During the Expo Milano 2015, two groups from DADU Alghero (coordinated by Nicolò Ceccarelli, with Marco Sironi and Attilio Baghino) and DICAAR Cagliari (coordinated by me) have developed the exhibit design of the Autonomous Region of Sardinia pavilion during the week dedicated to the island. We meet very strong constraints: everything had to be assembled and dismantled in six hours, had to be reusable, must coexist with many fixed and unchangeable parts. Sardinia Dingbats are used in a stencil version for a specially designed shelter entrance, for backlight walls and to drill stools, inside which essences were inserted. On the walls, a horizontal slot contained a smelling Helichrysum. The rectangular module guided the conceptualization of the sea, through a suspended installation inspired by Calder’s mobiles. The central video wall formed colorful tapestries, animated by the group of Alghero, who also created the movies and the music that flowed on the monitors. Daniela Ducato contributed with textural natural panels, used as artworks on the walls. A golden female note was added by Cristiana Collu, which included hundreds of elegantly serial cowbells. During the inauguration, Roberto Petza has proposed again the food carpet with great success.
In the summer of 2015, the Autonomous Region of Sardinia asked two groups from the Departments of Architecture of the Universities of Sassari and Cagliari – the first one coordinated by Nicolò Ceccarelli, the second by me – to develop a new visual identity of the island for Expo Milano 2015. This identity will become the visual spine of the communication strategy of Sardinia in the coming years. First I designed a set of typefaces with a strong local identity. I called them Bàttoro (after the name of the traditional weaving from which they take inspiration) and PB1 (as pibione, the Sardinian word for the weaving dot). The equation pixel = pibione established the modular and serial way of the graphic research. The created fonts are decorative, good for headlines and logos or, like you can see, ricursive and intertwining patterns. It’s another way to get interesting typographic textures. Here is shown the claim “Sardegna isola senza fine” (Sardinia endless island), that I created as well. For longer texts, which need to be red without any difficulties, we used the Open Sans. In addition to the first two sets, I wanted a set of dingbats made up of figures of traditional Sardinian weaving, plus some new and imaginative, specifically designed. With my team of collaborators (Matteo Buccoli, Francesca Oggiano, Claudio Rossi), we designed a set of figures called Sardinia Dingbats, with which you can process virtual tapestries typing on the keyboard. The serialization of the compositions follows a way I had already studied for the typographical tapestries and these typefaces give to designers and craftsmen a powerful tool for creating ever new combinations.
I designed this carpet for a friend, a very good dentist specialized in correcting the smile of children. It was handmade by weaving cooperative Su Trobasciu in Mogoro. My friend’s family has always been involved in the distribution and marketing of catch. The carpet is a kind of family coat of arms: fish bones are recognizable, while teeth have a more abstract shape (upper and lower dental arches are spread out), either in the “free” form and with the corrective coloured brace.
For Joias I designed a sarong that revisits the traditional costume of Orgosolo. A transposition of the strong iconic tradition of inner areas of Sardinia on a typical garment of the beaches. A way to communicate identity to different and wide people, who spent their summer holidays on the Sardinian coast. Easy to carry and to pack, it can speak about our island beyond the sea of Sardinia.
When I saw my name along with many of my tutelary deities, I cannot believe it. It was a strong emotion. Francesco Dondina reserved me an immense honor. On October 14th, I will give a talk about my works in Milan, at Castello Sforzesco. Organized under the patronage of the Milan Polytechnic, AIAP, and Bauer Institute, it is part of a series of six events taking place from late September to December.
The ZX Spectrum pixel font never ends to give me satisfaction. I had already used to call the weaving in some work of recent years. Since then I’ve been working to design sardinian traditional tapestries and rugs using typography. I show the last one, dedicated to the great Roberto Petza, chef of the “star” restaurant S’Apposentu, in Siddi .
After Milano and Madrid (2007), Istanbul (2010), Beijing and Nantou (2010), Bilbao and San Francisco (2013), the exhibit “The New Italian Design”, organized by La Triennale di Milano Design Museum under the supervision of Silvana Annicchiarico, is at present at Centro Cultural La Moneda in Santiago de Chile. From december 6th 2013 to march 30th 2014, the exhibit shows the works of 133 italian designers (among them, about 20 graphic designers), who represent the status of italian design today. I was honoured to be selected in 2007 (thanks again to Mario Piazza), and to be still among them (even if I’m now 50, and so it’s a little bit strange to talk about the “new” italian design…). And I was very happy and a slightly proud to find the name of Cagliari among the emerging spots in mediterranean design: a small gift that now I can give back to my beloved town.