Italian Ambassador speaking at a podium.


School of Architecture and Design Hosts Italian Ambassador to Open Italian Design Day

March 29, 2022

Pictured: Italian Ambassador Mariangela Zappia addresses attendees at the opening of Italian Design Day at 1855 Broadway on the New York City campus.

On March 23, the School of Architecture and Design hosted Italian Ambassador to the United States Mariangela Zappia and Italian Trade Commissioner Antonino Laspina to open Italian Design Day, a nationwide event, now in its sixth year, that aims to celebrate Italian design. It is promoted and coordinated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

New York Tech President Hank Foley, Ph.D., and Dean of the School of Architecture and Design Maria Perbellini welcomed Ambassador Zappia and Commissioner Laspina, who offered welcoming remarks from 1855 Broadway on the New York City campus to a live and virtual audience that included students, faculty, staff, and invited guests.

“It’s our pleasure to host this event, celebrating Italian Design Day,” said President Foley. “Upon reflection, I realize that since the Renaissance—really, 500 years—Italian city-states or artists or engineers have led the world in aesthetics and design. It really is a 500-year-old tradition.”


Pictured from left: President Hank Foley, Italian Ambassador Mariangela Zappia, and Dean Maria Perbellini

In her opening remarks, Perbellini echoed this year’s theme of Re-Generation. Design and new technologies for a sustainable future.

“Creativity and design innovation have a critical role in the urgency to address correlational environmental, economic, and social challenges,” she said. “This time of fast-changing scenarios presents the opportunity to discuss the role of emerging technologies and interdisciplinary collaborations for a more intentional approach to civic engagement, responsible practices, access to equitable spaces and resources, safe regenerated communities, where diverse voices are included and represented, where we can catalyze far-reaching change.”

The keynote address “Connection with Italy: Salone del Mobile 2022” was presented by Maria Porro, president of the design fair Salone, and Paola Navone, architect and design ambassador for Italian Design Day.

This was followed by a panel discussion with industry leaders who spoke about this year’s theme. Panelists included Daniele Busca, vice president and creative brand director at Scavolini; Andres Escobar, designer principal at Lemay+Escobar New York; Simona Gazzaniga, head of marketing for PoliForm USA; and Rocco Giannetti, managing director, Gensler New York.

Italian Design Day was celebrated throughout the country with a series of events, including the webinar and panel discussion “Italiche: Women’s Perspective on Urban Regeneration” curated by Alessandro Melis, Ph.D., the inaugural IDC Foundation Endowed Chair and professor in the School of Architecture and Design.