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Istituto Europeo di Design entrusts international visual artist Lucy Orta with a mentorship role to lead a project that will promote interaction between art and fashion, culminating in an installation at Pitti Uomo 104

14 June 2023| Florence | Museo degli Innocenti

Florence, 4 April 2023 – English artist Lucy Orta has been invited by IED to Mentor a group of students selected from all the Group’s campuses in Italy, Spain and Brazil to work on the conception and creation of a large installation on the theme of transition that will be exhibited at Salone Brunelleschi of Istituto degli Innocenti on 14 June on the occasion of Pitti Uomo 104.

IED chose Lucy Orta because of her talent in combining drawing, sculpture, textiles, photography, film, performance, and her use of innovative language to address co-creation issues that concern the contemporary world: community and social inclusion, mobility, sustainable development and human rights.

“I’m delighted to be invited to mentor the group of talented international students in this significant milestone in their creative journey. In the stimulating discussions we have held online and at IED Firenze, the young designers have become active protagonists of a future world we will need to inhabit. They are confronting environmental instability and multiple anxieties to imagine positive and adaptive scenarios. A future inhabited by beings with multiple identities and man-nature-machine hybrids of the Novacene. The original ideas germinating in their sketchbooks will be drawn together into a fertile installation, with material and technological research at the core: dresses designed by generative AI, textiles emit songs or grow by themselves before absorbing naturally back into the earth. The Istituto degli Innocenti will be an incubator for the multiple interpretations of ‘Transition’ with fashion, film and performance placed in critical dialogue, in which audiences are invited to partake”

Lucy Orta, Artist and Chair of Art and the Environment, University of the Arts London

The artist met with Fashion Design students yesterday at the IED Firenze seat in Palazzo Pucci N6 to initiate reflection on the theme of transition and at the same time translate it into a work that enhances the Brunelleschi Hall of the Istituto degli Innocenti as an exhibition space where the research of art meets the reflection of fashion. Students are called upon to decode the term transition understood as a moment passing and the complexity that every change entails. Every transition is the consequence of a need to adapt to a crisis that at the same time allows a different future to be planned, every transition is a search and in part a compromise.

The installation will be choral and the proposed objects, conceived through the forms and tools of critical contemporary design research, that increasingly intersect with the territory of fashion production, will make up a coherent whole.

“With this installation we also want to create an opportunity to reflect on the path that leads from the condition of youth to that of adulthood, that process of transition that “invades” every student during their years of study, and in this scenario the role of the school as an instrument of awareness is increasingly central”

Danilo Venturi, IED Firenze Director

The collaboration with the Istituto degli Innocenti as the venue for the installation underlines the focus on major human and social issues, a common ground of the IED’s educational mission, a school, and a place of critical production in constant dialogue with institutions. Furthermore, it is also an incubator of ideas and processes to be developed as well as presented on occasions of international comparison with the fashion industry such as Pitti.


Istituto Europeo di Design was founded in 1966 based on Francesco Morelli’s extraordinary vision. Today, IED is the only School of Higher Education in the creative field to have preserved its Italian cultural references over time. Every year, IED launches innovative educational projects in the fields of study of Design, Fashion, Visual Arts and Communications, developing forms of learning and new models for interpreting the future. Internationally recognised, IED is a Group that spanning over 3 countries: in Italy, in Milan, Cagliari, Florence, Rome, Turin and in Como with Accademia di Belle Arti Aldo Galli; in Spain in Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao and in Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The IED Group’s educational offer includes Undergraduate courses (First Level Academic Diplomas, Título Superior en Diseño, Diploma de Bacharelado, BAH and IED Diplomas), Postgraduate courses (First Level Master and IED Master) and Continuing Education Courses. IED relies on a network of more than 3.000 lecturers, active in their respective fields of reference, with whom it collaborates actively to ensure the perfect performance of the training activities of its locations.


Born in Great Britain (1966)

Lucy Orta’s visual arts practice investigates the interrelations between the individual body and community structures, exploring their diverse identities and means of cohabitation. She uses the mediums of drawing, textile sculpting, photography, film and performance to realise singular bodies of work. Her process of representing community voices incorporates co-creation and inclusive methods and she has collaborated with a wide range of people, often those on the margins of exclusion to empower participants through shared creative practice. 
In acknowledgement of her innovative socially engaged research practice Lucy Orta was nominated as Head of the Man & Humanity, a pioneering master program for sustainable design, which she cofounded with Li Edelkoort at the Design Academy Eindhoven, in 2002. She has been a Professor at London College of Fashion since 2002 and is currently the Chair of Art and the Environment at the University of the Arts London, where she founded the Art for the Environment Artist in Residency Program. In recognition of her academic contribution to the visual arts, she has received an honorary Master of Arts from Nottingham Trent University and an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Brighton.


Fabrizia Capriati — Mob. +39 347 1719290
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