Italian Design Day inspiring sustainability in urban areas

The Italian Embassy selected the city of Eindhoven to host the third Italian Design Day in The Netherlands on March 25. In the Auditorium of the Technical University, 250 guests composed of entrepreneurs, architects, designers, researchers and students, attended the event with Italian architect Stefano Boeri, architect of the Trudo Vertical Forest, as main speaker.

Mr. Boeri explained how design could contribute to restore what we have done to nature. With facts and figures, he showed his audience how important it is to protect cities and reduce the acceleration of CO2 emission. “We have to change our diet and mobility and thoughts about sustainability.”

Inspired by Italo Calvino’s book ‘The Baron in the trees’ and by the Guinigi Tower, a 14th century structure in Italian town Lucca with a big tree on top, Boeri decided to design something unique, the Bosco Verticale in Milan. It is a building with living nature as a component of the structure which promotes sustainability by reducing energy consumption while increasing biodiversity.

A. Perugini, Ambassador of Italy

Andrea Perugini, the Italian ambassador praised the architect: “Stefano Boeri represents the symbiosis between architecture and nature, working with resources which have an impact on urban and social aspects.”


It’s a challenge, according to Vice Mayor of Eindhoven, Monique List, to build new houses to host new people coming to Eindhoven. “We have to think about creating a city in which it is nice to live, where green is needed.”  Boeri: “The Trudo organisation was very open minded and enthusiastic and asked me to develop a building. It’s important to give green spaces to people. Vertical Forest is now a symbol of new attention to environment. The difference is that Trudo Tower will be a social housing project instead of expensive apartments.”


Martijn Paulen, Director Dutch Design Week

Thom Aussems, one of the founding fathers of Strijp S, explained the change of the old Philips production area. “In 1991 more than 45.000 people lost their jobs. Nobody seemed interested in a polluted industrial site. Initially, we had no park at all in Strijp S. We saw a vertical garden in Zurich, and we created two big gardens on the Anton and Gerard building. We fell in love with the project of Bosco Verticale while visiting Milano. With the Trudo Vertical Forest, our dream in social housing comes true.”

Paolo Pavan, President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in The Netherlands helped to bring the Italian Design Day back to Eindhoven. He was happy to see “the commitment of the Italian Embassy and the Municipality of Eindhoven in building a dialogue that helps the development promoted by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in The Netherlands. We have been working for a long time to create a platform that can bring designers, manufacturers and sales organizations from both countries together in Eindhoven.”

Text: Stijn Slaats
Main picture: Stefano Boeri, architect Trudo Vertical Forest

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