The most important design award in the world since 1954
The Compasso d’Oro Collection, which will be permanently housed and on display within the ADI Design Museum, is a collection of products and projects that have received this award over the years along with those that have received an Honourable Mention. It is the oldest institutional design recognition in the world and its aim is to highlight the quality of Made in Italy products but above all to recognize the value process that design transversely imprints on the worlds of production and society.
The Award’s history
Created in 1954 from an idea by Gio Ponti, its image was conceived and designed by Albe Steiner who was inspired by the compass and golden section of Adalbert Goeringer, while the award itself was then designed by the architects Marco Zanuso and Alberto Rosselli. Initially sponsored by the La Rinascente department store, in 1958 it was handed over to ADI, which organized and managed the Historical Collection from then on until the establishment of its own Foundation in 2001.
Thanks to an unprecedented initiative in the field of international design, with the Decree dated 22nd April 2004 the Ministry of Cultural Heritage – Regional Superintendence for Lombardy declared the ADI Compasso d’Oro Historical Collection to be “of exceptional artistic and historical interest” and subsequently including it as part of the national heritage.
To date, the Collection numbers more than 2,300 products and projects, including 350 award winners and numerous Honourable Mentions. These all form part of the various categories analysed which include the following: Design for living,
Design for mobility, Design for work, Design of materials and technological systems, Service Design, Design for the individual, Corporate Research, Design for communication, Exhibition design, Theoretical, historical, critical research and editorial projects , Social Design and Food design.
The Award is held every two years and is decided by an international jury. Although this changes with each edition, it is always made up of members chosen from among qualified experts in design and the world of culture in general. The Compasso d’Oro awards the most deserving projects among those previously selected by the ADI Permanent Design Observatory, which are brought together annually in the ADI Design Index. The selection for this, which is overseen by a group of over 100 experts, takes place on the basis of scientific criteria including the performance of the object or service, a reduction in its impact on the environment, the use of new technologies and materials, and formal consistency.
The Award roster is completed with the Targa Giovani/Youth section, and Compasso d’Oro Career Awards (both Italian and international) are awarded at each edition. Since 2020, Career Awards dedicated to products have also been established.