing strategy (by) bringing together tradition and innovation in the broad field of design’. The students experienced many Italian and foreign high-street brands, including the overall retail environments, the thematic displays of the shops, and absorbed the overall ambience of a design focussed retail environment. This visit was a rich and inspiring for many students who later used these experience in creating exciting design concepts.

b. Visit to Florence- The visit to this historic town was an experience of the Italian tradition with a strong heritage of designers. Florence is an important centre of Renaissance art and architecture, During their short visit, the students tried to take in as much of this culture as possible. There were numerous leather shops selling great quality products in small streets flanked by traditional Italian architecture. Florence is also the origin of the famous Gucci brand, as well as the Italian base of Salvatore Ferragamo. The students visited the museum of these brands, and also got a chance to see sculptures in the historic and beautiful Piazza Signoria.

c. Visit to Venice- The famous city of Venice is built on more than 100 small islands. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The visit to Venice was a novel experience right from the point when the group boarded water busses to move around Venice. The group visited an exhibition of Murano glass makers on display in one of the islands. Venice was full of experiences like the canals, gondolas, small shops inside tiny streets, and the grand San Marco Duomo of Venice. The intricate mosaic floors of the cathedral were truly impressive. The students also tasted the local food and drinks at Venice to complete their experience.

d. Visit to Vigevano- Vigevano is a small town near Milan, which was a famous centre of shoe production in the first half of the twentieth century. The town has also got a fine example of planned architectural spaces like the famous Piazza Ducale which is consider to be a great example of a Renaissance piazza. During the visit, we observed two traditional Italian marriages taking place very close to each other, and were able to observe this part of the Italian life. There were also opportunity to taste traditional food from the Italian ‘Alpini’ who are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world, and a cultural phenomenon in their own right.

e. Visit to Lake town of Como- Students of SoFd, visited Como, a scenic lake town on the Swiss-Italian border on the 17th of October 2016. Como is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to the Alps and lake Como. That Hollywood film stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt etc., own holiday homes at Como is an added attraction for fans. Experiencing natural beauty of the place surrounded by traditional European architecture is an experience by itself. The students visited the FAR museum, and an exhibition of design students works while in Como.

f. Visit to Turin- Turin is another well know city of Italy, with many culturally important landmarks, as well as a centre of commerce. The city has a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous art galleries, restaurants, churches, palaces, opera houses, piazzas, parks, gardens, theaters, libraries, museums and other venues. Turin also has major automotive brands headquartered here including Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Lancia. The half day tour allowed the visitors to visit a couple of museums, and absorb the many interesting facets of urban Italian life surrounded by magnificent architecture. Here the visiting group was able to go to the famous Egyptian museum, supposted to have the largest collection after Cairo museum, and also the Italian Cinema museum.

g. Visits in Milan- Milan, a metropolis in Italy’s north, is a global capital of fashion and design. It is also a financial hub, known for its high-end restaurants and shops.The SoFD group was based out of Milan since it is the home of Politecnico Di Milano, therefor the students had the maximum opportunity to visit different places in Milan. The highlights of the visit were trips to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II , a magnificent space dedicated to highest luxury fashion brands, visits to the Triennale di Milano, a grand exhibition space dedicated to design and art, visit to Corso Como, a well known high end retail area, the high energy and casual atmosphere section of Navigli, visit to the piazza as well as the interiors and the magnificent roof of the Duomo of Milan, and of course a regular attendance at the beautiful Politecnico Di Milano campus in Bovisa. Apart from the visits to specific places, the cultural experience was full of sampling the dishes of Italy, using the public tram system (one of the few operational ones in the world), shopping at various big and small places, and even having dinner at an Indian restaurant in Milan. The Milan experience was a rich experience for the senses as well as for the mind, and was really the best part of this tour.

Museum Visits

SOFD Study Trip to FAR, Museo Studio del Tessuto, Como, Italy
(Foundation Antonio Ratti, Textile Studio Museum)

Students of SoFd, visited Como, a scenic lake town on the Swiss-Italian border on the 17th of October 2016. Como is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to the Alps and lake Como. That Hollywood film stars like George Clooney, Brad Pitt etc., own holiday homes at Como is an added attraction for fans. The young design students of SoFD visited the FAR Museo Studio del Tessuto, which was officially founded in 1998 by Antonio Ratti, a collector of ancient textiles. The museum houses are involved with preservation and archival processes of an extremely rich collection of textiles in Italy ranging from the early royal eras and have followed the development of textiles to the 1950s. The curator of the collection personally presented and explained some key pieces to the students and faculty. It was a great learning experience as the students could see, touch and study the samples from the FAR archives.

The students also visited an exhibition of the extensive collection of Pashmina shawls and paisley motif garments that were on display. This exhibition was part of a curated exhibition showcasing how this traditional motif was used in western garments.


b. Visit to Armani Silos Fashion Art Museum, Milan- This museum displaying the works of this legendary Italian designer, is a unique space converted from a food storage facility. The students saw the series of works created by Armani in this inspiring space, including dresses created for famous personalities, and also got to explore the digital archives of the museum cataloging all the works of Armani and a range of technical drawings and sketches to serve as reference for any interested designer. The exhibition acted as further sources of inspiration to the SoFD design students.

c. Visit to Gucci Museo, Florence- Located in the picturesque Palazzo della Mercanzia in Florence’s Piazza Signoria,the Gucci museum has on display various collections created by the designer in different thematic sections. The collection contained exquisite examples of luggage, wallpapers, shoes, dresses, accessories, cutlery, and even a car designed by Gucci. The students spend a long time studying the fine work on display, and came out excited and motivated.

d. Visit to Salvatore Ferragamo Museo, Florence- This museum dedicated to the life and work of the Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo was visited by our students to understand the inspirations and thought process of classic Italian designers. The museum had a wide variety of exhibits on display- apart from over 10,000 shoes of various styles to inspirational artworks, fabrics, accessories, and audio-visual presentations. The museum proved to be a critical inspiration for some of the students working on the Canovahome project.

e. Visit to the exhibition “Paolo Venini and his Furnace”, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice- The student visited an exhibition of the works of the famous Murano glass artist Paola Venini, who is considered a great creative force in promoting and reinventing the Murano glassmaking industry from 1920s to 1950s. The exhibition had on display numerous awe inspiring glass creations of Paola Venini and his studio V.S.M. Venini & Co. glassworks. The students were expertly guided through the various exhibits and got to understand the magic of Murano crafts tradition closely.

f. Visit to Museo Egizio (The Egyptian Museum), Turin- This museum houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities with more than 30,000 artefacts, including the oldest known copy of the ‘Book of the Dead’ , mummies, tombs, and other items of royal and everyday life of ancient Egypt. The exhibition provided a fantastic insight to this ancient civilization including their approach to aesthetics and understanding of material.

g. Visit to Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Turin- The museum houses pre-cinematographic optical devices such as magic lanterns, earlier and current film technologies, stage items from early Italian movies and other memorabilia, along with growing collection of film posters, stocks, and a library. It is the museum with the biggest vertical extension of the world. The displays of movie posters, artifacts, and exhibits were inspiring. The museum space was also very impressive mixing the informational with the theatrical aspects of Italian cinema.

h.Visit to ‘Il Museo della Calzatura e della Tecnica Calzaturiera’ (Shoe Museum), Vigevano- This unique museum of shoes features over 200 historically significant shoes on display, Set within the fourteenth century Sforzesco Castle, the museum has on display shoes worn by Popes, Celebrities, shoes made by top shoe designers from all over the world, and also a collection of stiletto heel shoes, for which Vigevano shoe industry became famous.

i. Visit to Leonardo exhibit and MC Escher exhibit, Milan- Further visits were made to these two exhibits based around the Duomo area of Milan. These further emphasis the rich creative heritage of Italian culture, which has created many masters in different creative fields.

2015 Tour

Visit To Salone Di Mobile and Accompanied Immersion in Italian Culture & Design

A group of 25 Fashion & Design students visited Salone Di Mobile, the International Furniture Fair in Milan this April. Besides the lavish spread of excellence in furniture design, the fair also hosted Euroluce – a dedicated pavilions to Lighting design (with 2015 being the UNESCO Year of the Light).

A part of the study tour was a workshop by Prof Lorenzo of Politecnico di Milano. With the ‘World Expo’ being held at Milan, the project was given on the theme of ‘Feeding the Planet’, with a brief to launch an Indian food related product at Expo and design all related collaterals from product to the pavilion. Students came up with extraordinary product lines, for eg, perfumes inspired from the spices of India, and developed beautiful project models.

The students were also taken for 360 degree guided tours to cities of Milan, Venice, Turin, Florence and Como for an immersion in the art, design, architecture and culture of Italy.

In Milan they visited Duomo, the Cathedral church of Milan and walked through the Fashion Street exploring the multinational brands at the Duomo Golden Triangle; through Via Monte Napoleone and finishing at Brera known for fashion crowd and nightlife. They covered the iconic Villa NecchiCampiglio constructed by the owners of Nechhi (sewing machine manufacturer) and known for its architecture, interiors, fully preserved wardrobes and fittings. Students also visited Castle CastelloSforzesco, a 15th century castle hosting an exhibition of some of the iconic designers in the field of product, furniture and fabrics.

Visual merchandising concepts were constantly strengthened as the students studied the brand showrooms of Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Prada, Ferrari, Versace, Miu- Miu, Dior, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and many more. Students were also able to visit the Gucci Museum, Salvatore Ferragamo Shoe Museum, and Uffizi gallery at Florence. They could also uncover the mysterious leather market and enjoy the blast of unusual colors, textures, patterns and forms available in different products of leather.

The trip rounded off with a final presentation and evaluation of student’s projects at Politechnico Di Milano.

2014 Tour

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 Milano the 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 FieraMilano 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, ErmenegildoZegna, 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.

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