Established in 1954, ADI Compasso d’Oro Award is the oldest and most influential international design award. Arisen by a Gio Ponti’s idea, the award was organized for years by “La Rinascente” department store in order to pick out the value and quality of the Italian design products.

Later it was given to ADI that, since 1964, has managed its organization, ensuring its impartiality and integrity. The nearly three hundred products awarded in more than fifty years, along with the almost two thousand products selected with the Honorable Mention, are collected and kept in the Historical Collection of the Compasso d’Oro Award, whose management was given to ADI Foundation, created for this reason by ADI in 2001.

The Compasso d’Oro is awarded on the basis of a pre-selection made by ADI Permanent Observatory of Design, consisting of a commission of experts, designers, critics, historians, specialized journalists, ADI members or external to it, all continuously engaged in collecting information year after year, and in valuing and selecting the best products that may be published on the ADI Design Index.

With a step that has no precedent anywhere else in the world of international design, the Italian Cultural Heritage Ministry, Regional Office for Lombardy, with a Decree dated 22 April 2004, declared the Historical Collection of the Compasso d’Oro Award to be "of exceptional artistic and historical interest" and included it in Italy’s national heritage.


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