Day 9: All About Design

After a fantastic night of sleep in our new hotel, I was excited to start my second day in the charming Verona. The first item on our agenda was a visit to the New Academy of Design. Our visit started with a lecture that focused on master visual merchandising and retail. We got to see projects that current architecture and fashion students are designing, and I loved seeing what other students are passionate about – their work was so talented and well-planned. I also never realized how design, especially interior design, is a perfect combination of engineering and business. For example, consider a fashion boutique. It takes a business-oriented mind to make sure customers want to enter a shop and stay there, but engineers have to ensure physical structures and designs within the store are feasible and aesthetically pleasing.

After our visit with NAD, we took a break at a local shopping center, Adigeo, to eat lunch. I’m not sure if it was this particular area, but malls in Italy seem to be much more upscale than US malls – the food was incredible, and my friend Emily and I even got to visit a local pasticceria for Romeo & Juliet cookies and Nutella tarts. On that note, Nutella is surprisingly very popular in Italy, because its origin is located not far in Piedmont, Italy. The photo below includes a display case of sweets in this particular bakery.

Emily and I tried the third and second pastries from the right.

After lunch, we had a company visit at Mero&More. This small, local company makes and designs women’s fashions.They aim to stay small, because it is quite beneficial for them to be incredibly flexible in the ever-changing fashion market. Company representatives informed us about their practices, and we took a tour of facilities where designs are cut for assembly. At this visit, I learned about the design process. First, the designer sketches his idea, and models them on a mannequin. Then, if this idea is greeted with positive feedback, it will be prototyped on a computer. Later, the material is cut at Mero&More and assembled by a third party. I was introduced to the specific construct of model design. This concept industrializes artisanal ideas by materializing fashion designs into tangible clothing.

A display from Mero & More.

Though I’m not sure my studies will align with fashion in the future, I found today’s insight about design to be very useful. The design process is used in every industry, and I’m glad I got to see both perspectives of design – business and engineering.

My most anticipated day of the trip awaits us – Venice. I’m sure I will have plenty more to tell then, but for now, bounasera!

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