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First Wednesday @ Ciao Chicago. An Italian Design Night

  • Ciao Chicago 1656 West Chicago Avenue Chicago, IL, 60622 United States (map)
I Maestri del Design

Learning from "I Maestri del Design": from historical influences to strategic thinking and approaches.

CEUs provided by AIA Chicago

In occasion of NeoCon 2018, Gensler’s Steve Meier and Vincenzo Centinaro will share their point of view on product design.

Speakers will highlight some of the most influential designers from the past and historical moments that have contributed to the definition of a certain design culture and language, that has still an impact in today’s contemporary design scene.

The speakers will also highlight a human-centered and research-based approach as a way to find and solve complex design challenges.

Join the talk to learn a unique perspective on design: an experiential, user-based approach that boosts products’ market appeal, performance, and innovation.

Special thanks to AIA for being our promotional partner!

Event Schedule:

6:30 pm: Doors open and Italian wine reception

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Seminar

8:00 pm - 8:30 pm: Wine reception and networking

9:00 pm: Doors close 


Note: The event is primariliy designed for Architects, Designers and industry professionals and students.

To participate, please fill out the form. Participation is subject to organizers approval.

As a form of respect towards the speakers, no guests will be allowed to enter after the beginning of the semiar. 

Learning objectives:


  1. Learn about the history and culture of Italian Design, its impact in today’s design context, through a retrospective analysis of some of the most influential Italian designers of the 70s – ‘Maestri del Design’ – and the relationship with the American design scene on that specific historical moment.

  2. Learn about the evolution of Italian Design influences into the contemporary age and landscape and its constant references and legacy to the past.

  3. Learn about how and why product design practice exists within some of the largest and most influential architectural firms. What are the drivers and motivations behind this trend.

  4. Learn about a user-centric and research-based approach as a way to find and tackle complex design challenges and help to identify and generate design opportunities and holistic solutions.

Guest Speakers:

Steven C. Meier, IDSA, LEED® AP - Principal, Product Design Director, Practice Area Leader | Gensler

Steven is an Industrial Designer with experience in Architectural planning, Interior design, Product design & positioning. Passionate about using design to solve human-centric problems, he has been integral to building the Product Design Practice at Gensler, taking on a broad range of Firmwide and Regional leadership roles.  

Leveraging insights from over 25 years of experience leading global design and planning assignments for Corporate headquarters, Financial services, Retail, Consumer and Industrial Product clients, he has developed deep knowledge of product applications for commercial environments.

His leadership of strategic design research assignments has led to multiple successful product introductions for workplace, educational and mixed use environments. Although based in Chicago, Steven spends much of his time on global assignments from Europe to Asia.

Vincenzo Centinaro - Associate, Design Strategist | Gensler

 Vincenzo is an experienced design strategist with expertise and background in product design, visual communication, and art direction.

As part of the Gensler’s Workplace Consulting practice, Vincenzo’s primary role is to analyze, de-code, and translate insights into tangible solutions, design directions, and business opportunities.

Vincenzo combines qualitative and quantitative design research methods to deliver holistic design solutions that are aligned with both client’s vision and user’s needs.

Through his leadership and global experience, Vincenzo has contributed to the development of successful products, strategies, and experiences in the built environment for global accounts - from Tech to Processional Services and Consumer-goods practices - in North America, Europe, and Asia through a systematic, strategic, and creative thinking.

Vincenzo is based in Chicago, and has spent most of his life and career across Italy, Spain, China, and U.S.

About Gensler Chicago

Celebrating 20 years in 2018, Gensler Chicago holds a special place in the legacy and future of the firm. The office’s portfolio of high-performance spaces with an eye toward imaginative and engaging experiences serves as a motivation for the successfully connecting us all where we live, work, and play. Acknowledging Chicago’s unique architectural history, the office is committed to investing in people, research, and technology to expand and push the boundaries of design. 


About Gensler

Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 44 locations and more than 5,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work and play more inspiring, more resilient and more impactful