Torino has been one of Italy’s main industrial centres with the rise of the steel, mechanic, chemical, textile and automobile industries, which have dominated the city’s development for almost a century. Over the past few decades, the city has successfully transformed itself from an industrial centre to a creative hub. Torino’s knowledge of design and production processes, acquired through its industrial past, has laid the foundation for the future. Torino is one of the most dynamic cities in the cultural and creative field in Italy. The Creativity and culture field in Torino represents 9.1% of total Italian number of active bodies and companies, the third in Italy, with about 100,000 employees and people involved. In the metropolitan area, there are about 1,000 creative companies involving 47,000 employees and contributing with an annual revenue of 13 million Euro to the local creative economy.
In 2008, Torino was designated as World Design Capital and has, ever since, distinguished itself as a hub in this field. The city comprises seven universities and institutes offering high level design-related courses to around 100,000 students, namely the University of Torino, the Polytechnic of Torino, the Accademia Albertina of Fine Arts, the IED – European Institute of Design, the IAAD - Institute of Applied Arts and Design, and the University of Piemonte Orientale. In the design sector, the most important gatherings are the Artissima fair, the View Conference and Fest, Torino City of Design event, Operae – Independent Design festival, Salonedell’Auto, Torino Fashion Week. In addition, Torino is an UN and UNESCO centre with ILO, UNICRI, UNSSC and SIOI seats, as well as the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy and in the MAB with Collina Po being inscribed on the World Heritage List.
The promotion of creativity and sustainability, as well as the regeneration of urban spaces, are at the core of the city’s development. The municipality is committed to lead its policies towards improving the social and environmental conditions with design thinking by raising the whole design chain thanks to a design advisory board involving different stakeholders, to capitalize on the full synergic potential of working towards common goals with a common strategy on design. The city is also engaged to spread design culture inside the public administration decision making policies, as well as raise awareness among all citizens about the capacity of design knowledge and use to improve the cultural and social conditions and environments.
As a Creative City of Design, Turin envisages:
- multiplying cultural exchange programmes, residencies, workshops and seminars with other Creative Cities of Design to foster the mobility of artists;
- organizing public events to enhance the city design chain by sharing experiences and raising awareness on the design added value for the citizens’ well-being;
- nurturing cooperation with other Creative Cities of Design to support the international independent design through exhibitions and business opportunities;
- generating new educational, employment and business opportunities for designers and companies through ICT to be shared at the international level.