Leonardo Angelucci is a graphic designer, coder and art director based in Zürich, available worldwide. In 2023 he became co-founder of UNSTATED. Alongside his work, he teaches creative coding and user interface at several universities attending also workshops. His clients include Ambush, Armedangels, Bauhaus Dessau, B&B Italia, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Mammut, On running, Photographers' Gallery London, Porto Rocha, Rimadesio, Renell Medrano, Schertler, Something special studios.

Office

UNSTATED Badenerstrasse 141 8003 Zurich, Switzerland

Selected websites

Teaching, Lecturing
and Jurying

2020

ECAL, Jury, Lausanne GIFF, Lecture, Geneva, Wifii: Looking for Network

2021

Ars Electronica, Exhibition, Lugano

2022

EAA School of applied arts La Chaux-de-fonds

Hongik University, Seoul, Workshop: Untouched (AI)

2023

HSLU, Hochschule Luzern EPFL (Lausanne), HEAD (Geneva), NOVA (Lisboa) and SUPSI MAIND Workshop: Designing With Machines CSIA, Lugano, Workshop: Teaching machines Junge Grafik, Jury

2024

ISIA Urbino, workshop: Die Neue Form – Designing with machines

MAIND SUPSI – Master in interaction design – Prototyping interactive installations

2013 – Now

SUPSI, Mendrisio Bachelor in visual communication

Conditional Statement

Conditional Statement is a project designed to share the journey, successes, and failures of my working life.
This project was born from the need to learn how to share, improve my writing and english, and generally step out of my comfort zone. Each week, I will unveil a story, a project, or a thought, and when possible, provide references.

Week 20: Out Of Office

2024(e)ko maiatzaren 19(a) (16:18)

I am on a flight that left London and will leave me in Zurich in a little over an hour. This week, I spent a few days with some of my closest friends.

Finding the time to be with loved ones, taking a break from studying, seems to be increasingly difficult to organize.

In recent years, I find myself traveling more and more often for work (which I really enjoy), and in my daily life discussing matters always related to projects and topics that, for one reason or another, are easily connected to studying (projects, clients, ideas, teaching, ...).

It's as if for a few days we return to being simpler individuals, individuals relieved of that ego and personality that we so easily associate with ourselves, not so much for who we are, but for what we do.

Rediscovering the importance of discussing any topic, listening to my friends' stories, and exchanging opinions has allowed me to reorganize some thoughts and distance myself from things.

What I write is obvious to everyone, I realize that... but I continuously forget it. The problem, if we want to call it that, is that I believe deeply in what I do... I believe so strongly that sometimes I forget everything else.

Loving what you do, pursuing your dreams is something I never want to stop doing, it's as if it gives flavor to things for me. That said, I don't want to forget how important it is to maintain healthy relationships with loved ones... remembering that there is a universe beyond my 14-inch MacBook.

We had made this trip 10 years ago. Same people, same concept. It was powerful to see how, despite so much suffering and so many good things, we all remained the same bad boys we were then. Maybe a little quieter, maybe a little more melancholy -- but all with a common goal: to try to be the best version of ourselves.

Week 19: EXPOSED

2024(e)ko maiatzaren 9(a) (13:09)

Finally, after months of intense work, here I am talking about a project that once seemed impossible. This week, in Turin, I attended the opening of EXPOSED, the Torino Foto Festival. Months ago, Salvatore Vitale and Menno Liauw invited us to conceive the identity of this new festival and generally take over the artistic direction. At first there was nothing, not even a name. Therefore, I feel particularly connected to this project: every detail, including the name of the festival, is the result of a lot of work.

The idea of the festival came from the desire to attract a new audience to Turin and to create a contemporary event dedicated to photography. Starting from this vision, we reflected on the identity of the festival and its unique atmosphere.

Having launched a completely new festival, we faced many challenges: few people, limited budget, and a lot of confusion. The project involved the UNSTATED team and other collaborators, totaling at least six people. The identity of the festival was designed to reflect the diversity of photography, embracing a wide variety of expressions such as satellites, artificial intelligence, photo archives, scanning, X-rays, photogrammetry, and more. This was our initial dream.

However, we soon ran up against the realities of politics, artists and audiences, which forced us to scale back our expectations and use more accessible materials. In the identity of the festival, we also tried to evoke the concept of widgets, such as clocks, calendars and compasses, to visually communicate the international variety of artists, the richness of the events and the venues involved. I don't know if it fully succeeded--the time available and the volume of work didn't often allow us to delve into these issues that we hoped for.

I would like to reflect not so much on the specific project, but rather on the initial expectation that one has at the start of each project and the reality that then manifests itself in the course and at the end of the work. We have done everything: videos, motion graphics, website, catalogs, posters, exhibitions... so many things that in the end turned out to be very different from our original expectations. Don't get me wrong, the result was outstanding and impactful, but simply different, often in a more simplistic way than we had hoped.

So I wonder if there will ever come a time when, at the beginning of a project, expectations will be perfectly aligned with reality and the end result. Or is it perhaps better that way? Is it normal to begin a project by imagining the best possible outcome, keeping expectations high so as not to limit oneself from the start?

Spending days in Turin, seeing all the work accomplished and experiencing it in person made me realize how difficult it is to fully perceive the effort expended, even for those who, like me and the team, worked directly on the project. I wonder if there is a way for projects of this size to fully perceive their creative value. Is it worth investing so much effort and care in every detail? My answer is yes, and honestly I'm very grateful to have had this opportunity.

Thank you to the whole team and thank you for the trust

Week 18: Seasonal viruses

2024(e)ko maiatzaren 1(a) (13:53)

This week I was supposed to start teaching in Lucerne (I didn't make it). This week I was supposed to go to Turin for the end of the EXPOSED project (I made it). My body gave out.

We often dive into work without a break, and just when the moment of a big delivery is approaching, when we should be celebrating the effort made, the body goes haywire and forces us to stop. It is a script that repeats itself. Maybe the secret is to never stop-or maybe not?

I can't write-I'm knocked out!

Week 17: Ben Kicic

2024(e)ko maiatzaren 4(a) (13:55)

Leonardo is typing...

Week 15: Friendly Fire

2024(e)ko apirilaren 19(a) (14:23)

In September last year, I received an inviting proposal from Bruno Ceschel: to set up an installation at his cultural space, SPBH Space in Milan, during Design Week. The possibility excited me and I accepted without thinking twice. The only request from bruno was the possibility of exploring the use of artificial intelligence.

At that time, I was just starting to get interested in robots, as AI, while fascinating, seemed particularly intriguing when integrated into physical objects as well as digital applications... I was interested but I didn't really have time to put my head into it.

This interest in robots motivated me to make the most of this opportunity, thus prompting me to look for institutions that could provide the necessary equipment for the installation and thus not miss this opportunity.

I asked around about the possibility of borrowing some robots but to no avail. Buying a robotic dog or a mechanical arm was a significant investment, too expensive for the exhibition's budget.

After other unsuccessful attempts, I approached Thibault Brevet and Andrea Anner (AATB), from a studio in Zurich that I greatly admire and which works mainly with robots, to ask about the rental cost of a robotic arm. During a brief chat, the possibility and interest in collaborating on this project emerged. And I love collaborating!

Ask AATB for help was definitely the right choice. We immediately hit it off and started developing ideas for the project. Although our practices were very different, our shared experience in design, art and programming made the exchange of ideas particularly interesting and fluid.

After several discussions, we formulated an idea that everyone was enthusiastic about and that was feasible within the available timeframe and skills. We decided to create a work that would explore the use of AI and robotics in warfare contexts: a robotic arm armed with a water gun and equipped with artificial intelligence. The idea of making something meaningful and not just a robot that does robotics was a challenge. A robot that recognises you, holds a gun and potentially shoots is a powerful concept. We were excited (Indeed I still am!).

The installation was set up in a shop window of the SPBH space, located on a busy street. The robot, placed inside, continuously observes the outside environment and, in a completely harmless manner, points and 'shoots' at passers-by. This simply highlights how accessible such devices are and how accurate they really are. Without AATB's contribution, all this would have taken much longer or even been impossible. The inauguration was a success and to experience that day in Milan, with so many people and 27 degrees, was truly legendary!

Without wishing to dwell too long, anyone interested in learning more will be pleased to share further details.

The robotic arm

The camera we used

The gun

The AI code for the camera (python)

Week 14: MDF and friends

2024(e)ko apirilaren 7(a) (19:27)

As we approach Milan Design Week, I feel like talking about a project I started working on a few years ago and which, year after year, I continue to enrich and evolve. MDF Contract is particularly close to my heart, not so much because of the project itself, but also because it symbolises a significant collaboration and binds me to dear people.

Way back in the early days of my career, I rented a desk in Balerna, in the south of Switzerland, at the graphic design studio CCRZ. I look back on those years with affection and nostalgia.

I used to frequent the studio to avoid working alone at home and found the environment extremely stimulating. In Ticino, the guys at the studio were an important reference point, which inspired me deeply. Although I was an external figure, I gradually started to collaborate with them. In particular, I had the pleasure of working closely with Paolo Cavalli, one of the founders, who, often unconsciously, passed on to me precious notions of architecture, graphics and interior design. That period had a decisive impact on my practice today, forming a solid starting point.

Immersed in an environment full of design objects and rare books, I was able to absorb the flavour of Swiss (and other) design by leafing through countless books countless times. My knowledge of Swiss and Italian design owes much to those walls in Balerna, in those years so close to the end of university.

MDF is initially a client of CCRZ, but as their studio has always been mainly focused on print I was asked to work on the digital part, i.e. the design and code of the website (of their contract section not the main website)

I am particularly proud of the MDF contract website, a project that reflects my great passions: graphics, architecture, respect for rules and object design. Despite the time that has passed, I still look at it fondly, and I always enjoy it, which is certainly a good sign.

The website is a modular solution, developed with NUXT and Vercel, which is fully manageable by the customer.

In addition to the project itself, I wanted to share the memory of my collaboration with Paolo, a presence I have missed since I moved to Zurich. Currently, given my intense activity with UNSTATED, I find it difficult to keep this collaborative bond alive, which I imagine is also complicated for them, now that I am no longer a young freelancer.

During my years in South Ticino, I was lucky enough to meet wonderful people, whom I often remember with affection: a salute to Ruffini, Alfio, Andren, Daiana, Cassino and Castiglioni!

Week 13: I failed

2024(e)ko martxoaren 30(a) (20:27)

This week has been extremely difficult. Unfortunately, I have not been able to produce anything in terms of writing (sorry if there is anyone on the other side reading).

With the studio, we only have a month left until the start of EXPOSED, a festival for which we are taking care of the entire visual identity and supporting materials. Considering that it involves 20 exhibitions and the setting up of an entire city, the amount of work is immense. On top of that there are numerous other interesting projects we are working on, which has made it particularly difficult to find moments to dedicate to writing or even just listening (to oneself). There are weeks that literally fly by. I wonder, how is it possible to arrest the course of time? Is there a way to carve out spaces to devote to parallel projects when work is so intense? Everything seems to move too quickly.

Week 12: Ciao Michele

2024(e)ko martxoaren 24(a) (21:07)

This week something totally unexpected happened, something deeply sad and devastating. Quite unexpectedly, we lost a client, but above all a friend.

Michele Arnaboldi was one of the most talented architects I have ever had the good fortune to meet and work with. Michele was a reference in architecture in the south of Switzerland, where he designed and realised his works for years. He never stopped sharing his passion and dedicated much of his time to teaching.

Many years ago, when I was still a young inexpert, Paolo Jannuzzi (with whom I was teaching at the time) asked me if I would be interested in designing the website for one of his clients. That was how I had my first contact with Michele. That project was one of my first in architecture and was a moment of great happiness. I remember realising for the first time how close architecture, or at least its fundamental concept, was to the world of graphics and how incredible it was in general. I felt proud and privileged to be able to collaborate with him. That period was significant for me... and it was definitely then that I started to approach architecture and somehow also grow as a professional.

Recently, together with Michele we were working on what was to be his last book, a publication about his works, but above all about the people who inhabited them.

This book was not intended to be a self-celebration, but rather a love story between places and the people who inhabited them. The aim was therefore to change perspective, narrating his work through the stories of the people and places Michele thought of and designed.

In the meetings over the last few months, Michele told us how something inside him had changed over the years, how a new light had come on. This had prompted him to create the book, with the sincere goal of talking about his work in a different, authentic way. The book was to explore themes of light and shadow, solids and voids, deciding that instead of the usual self-referential texts written by well-known architecture critics, it would be enriched with poems and sounds.

The last time I saw Michele, he confided in me that his dream, at this point in his life, was to make his architecture sound. At the time I wasn't sure I understood... now it seems a little clearer to me.

For what it's worth, I think of you and I am honoured to have met you.

Week 11: Portfolio and self-initiated projects

2024(e)ko martxoaren 17(a) (20:08)

For years, in addition to numerous other projects, I have dedicated myself to the creation of many websites, including various portfolios (as highlighted in week 10).

However, in spite of this, I am faced with a very difficult challenge: I have never managed to create a website for myself, and now I find myself in the same situation with the studio website (unstated.co).

Why does doing something for oneself seem so complicated? When I work for others, the decisions flow naturally, but when the client is me, everything becomes enormously complicated.

Am I a bad client? I don't know... but it is possible.

It seems that when it comes to personal projects, expectations are raised out of all proportion, and nothing I do ever seems good enough. Every attempt to create my portfolio is met with a myriad of doubts: what kind of clients do I want to have? How do I select the most suitable projects? How much time will I devote to creating case studies? Is it better to show more or less work? Should I outsource the site creation to a professional? Do I prefer to focus on digital or traditional projects? Help!

These questions assault me and I end up getting stuck, leaving the project halfway through each time.

This blog represents one of the rare occasions, after years of work, when I have realised something exclusively for me, without external commissions, driven by the need to express myself.

The habit of developing personal projects should be cultivated and strengthened. Otherwise, one ends up waiting for someone to come along with a new proposal or idea. Probably, what I am saying will sound obvious to many, but am I really the only one who is struggling?

I have a lot of ideas and a lot of energy and I would like to devote myself to more personal initiatives, but lately I feel overwhelmed by events. If someone on the other side of the screen is reading this blog and has advice to offer, how do you succeed in this?

Observing the world around me, I notice many people who are able to carve out time for their studio, personal projects (both work and personal) and, more generally, for their lives. On the contrary, I currently struggle to manage everything effectively.

Apart from the important things in life, I feel the urgency to learn how to organise my time better and to be able to publish a portfolio that adequately documents the passionate work of our studio.

I hope to achieve this soon.

These are the reflections of a Sunday evening.

Week 10: Sensitive

2024(e)ko martxoaren 10(a) (18:20)

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Michael, Casandra and Oliver, who operate between Austin in Texas, Hudson in New York and Copenhagen in Denmark. They were looking for someone who could help them conceive, design and develop the website for their new agency, SENSITIVE.

Initially, I was very happy but also a bit uncertain. I wondered: what is the point of doing a website for another agency when ours (unstated.co) does not yet have one? And then, I was afraid that this choice might lead us to lose potential clients, since, after all, we would be promoting another agency instead of our own.

After I thought about it, however, I realised that these thoughts were unfounded and I am sorry I had them: wrong thoughts since they specialise in something else, elsewhere, and in any case have more experience than us.

Collaborating with other agencies in the end is essential: working with other studios and professionals opens up new opportunities and exchanges that would otherwise not exist. Listening and understanding different points of view is fundamental to questioning, learning and growing.

Designing for another designer/s introduces a dimension of vulnerability. Interacting with other designers is very different from doing so with clients from other areas. Often, clients think they know more than you just because they are paying you... but when your client is himself a designer, the conversation becomes much more interesting (and sometimes more complex).

There are times when stimulating dialogues and exchanges emerge; at other times, you need to be flexible or simply discover the best way to illustrate the value of your ideas, defending them with solid arguments. Among designers, it is not uncommon to be confronted on issues closely related to personal tastes, specific context or influences that each one brings.

Yes, yes, I think so .... we should encourage more designer collaborations, trying to support each other and be complementary where possible. Too often we look at other studios with competition, envy and jealousy.

I learnt a lot from this experience, but the most important lesson was not to be afraid to give because, in the end, what you receive could be much more valuable.

Thank you Michael, Casandra and Oliver. I hope to work with you again in the future.

Interesting links:

Luxonis – Cameras with built-in AI

Week 9: Running out of time

2024(e)ko martxoaren 3(a) (19:56)

Leonardo is typing ...

Week 8: Persuasive system

2024(e)ko otsailaren 25(a) (21:06)

Lately I have been immersing myself more and more in the world of photography and its actors. With the studio (unstated), we are designing a visual identity for a new festival dedicated to photography, working on a publication for the Fotomuseum in Winterthur and, in parallel, I am teaching in an interaction design master's programme on how to create interactive installations that explore concepts such as the networked image, non-human photography, social media platforms and the circulation of images in the digital world.

My reflection on the role of photography is getting deeper and deeper, so much so that I often find myself discussing and reflecting on it. In this context, I would like to share a particular project that I developed between 2020 and 2021 for the artist, photographer and friend of mine Salvatore Vitale.

The idea came from a proposal by Salvatore, who asked me to work on this project. I immediately found it fascinating, attracted as I was (and am) by this kind of challenge. At first, I thought it would be enough to buy a few webcams to complete the project easily, but I was very wrong. Very wrong.

The project, called Persuasive System, is an installation that addresses the issue of surveillance, highlighting privacy issues. The aim is to reverse the role between observer and observed, allowing participants to interact in real time with three cameras via a web interface (HTML, CSS, PHP, Python), view webcams and capture images: accessible from anywhere in the world with any browser.

Exhibited in Piazza Riforma in Lugano in 2020 and at the OGR in Turin in 2021, the project may soon reach Amsterdam.

I dedicated more than a month to this work; halfway through, I was convinced I would not make it. There were many problems to be solved: how to create a website that could control webcams and take photos? Are there suitable webcams? And APIs available? How can I get cheap but editable webcams? And how can I ensure that they are weatherproof? Internet? How do I connect them in a public square?

Since I could not find a pre-existing solution that met all these requirements, I decided to build the webcams and software myself. I opted for three Raspberry PI 4, cameras and lenses. Although I was initially enthusiastic about the idea of using real-time streaming via Twitch, this route proved impractical for capturing images directly from the stream. The ultimate solution was to continue taking pictures and save them in three separate online folders accessible via FTP.

Users could take pictures via a website that drew directly from these folders. Each shot was recorded in the database (mysql) with information about the selected image and user details such as IP, browser, time and location.

Thank you Marco Lurati! His help was crucial in realising the waterproof cases for the cards and for all the support in managing the electrical aspect. Without him, the project would not have been possible.

This experience brought me closer to Python and electronics, showing me that today almost everything is feasible in electronics and software at a reasonable cost (even without too much expertise). I learnt how to remotely control devices and sensors and how to make objects that communicate in real time with the web, increasing my fascination for the thin line that divides the physical from the digital world. I hope to explore this frontier further, time permitting.

If you have stumbled upon this black hole of the internet and want to know more, I will be happy to share more details.

Photos: Persuasive System and Salvatore Vitale

Interesting links:

Digram – List of digital terms

Shades of intelligence – It's nice that

Week 7: Teaching

2024(e)ko otsailaren 18(a) (22:28)

This week has literally flown by!

Sabrina, co-founder of Unstated, and I have found ourselves navigating between teaching and work. We have been invited to lead workshops in different areas and have found ourselves balancing it all with our daily responsibilities.Leonardo is typing ...

When we were both teaching, we were a bit behind with the office and work organisation. Every night, it was a race against time to catch up on everything - from phone calls to emails, from estimates to the actual work.

Ideally, we should always be available for both our team and clients. However, during these busy teaching weeks, everything seems to pause, only to suddenly speed up once the commitment is over.

Teaching during the day and working in the evening are exhausting, but there is something in all this that fills me with satisfaction. Fortunately, the economic situation is stable and teaching is not a financial necessity. So why do I keep doing it? I am a masochist.

Lately I have often wondered why I lucidly choose to add this stress to my life. The answer is simple: I love it and I am passionate about it. I love sharing my knowledge, challenging myself, seeing if I really have something to offer. Teaching forces me to organise my thoughts and make them accessible to others, helping me to maintain continuous learning. It might sound obvious, but through teaching I realise the passage of time and the inevitability of ageing. The students stay young, while I age; and every year I am surprised at how quickly time flies. I don't know if I would be so aware without all this. Focusing on topics such as creative coding, artificial intelligence, electronics and design, I am constantly driven to update and renew my approach, which fuels my creativity and my desire to learn by always putting myself out there. Sometimes I think that without teaching I would miss out on something important: the opportunity to connect with new generations and explore new perspectives and discuss things I would not otherwise do.

Although I do not consider myself old, I begin to perceive a distance between me and my students, who perhaps look at me with different eyes. The age difference, in some cases almost a decade, is starting to make itself felt somehow.

I am probably just very tired now and these reflections might seem worthless. However, it was important for me to share these thoughts with you. Today, teaching feels like a crucial part of my life, a way of giving back and sharing what I have learnt on a daily basis.

Tomorrow I will start teaching in an interaction design master's programme in the south of Switzerland. I want to better explore the concept of exhibition space, multiplayer and mobile devices. I will let you know.

Sweet dreams to you all.

Interesting links:

Sora – AI videos

Melobytes - Image to sound

MAGNeT – AI from META to generate music

Week 6: UNSTATED

2024(e)ko otsailaren 11(a) (17:11)

I started my adventure as a freelancer in 2014, right after I had completed my Bachelor's degree. I already had it in mind that, in the future, I wanted to explore the possibility of working independently. In order to survive at that time, I worked at H&M in the evenings and was an assistant in the Master of Interaction Design at SUPSI during the day, devoting my nights to my personal projects.

Despite the workload, the large amount of energy at that time and the financial support from my jobs allowed me to start freelancing relatively peacefully.

The first freelance project of which I am particularly proud was the website for YET Magazine. Although I am still neither a designer nor an experienced programmer, I worked hard to achieve a decent result. This project met with a certain 'success', giving me an important push to improve and believe in myself more.

Since then, I have never stopped coding and working on design projects. The city of Lugano, with which I still collaborate today, was one of the clients that most contributed to my growth as a designer, entrusting me with projects ranging from publishing to posters, websites and installations. It was like having a huge creative playground at my disposal.

Fortunately, over time, I was able to move away from my Master's assistant job and other commitments to focus full-time on my freelancing. In 2016, I started teaching creative coding at SUPSI, extending my teaching activities to other schools.

After many years in Lugano, working for almost all major institutions, I realised that in order to grow further as a person and as a professional, I needed a change. So, I moved to Zürich together with Sabrina Cerea, my life partner and incredibly talented designer. Upon moving to Zurich, Sabrina and I started to collaborate more and more closely, until we decided to start our own studio. In the beginning, although we were a bit uncertain, we chose to communicate our business both as a single entity and maintain a certain independence. "0×000" and "0×fff" were the names that characterised the studio: the first represented me (black) and the second Sabrina (white), with some projects signed individually and others jointly. The collaboration with Sabrina greatly improved my work and our ability to realise projects more efficiently. 0×000 and 0×fff was a project that lasted two years.

In 2022, Ludovica Niero, an architect and copywriter, joined the team, further expanding our skills and collaboration. This led to the need to grow even more. Eventually, in 2023, we became a team of five, with numerous external collaborations.

Unstated is the name of our new studio. It came from the need to have a name that sounded serious (unlike "0x000" and "0xFFF", which many people didn't understand) and that made everyone feel included, reflecting the idea of an open and evolving identity. The name unstated is the result of a certain insecurity about the definition of our studio. We have no clear idea of what it is or what it will be. We kind of like it to be something undefined and something mutable (Be Water My Friend).

Today, Unstated embraces a variety of disciplines, from programming to interactive installations, from artificial intelligence to robotics, from typography to motion design, from architecture to editorial, from teaching to corporate identity, and more. We are very attached to Unstated, a project that defines us, our roles and ambitions, and engages us in work that we are passionate about and happy about (ok ok... not always). This studio is not only a place of service to clients, but also a space for exploration, sharing and research, where we can also initiate self-initiated projects, freely exploring new disciplines and as yet unknown areas.

Right now, we are extremely happy with how things are going and hope that this journey will continue in the best possible way. Special thanks to all the people who work with us, our friends and our customers for their support and trust.

PS: There are also a lot of hard sides to having a studio... it's definitely not all sunshine and roses... often quite the contrary. I hope to have time to tell you about the dark side too.

Interesting links:

Links:

No Free pitches – A good initiative!

Source Type – Full of nice typefaces and articles

Lubalin Lecture Series – Artificial Typography

Simone Cavadini – A friend and an amazing photographer

Week 5: Exposed, C2C

2024(e)ko otsailaren 4(a) (11:38)

A couple of months ago, we came across a golden opportunity: to develop the identity for a new international photography festival in Turin. It's a tough project, with a lot of people involved - practically one of the biggest we've ever tackled, and one of the first of this scale and in Italy to boot.

At the moment we are working hard to create a visual identity that fits in many different media and extends across more than 30 exhibitions. Basically, we are taking care of everything: from art direction to design, from videos to the website to strategy, naming and communication. The festival is called EXPOSED and will start in May 2024.

During this project we were lucky enough to collaborate with Salvatore Vitale and Menno Liauw, the masterminds of Futures Photography and artistic directors of EXPOSED. It was they who gave us the push and believed in us and proposed us for this project - thanks a lot guys!

Being the first year, it is a bit like sailing in unknown waters, with requests raining down on us from all sides. Despite the challenges, we are charged up and grateful to be part of this adventure, even if it sometimes feels like mission impossible.

In the beginning, we had a rather articulate visual identity in mind, but as time went on, we realised that keeping up with such a complex design, with so many people involved and the clock ticking was utopian. I will talk more about this in the coming weeks, when we will have something concrete to show you.

Before EXPOSED started, we did an initial project at the end of 2023, collaborating with the C2C Festival for a performance to promote both the festival and the Futures photographers. Club to Club (C2C) is that huge electronic music festival in Turin, where artists such as Aphex Twin, Nicolas Jaar, Bicep and countless others have performed.

We only had four weeks to get the project up and running. Impossible without extra help, so we called in Luciano Baragiola, a talented graphic and motion designer, as well as a fantastic person. Have a look at his work, it's worth it! To make it all work with more than 100 photographers at an electronic music festival, we relied on a visual narrative made of scrolling images and metadata (a mega scroll in fact). The latter also became a pillar for EXPOSED's identity. The use of archive images and videos was crucial to give visual coherence between such diverse content.

With Luciano, we chose the best images (in relation to the use of the live show) from the photographers, created a strong sequence and then manipulated everything with AI and various techniques, integrating the archive material. The result was a video that we projected in real time on three mega led-walls, synchronised with the music during some live shows. We wanted it to visually support the show without overpowering the music and who was playing.

We used PHP for metadata, Figma, Runway and After Effects. The selection of images and their sequencing were the toughest parts, as well as having to amalgamate everything coherently.

In the end, the result in Turin did not go quite as we expected. At one point, the sound engineer decided to go his own way, ignoring our directives and, at least in our opinion, compromising the result of our efforts. These kinds of glitches happen because there is often too little time for these projects and no room for proper communication with all the parties involved. Deadlines overlap, pressure mounts, and mistakes are just around the corner.

It was a real marathon of work, evaporated in a few hours. There are times when I stop to reflect on the actual value of all this effort. Yet, despite the difficulties, thinking about how much we have achieved fills me with satisfaction.... And that is perhaps the feeling I cling to. A huge thank you goes to Lucio, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Interesting links:

Nosaj Thing & Panda Bear - All Over – Nosaj inspired us for this project

Cyber Feminism Index – I am reading this book!

Paul Rand. Form and Content – I found this pdf online

Karl Gerstner, typeroom – Interesting article

Week 4: Die Neue Form – Designing with machines

2024(e)ko urtarrilaren 28(a) (17:45)

We had the pleasure of being invited to teach at ISIA Urbino by Jonathan Pierini and Francesco Del Rosso, both extraordinary individuals and highly talented designers. A super thanks to them for this opportunity!

Our week in Urbino was an unforgettable experience: a wonderful city with excellent food, and, unlike Zurich, a sunny climate.

During the four-day workshop aimed at second-year BA Graphic Design students, we chose to exclude coding to focus on something more contemporary yet still rooted in traditional graphic design, particularly publishing, a sector still highly regarded in Italy.

The central theme of the workshop was Die Gute Form and artificial intelligence, explored with the help of tools like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion. We endeavored to imagine new forms inspired by Swiss design from the '50s to the '70s, specifically the Gute Form, a concept originating from a design exhibition created by Max Bill, a well-known Swiss architect, designer, and graphic artist, and a Bauhaus alumnus.

The goal was to use new technologies to create novel objects, similar in form to historical ones, but with completely revamped functions.

We encouraged students to conceive new and beautiful objects, multifunctional, provocative, or even impossible to use. To stimulate their imagination, we drew inspiration from Bruno Munari's book "Fantasy".

MidJourney proved to be an excellent tool. Initially, we collected numerous objects from the Gute Form (created by designers such as Max Bill, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Willy Guhl, Wilhelm Kienzle, etc.) and later, using the "image to image" function, we produced entirely new objects. With these objects, we created new stories and designers, giving life to entirely original narratives.

Regarding artificial intelligence, although we are not yet able to do everything, it is clear that if used correctly, these tools can stimulate creativity and facilitate rapid prototyping.

I am firmly convinced that all these new tools can be of great assistance if employed in the right way and with awareness. It was a very interesting experiment to be able to use them for a concrete project, in a school context, and with a well-defined project goal.

The design constraints imposed on the students helped ensure the coherence of the result in all its phases. At the conclusion of the project, each student managed to design and graphically represent an imaginary object, accompanied by its story and the profile of its designer.

We are deeply grateful to the students of ISIA for their commitment and passion. It has been a pleasure to work with them.

Interesting links:

Km0 – Amazing restaurant in Urbino

Brutalist website – Old school showcase of brutalist websites

Daft Social – The Anti-social network for minimalists

Perspective in Midjourney – Guide with examples

Week 3: Yooniverse, AMBUSH®, Resourcefulness

2024(e)ko urtarrilaren 20(a) (21:21)

Yoon Ahn's site (Ambush), is finally online - or at least part of it. www.yooniverse.design

It all started one summer afternoon, while I was sipping a cold beer and scrolling through my Instagram feed. Suddenly, I noticed that Yoon Ahn, the founder of AMBUSH, had started following me. I thought to myself: 'Cool... but she must have been wrong'.

As I tasted my beer in disbelief and my eyes were fixed on Yoon's profile, I imagined how nice it would be to collaborate with her. At the end of my drink, driven by an impulse, I made the decision to send her a message.

The message went like this: 'Hi :) I am a big fan of your work. I would be more than happy, if one day there is a chance, to work for your brand. No rush. Just wanted to tell you. Greetings from Zurich'. Incredibly, after a few minutes, Yoon replied: "Hello! Shall we think of something?"

I was incredulous! WOO! I want to tell you this little story because it opened my eyes to how much social media can help and the power it has in the business world. It was my first real time pitching myself in this way. The positive outcome of this story has given me a bit of confidence and allowed me to gain more courage and not let myself be blocked by fear of what others think and the possibility of being rejected (or even worse, being ignored).

Whatever, anyway, for those few who will read I wanted to get the message across about not being afraid to put yourself forward, sometimes it seems to work. The collaboration with Yoon and Tessa (his assistant) was intense and lasted a few months (we are still working together). I am satisfied with the result although it was the result of many compromises.

The frontend is developed with NUXT 3, Tailwind and the backend is on Sanity.

Ah! This week we gave a workshop at ISIA Urbino, Italy. It was great, I will tell you about it next week.

Interesting links:

Endless list of AI tools – Made by MAIND SUPSI Non AI Artists – Amazing work by Pablo Delcan Spline – 3D tool. I had a lot of fun with this

Week 2: Mattia Greghi, Milano e Urbino!

2024(e)ko urtarrilaren 13(a) (21:13)

It has been a great week! We are working a lot and with so many incredible people, I am very grateful.

This week I'd like to talk about a project we just finished for Mattia Greghi (@mattiagreghi). Mattia is a great photographer based in Milan who we met over a year ago when we contacted him about a shooting for a client of ours that we were (and are) working for.

mattiagreghi.com is the website we designed, programmed and placed online this week. The project is apparently very small, the challenge for us was to find a simple (not simplistic) but also a bit special form to highlight the content without being trivial.

Perhaps the idea (if you can call it that) that identifies this project was to use the loading of images as an integrated moment of the project experience by avoiding having an initial waiting moment.

Typography is kept to a minimum, so it is all about the content rather than the container. We were very free to be able to express ourselves, so we decided to use this project to be able to explore the handling of simultaneous movements of images within the dom: something we always try to bring into our projects to different degrees.

Moving so many elements within the DOM can become very time consuming for the browser and therefore for the computer. Being able to make transitions directly in the HTML DOM (without the canvas) that are smooth on both desktop and mobile can sometimes be a challenge. To be able to improve performance I often rely on external libraries like anime.js or GSAP. Oh by the way, the website is developed with nuxt3, tailwind and santy.io and and its deployment is on Vercel.

On Friday we were Milan at Self Publish Be Happy and met Bruno Ceschel and Giorgia Zaffanelli and many other really nice people. With them we are rethinking the identity of SPBH (Self publish be happy). It is a work for which we are very excited and very grateful. I will tell you about it in the near future.

This week I also had the pleasure of talking with David Broner, founder of D.V.TK. It was a good time of discussion about topics such as the Web, 3D, and Websockets!

Right now we are traveling to ISIA in Urbino, Italy. Next week we are giving a workshop on artificial intelligence.

Good night!

Interesting links:

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Part 1 – Scaffold Podcast, Spotify Hans Ulrich Obrist, Part 2 – Scaffold Podcast, Spotify How To Write More Often, Medium

Week 1: Conditional Statement

2024(e)ko urtarrilaren 7(a) (19:44)

I decided to keep a weekly journal of my professional practice. I thought it was a good idea, a nice project, but most of all something that could allow me to grow as a human being and as a designer.

I have been working as a designer, coder and teacher for 9 years now, and I have always found it difficult to speak publicly and share my practice and its background. With this project I would like to learn to feel more comfortable sharing some reflections, processes, successes and failures.

Therefore, the goal of this weekly journal is to step out of my comfort zone and learn how to share.

I hope that by keeping a journal it will become more natural to be able to talk about the projects done in the past, the present ones, or simply the ones I dream of doing in the future.

I hope that at the end of this year there may be something useful for those few people who will come across this log as well. I will also try, where possible, to share some resource, code and design aspects.

Being a bad writer, and not being a native English speaker, I trust that all this will help me improve in this as well...hoping to make the point of my thoughts understandable.

See you next week!