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About this book

This book gathers peer-reviewed papers presented at the 1st International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Image and Imagination (IMG 2019), held in Alghero, Italy, in July 2019. Highlighting interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research concerning graphics science and education, the papers address theoretical research as well as applications, including education, in several fields of science, technology and art. Mainly focusing on graphics for communication, visualization, description and storytelling, and for learning and thought construction, the book provides architects, engineers, computer scientists, and designers with the latest advances in the field, particularly in the context of science, arts and education.

Table of Contents


Opening Lectures


Exploring Graphic Sciences

If we analyze the physiognomy of knowledge in the field of graphic representation, we have to face a sort of diaspora that throughout history has dispersed its contents in various disciplinary fields and that has prevented its coagulation within a unitary and universally recognizable disciplinary apparatus, which instead can only be found within particular national and cultural contexts. The disciplines that explore graphic representation are not always identifiable in the panorama of international research because they assume various denominations in the different cultural traditions. Starting from these premises, in this article we want to recompose the elements present in the international panorama of research in the field of studies focused on the production of images that can be expressed through the expression Graphic Sciences. According to this hypothesis, the Graphic Sciences would not be configured as a single discipline with monolithic methods and univocally and preventively determined objectives, but rather as a set of fields of study with a nonunitary repertoire of interests.

Enrico Cicalò

Writing Is Image

One of the crucial issues of the so-called visual culture, which is so frequently presented as pervasive and characterizing the current era, is the relationship between images and writing.

Giovanni Lussu

A Mythological Hand with 45 Fingers. The Olivetti Advertising Office in the 1930s

Critical interest in Olivetti has never been so strong. Studies on the Ivrea company continue to stream in from a diverse range of fields including economic history, the history of social thought, that of literature, that of architecture and those of design, and graphic design.

Giuliana Altea

Leonardo and the Design of Machines

Leonardo’s machine designs are an extraordinary testimony to the technologies developed during the Renaissance. Leonardo’s Codices contain a repertoire of machines of all types and for different uses. Many of these projects are shown by Leonardo with extreme attention to details and a sophisticated level of technical representation. Leonardo also analytically dissects the individual mechanical elements to recompose them in the design of complex machines. Leonardo studied the individual elements of a machine and their functions with an analytical and systematic approach. The mechanical parts will then be recomposed for the design of its more complex devices such as automata.

Plinio Innocenzi

Graphic Thinking and Learning


Visual-Graphic Learning

This contribution seeks to draw attention to the integrated use of different languages (graphic, visual, audio-visual…) in relation to the development of an innovative didactics. A multimodal and multimedia approach to didactics relates to the possibility to stimulate and trigger pre-knowledge adequate to the objects of learning, to develop the capacity to problematize, to foster processes of acquisition and re-elaboration of knowledge. In respect to this specific field, the results of an explorative investigation conducted in two university courses proposed by the Department of Education Sciences of the University of Bologna are presented. Indeed, within these courses, special emphasis was given to the use of visual and audio-visual languages to elicit the creation of multiple and original points of view, through activities based on encounters and sharing.

Chiara Panciroli, Laura Corazza, Anita Macauda

The Power of Learning by Graphic Representation. The Documentation of Indian Historic Centers

This essay describes the results and suggestions born from 5 years of educational approaches in lively and mutable environments such as those of Indian historic centers. In order to address this topic, this contribution presents the fallouts of the didactic project developed in Jodhpur and Ahmedabad old city centers (India) as an academic cooperation, involving professors, researchers, local authorities, professionals and young scholars from both India and Italy.The research has stressed the importance of different visions about heritage documentation and representation in terms of future directions, low cost methodologies and working tools in the field of education for heritage preservation and enhancement.Images, drawings, graphics, were powerful tools for the setting up of a methodology able to meet the main needs of knowledge and understanding.The activities and experimentations carried out by the international staff identified functional methods for the analysis, representation and diagnosis of Indian vernacular environments demonstrating the potential of joint and interdisciplinary activities implemented in fragile and challenging contexts.

Luca Rossato

Rethink Spaces with Students. Graphics: The Use of Drawing to Redesign a Square in Bicocca

The article recounts the workshop that took place during the Image Education AA 2018/2019 course with the students and the aim of it was; the observation and the proposal of possible transformations of an external space. Specifically, the work elaborates the exploration of a newly inaugurated green area and then the renewal of a square inside the campus of University of Milan-Bicocca. The development of a project to modify the layout and urban furniture thanks to the placement of an assembly connected to the symbol of the Third Paradise of the Michelangelo Pistoletto can be found in this location. Beyond the actual execution of the project, this perspective has been taken as a pretext to work on the spaces. This action is closely linked to the ultimate graduation objective of these students, which is to become teachers in kindergartens and elementary schools. For them, the understanding behind setting up spaces, interpreted as a “third educator”, is one of the key elements of the education. Careful observation, on-site sketching and working on maps were the fundamentals of the workshop. These instruments became the means of personal and collective documentation that which unfolds various scenarios; confining the assignment to the classroom, contributing to the research to find an expressive procedure, but also opening up to the transformative and participative prospective of the city, understood as a place to exist in a different way, giving space to one’s own and to other people’s voices in a process of change and improvement.

Alessandra De Nicola, Franca Zuccoli

Telling Stories Through Space. Landscapes, Maps and Architecture in Peter Sís’ Picture Books

Children’s literature is rich in narrative and iconic references to space. By relating with children’s real spatial experience, these representations certainly assume a significant role in the construction of the idea of space and living in these young readers. Picture books are a basic source for childhood education in spatial and architectural thinking.In recent times, many disciplines, especially in the fields of literary analysis and geography, have turned their attention towards the matter, while internal approaches within the disciplines of architecture, urban studies and the specific area of the representation of space are much rarer.The work of the Czechoslovak artist Peter Sís constitutes an interesting field of research within this overview. His books, in fact, present an extraordinary repertoire of spatial representations and bear witness to a rare degree of attention towards geographic and architectural perspectives. His illustrations demonstrate a knowledgeable and accurate use of the codified forms of spatial representation of the various scales and their continuous personal and expressive reinterpretation. The present study therefore intends to inquire into the issue by referring to existing literature and contributing to the disciplines of architecture and studies on design and representation.

Camilla Casonato

Developing Users’ Soft Skills in Higher Education Through University Painting Collections: The Tito Rossini Project

The Tito Rossini initiative is a project promoted by the Centre for Museum Studies based at Dept. of Education - University Roma Tre (Italy), where, starting from the promotion of Tito Rossini’s paintings collected and exhibited at the University premises, a specific fruition programme has been designed by the master students attending the module “Experimentalism, Museum and Reading”.The main aims of the designed museum educational programme were: to create interactive tools for the fruition of Rossini’s works of art; to increase visitors’ knowledge about Rossini and his collection exhibited at the University, to promote visitors 4C skills (communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking). In order to create an engaging user’s experience, different tools for cultural mediation were realized for each Rossini’s painting under investigation: a description, a brief audio narrative (linked to a QR code) inspired by the artwork (text also in Braille Code) and a music soundtrack played by the students themselves participating in the project.Specific assessment tools were designed and used in the museum educational programme.

Antonella Poce, Maria Rosaria Re

Inside Outside Children’s Perspective in ECECC: Graphic as a Reflective Practice in an International Study

This paper aims at highlighting the role of arts, referring specifically to graphics, in creating participatory learning experiences for young children and as a mean for professional development of teachers, focusing in particular on the use of arts in pedagogical documentation. Graphics are viewed as a reflective practice that can generate significant learning and development experiences for both children and teachers.These reflections are contextualized by presenting the first experiences and considerations from an ongoing cross-national research, that involves young children (3–6) and their teachers in their educational services called “Inside Outside Children’s perspective in ECECC”. To this end, the Italian pilot case study is particularly meaningful: children have been involved in a participatory learning experience, thanks to the use of drawing, aimed at exploring the meanings of the concept of ‘Inside/Outside’ in its various dimensions – spatial, social and referring to the self. Furthermore, teachers have also explored the theme thanks to the use of collage and started reflecting on the potentialities of this methodology as a professional development tool. The objective is to widen the reflection to the use of artistic languages in pedagogical documentation, to enhance learning in children and teachers.

Franca Zuccoli, Elisabetta Biffi, Chiara Carla Montà, Lucia Carriera, Sara Sommaruga

Direct and Indirect Geometry of Architectural Paper Model: Images for Imagination

We present some remarks on the different communicative features of images generated by physical models for architecture, our study is part of an interdisciplinary research and educational project between Representation and Mathematics (with focus on Geometry). In particular, our work frames the problem of direct and indirect use of physical models, with attention to the constituent and readable geometry in the origami model (especially in its meaning of means to represent the architectural form).Over time, physical models have undeniably played an important role in the educational path, mainly in activities carried out in close contact with the teaching staff. However, to date it is important to reflect on the possibility of effectively communicating models’ properties and prerogatives also through their synthetic representation, namely through a critically selected set of images, in order to construct a visual narration that can highlight their meaning.

Martino Pavignano, Ursula Zich, Caterina Cumino, Maria L. Spreafico, Ornella Bucolo, Daniela Miron

Pop-Up Books. Three-Dimensional Books

A pop-up book is an movable handwork in which pages move and model themselves. A book whose form is subjected to modification and movement and the language is expressed in a tactile communicative space. The reader becomes an observer of episodes that narrate events able to transform themselves by mobile devices. The pop-up book is a hypertext in which the transmission and reception of information are different from the alphabetical text; they refer to visual, tactile, olfactory, and sound components. The traditional communication code is modified and the information is communicated through an intuitive and experiential metalanguage. The work here presented is the result of one of the “Laboratori di Comunicazione Visiva e Disegno” at Faculty of “Scienze della Formazione Primaria”. The goal is the creation and realization of pop up books for communication, learning and teaching in primary school. The book becomes the object of design in which content, visual appearance, materials, graphic rules and readability tend towards interactive codes.

Paola Raffa

Rethinking Local Heritage Through Graphics in Mantua and Sabbioneta. Images, Maps, Fanzines for Narrating a UNESCO Site with Students During School-Work Internship

This contribution illustrates MOBARTECH a research project funded by the European Union, the Lombardy Region and the Government, FSR, which aims at promoting cultural heritage, through research and shared actions with business, through the development of knowledge for innovative projects. Within this frame a kit aimed for young visitors and city users, was researched, designed and finally realized with the help of teenager students during the week of school-work program of the Institute of Tourism Pitentino in Mantua. During these process particular attention was paid to the use of drawings, graphics, images, photographs and creation of maps. Here the action of drawing or approaching to images was a necessary step marking various stages of a participatory process leading to the creation of the kit. Using graphic signs in different forms became a means of researching, knowing, synthesizing, exploring, documenting, designing and it assumed an essential value to give shape to an articulated and complex vision of knowledge.

Franca Zuccoli, Alessandra De Nicola, Valeria Pecorelli, Lucia Carriera, Agnese Costa

Drawing and Memory

Graphics are physical or mental images that individuals produce through their perceptual, cognitive, and executive functions. Pertaining to this is the study of implicit behaviors, that is, behaviors consisting of an individual’s interior processes, which are useful for understanding the way they “interpret” the environment as independent variables. The concurrent means of formulating this type of “interpretation”, which is tied to the area of perception, are found in both the behavior and literal and graphical verbal or written narration. This contribution illustrates an interest in aspects tied, in particular, to the narrative component in its graphical acceptance, contextualizing the area to the specifics of drawing mediated by memory. It focuses on an initial evaluation of the results deriving from two decades of graphical tests on the theme of drawing and memory, made on the first day of class by students in the first and second years in the School of Architecture and Engineering. It should be noted that rather than presenting the definitive results of the analysis, a series of initial considerations are detailed in relation to the level of experience acquired by the students after an academic year.

Fabio Lanfranchi, Giorgio Testa

Integra(c)tion of Graphic Supports. A Case-Study on Parabolic Motion for Students with Learning Difficulties

What opportunities do technological and digital resources provide for teacher mediation in case of learning difficulties? Starting from the findings on teaching accommodation (Hodge and Preston-Sabin 1997; Tomlinson and Murphy 2015) and multimodal strategies (Walters 2010; Kress 2001, 2010), a case-study on the ‘integration’ of three graphic supports (Mayer 1989, 2005; Clark and Lyons 2010) (algebraic function formula; representation on the Cartesian plane; dynamic representation through interactive software - GeoGebra) will be described.The study regards the teaching integration of these graphic supports for the representation of a parabolic motion in a secondary school class that includes students with dyscalculia.Through the triangulation of questionnaire, document analysis and in-depth interviews, the analysis highlights relevant aspects regarding the integration of visual and motor representation of learnings (Eilam 2015), in order to support the learning difficulties.These early findings confirm the meta-analyzes already known (Hattie 2012), the necessity to invest in the multimodal competence of the teacher (Bruce et al. 2013) and lead us to deepen the effective relationship between digital resources and learning difficulties.

Laura S. Agrati

Using Graphics to Communicate Intangible Cultural Heritage: Kids and Teens at Work!

The present study reflects on the representation of intangible cultural heritage within participative practices that interest young citizens. It refers to an ongoing research project of Politecnico di Milano centred on participatory processes of interpretation and communication of local cultural heritage within schools. The project focuses on schools and culture as drivers for the enhancement of the territory and of cultural cohesion. Its purpose is educating young people about cultural heritage as a system of evolving values and giving them a source of inter-cultural dialogue, through field work and encouraging a conscious use of new technologies.Many challenges have been taken into consideration: first of all, that of providing a view of something that does not have a material status; secondly, that of implementing this operation within a participatory context; thirdly, that of engaging a young audience, and more specifically primary school children and teens, in the process. Describing the whole range of activities in this paper would hardly be possible, therefore some significant experiences have been selected because of their particular relevance to the theme of intangible cultural heritage visualization.The first part of the study will examine the very concept of heritage education. Then in investigating into the visualisation of intangible assets, a brief overview of the various meanings that the term “graphics” can assume in this specific context precedes the presentation of the context surrounding the practices from which the study stems. Finally, two specific case studies of the application of the matter in field research while briefly outlining its methodologies and products are presented.

Camilla Casonato

Reading Dyslexia and Other LDs with Piperita Patty

This contribute presents the idea, purpose and impact of the free editorial project Leggere i DSA con Piperita Patty (“Reading LDs with Peppermint Patty”). Charles Schulz’s strips, and in particular those with Piperita Patty, were here used in order to raise awareness amongst schoolteachers of all levels, students and their families on the subject of specific learning difficulties and the related new legislation. Selected strips have been integrated into some significant passages of the text of the law in order to draw up a free publication (thanks to the grant of rights by Peanuts Worldwide) made available on the website of the Regional School Office of Emilia-Romagna. The purpose was trying to outline the complexity of the situations of LDs and the educational intervention keeping it light.

Enrico Angelo Emili

Drawings Say More Than Words: Bullying Representation in Children’s Drawing in Argentina

Childrens’ drawings have been widely used as tool for investigating different aspects of development but relatively few research has investigated childrens’ drawings in relation with school bullying, because it may be difficult to represent this phenomenon graphically. Our study aims at investigating childrens’ drawings, in order to explore their capacity to represent the salient characteristics of the bullying phenomenon, i.e. power imbalance and intentionality of harm, as well as the group dynamic. A sample of 108 drawings from children from 8 to 12 years of age have been collected in Argentina and analyzed according to the coding systems developed by (Romera et al. 2015; Bombi and Pinto 1993 and Slee and Skrzypiec 2015).Results show that children represented generally the bully and the victim mostly as males, and depicted bullying as a group phenomenon. As for power imbalance and intentionality, there were significant differences on the body size, in the space occupied and in height of bully figure; childrens’ drawings on bullying clearly express the perception of its main characteristics, i.e. power imbalance, intention to harm and the group dynamic.

Antonella Brighi, Ilaria Fabi

Drawing and Writing. Learning of Graphical Representational Systems in Early Childhood

Studies conducted over the past 40 years on emergent literacy have shown that children well before starting formal instruction develop ideas, beliefs and conceptualizations that direct the functioning of writing and other systems of graphic representations like drawings. Researchers have argued that early distinction among representational systems are based on domain specific constraints operating within every knowledge domain. According to this precocious distinction between different notational systems, children perform different actions in case they are asked to write or draw. However, drawing and writing are closely developmentally intertwined, as both perform communicative functions, require cognitive and psychomotor skills and the use of graphic implements. In this sense, overcoming a perspective, even a pedagogical one, that favors writing rather than drawing in the first years of schooling allows to expand the notion of literacy, to remind the importance of building new knowledges (conventionalities in print) starting from the known (mastery of graphical units), and finally to widen text construction combining visual and linguistic literacy.

L. Taverna, M. Tremolada, F. Sabattini

Graphic Languages, Writings and Lettering


Lettering and Expressiveness. When Characters Tell a Story

What links Thomas More to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti? And how does the creativity of video clips relate to Futurist posters? And yet there is a common thread called lettering, which is variously articulated in the expressiveness of the typographic characters of the artists.Reflections, comparisons, narrations and experiments on alphabets are proposed, as well as the study of new characters in reference to the cultural and artistic environment in which they develop; graphic and typographic contexts are analyzed which are capable of “exploding” knowledge and imagination from the post-Renaissance utopian context to the Futurist revolution, up to the most innovative trends in the digital world.Lettering is perhaps the most appropriate area of graphics for experimenting, thinking, inventing, narrating and playing with elementary forms. Letters represent an extreme synthesis of the meanings of nature and of geometry and suggest unusual alphabets, prompting us to invent new stories. There is a bi-planarity present in a letter of the alphabet: that of expression and that of content (signifier and meaning), but there is also an arbitrariness that does not connect, in any way, one to the other.

Francesca Fatta

Create-Actions of the Morfographic Line

I propose a conceptual and perceptual revisitation of the Line in order to reaffirm the crucial importance of Disegno. I refer to the three types of lines: straight, broken and curved, each of which intervenes with its own grammatical characterisations in the construction of form.What is a line? According to Kandinsky “the geometric line is an invisible entity”, but its impalpable corporeity led to the invention of the most important expressive/cognitive forms, such as painting, writing, symbology, etc.

Franco Cervellini


The beginning of the studies of some Genoese drawing teachers on the relationships between graphics - understood as ornament and decoration - and music, is dated back to the end of the Nineties, within an interdisciplinary project supported by Edoardo Benvenuto, principal of the then Faculty of Architecture, and Gaspare De Fiore, together with the Center for Ancient Music “Practica Musicae”, directed by Leopoldo d’Agostino, with the development of a series of reflections that have also benefited from the contribution of Universities and Study Centers from different countries.The purpose of these studies has been mainly to compare different sensitivities in the approach to a common topic; in particular the themes of improvisation, decoration and ornament, in architecture and design, have been discussed, relationed to what happens in synchronic and syntopic way in music production.The subject of ornamentation is particularly important for those who deal with “decoration” and the field of experimentation related to graphic design has been limited to the critical reading of the apparatus present in furniture, textiles and in clothing with reference to historically significant study cases at least national level.

Maria Linda Falcidieno

The ‘Graphic’ in ‘Typographic’: Picture Theory Applied to Type Through Caricature

‘Graphic design’ and ‘typography’ have become interchangeable terms to define the practice of deliberate visual communication, in spite of the first term implying a heavy emphasis on images absent in the second term. While graphic designers need also to deal with pictures the problem exists that theories on typography do not and cannot explain pictures. This paper sets out to explain that picture theory can apply to typography. I explain an approach taken to categorise pictures according to their level of fidelity. I will explain how the visual faculties of the cognitive system are concerned with categorizing and identifying elements of the visible world and how this leads to a means of picture making, namely, caricature. Applying visual caricature methods to typefaces is a novel method explained here to demonstrate that picture theory can be applied productively in typography.

Stuart Medley

Graphemes and Standard Type. A Methodological Proposal for the Evolutionary Analysis of Oscar Niemeyer’s Work

The contribution presents the analysis of four models of morphological and figurative analysis of evolutionary approach. From the following summary, a methodological model of analysis of Oscar Niemeyer’s work is presented, which, due to its duration and figurative characteristics, is particularly suitable for a type of analysis of this kind. Two of the edified “graphemes” will also be presented, with the tables elaborated by the author.

Alessandro Luigini

Geo-Graphic Map as Representation of the Earth

The object of study is traceable in the questions related to the interpretation of the graphic language of the maps. Maps can be read from different points of view and with different approaches. Specifically, the article pays particular attention to the semiotics of cartography in terms of semantics and syntax in order to illustrate the means by which a map communicates.The graphic symbols used in preparing the maps can reread them as elements related to the semantics, while their combination and their use allow us to understand the syntax that underlies it.Through the reading of the graphical elements used in maps, we can guess the ideal appropriation of actually implemented by the cartographer and the aims at the basis of their construction which underlies the reasons for their clients.In this regard, the article illustrates, through the investigation of some types of maps, how it is possible to construct or deconstruct the graphic language whose purpose is the representation of the Earth.

Michele Valentino

The Arabic Calligraphy: An Identifying Parameter in Space, Time and Contents

The art of Arabic calligraphy is considered highly in the Islamic world. However, although writing was an important means of preserving and spreading the Koran, it has also found widespread use in not strictly religious areas, such as in the decoration of everyday objects. Throughout the history of Islam, the work of calligraphers has been researched and appreciated. Calligraphy and abstract representations have become the main means of artistic expression, linked to a belief that figurative art was a form of idolatry. Contemporary artists from the Islamic world, and not only, still use the legacy of calligraphic art to insert inscriptions or abstract figures in their works as if it were an identifying mark, a recognizable art form, a language that defines a belonging. Starting from the research and analysis developed during the master degree thesis (Mansour, degree thesis 2014), aimed at investigating the connections between the most widespread forms of artistic expression in the Islamic world (geometry, calligraphy and arabesque), we wanted to focus attention on one of these three art forms, probably the most important for Arabs, to highlight its importance linked to the past, its developments in space and time and its future potential.

Osama Mansour, Rossana Netti

From Sound to Sign. Graphic Experimenting for the Visual Transcription of Sound Expression

The essay proposes a reflection on the potentiality of the visual sign, in particular of the text sign, as a medium for the analogical representation of the sound sign, aimed at interpreting its acoustic dimension, the emotional scope and the performative and spatial value.In this sense we propose an experimentation conducted on the ‘writing’ of the performance “AAA-AAA”, represented by Marina Abramovic and Ulay in Liege (1978), in which the two artists facing each other, pronounce at the same time a vocal sound, building a progressive tension that culminates with the approach of the two screaming faces.The transcription, which refers to a 9 min and 52 s version, aims to explore if and how, using a single font and working on the expressive potential of the typographic serial range, it is possible to re-trace the bodily, spatial and temporal artistic event, in configurations designed to reflect the emotional climate identifiable in the performative practice and to return formal hypotheses effective through the codes, methods and practices of visual communication.In other words, it is a matter of continuing to explore the relationship between art and the disciplines linked to visuality (from representation to graphics) to verify their elements of contact/hibernation.

Enrica Bistagnino, Maria Linda Falcidieno

Alphabet as a Pretext. Representation and Architecture Starting from J.D. Steingruber

Johann David Steingruber (1702–1787) realized in 1773 the “Architectural Alphabet” (original title “Architektonisches Alphabeth bestehend aus 30 Rissen”), that is a compendium of imaginary buildings with plans shaped according to all the letters of the alphabet. Moving from the analysis of the tables, aim of the paper is to present a reflection on these drawings, both according to their own historical and aesthetical graphical characteristics, and in relation to Steingruber personality. The Alphabet does not present buildings that may be realized, but the author develop a sort of “architectural grapheme” to underline a style and a way to think and reflect on the architecture. It is finger exercise, aiming to demonstrate the designer ability. The figure of a refined designer appears, whose work relates to the Late-Baroque culture, when the XVII century tradition interrelates with the rising of the age of Enlightenment.

Stefano Brusaporci, Francesco Maggio

Cities and Comic Books. Berlin in Alberto Madrigal’s Graphic Novels

The present work is organised in three parts. The first one deals with the analysis of the relationship between architecture and comics, which originated at the beginning of the last century; the second one examines a fundamental aspect of this relationship, namely the representation of cities in comic books and, above all, how this aspect has evolved over the last century from the utopias linked to the great urban metropolis to their fall at the end of the century. Finally, in the third part, the works of Madrigal are analysed. The common trait that forges the graphic production of this young Spanish author is represented by the constant presence of the city of Berlin, which, despite being portrayed in a language that is always coherent, takes on specific connotations with the stories that are told within the author’s different graphic novels. The relationship between the city and comic books in the work of Madrigal translates into the essentiality of its design. The simplification of the stroke-work and the absence of over-structures correspond to an immediacy of the message that the author tries to convey, allowing him to more easily reach out to the emotions of the reader.

Ilaria Trizio

Imagination and Representation: Metaphor of Designing Thought

The proposed work investigates the relationship between the word and its possible two-dimensional representation. Oral production and graphic-visual production are very different from each other, but they are a full-fledged language, because they are characterized by a code and a content of the message.In particular, it examines words-actions of architectural design thinking. These are graphic compositions that explain the meaning of an action and allude to a verbal description.The image becomes a graphic metaphor of the word action, with experimental and explorative intent. The compositional act establishes a bi-univocal relationship between the meaning and the image. The difference between the meaning and the hypothetical representation produces a solicitation of the imagination.The goal is to support and reiterate the centrality of Design as a primary operation of architectural thinking and all the compositional-design operations. It is the concrete place in which thought is manifested and produced. There is no verbal thought and then a graphic thought, as an exterior form of the former whose purpose is only communicative. Drawing is itself Thought (hence Word), a place where the idea is formed, produced and evolved.

Maria G. Cianci, Daniele Calisi, Sara Colaceci, Matteo Molinari

The Encrypted Communication in Napoleon’s Telegraph: Chappe’s Vocabulary from Morphemes to Graphemes

The term/telegraph/is normally interpreted as a distance communication system, projected for the transmission of data (letters, numbers, punctuation marks, words or entire sentences) using certain codes and specific conventional protocols.The term (concept) “telegraph” arised, in its contemporary meaning in use, from a project by Abbot Claude Chappe, from its debut during the French Revolution to the Empire of Napoleon (who sensed its strategic value).The encrypted signified “images” transmitted, real iconémi (“icons” forse, ma significa icone), provided the basis for a very precise communication code, configured as morphemes (when generated by the “machine”) or graphemes (when transcribed in pen in the dépeches - dispatches - on paper). Systematically, the contribution takes for a comparative review the fundamental aspects of the system: machines and models, transmission systems and procedures; but also vocabularies, codes and signals, in their transformations over time, to better understand the geometric-formal and cultural matrix of the sememes. Programmatically, this survey has been framed within the intense scientific-cultural debate animating (between ‘700 and 800’), the development of Science and Technology, keeping in mind aspects of the culture of vision (in particular semiotic and perceptive aspects) towards contemporaneity.

Anna Marott

From the Talking Initials of Luigi Vanvitelli to the Graphics of the Alphabet for Language Teaching of XX and XXI Century

In a text, “parlanti” are the illustrated initials decorated with a figurative image whose name begins with the letter itself: the drawing has an illustrative-mnemonic function compared to the letter, but remains independent from text content. The use, although sporadic, of talking initials, dates back to the richly miniated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. With the advent of the press, figurative initials gradually lose their primary role in text composition. However, it is with woodcut, that initials are completely free from the rich decorative apparatus of earlier centuries, and reaches an essential representation, enhanced by the use of graphic engraving technique. One of the last examples of the eighteenth century are the talking initials designed by Luigi Vanvitelli and engraved on copper by Carlo Nolli in Le Antichità di Ercolano esposte. The contribute documents the images and imaginations represented in Vanvitelli’s illustrated letters to arrive at modern and contemporary representations of talking alphabets used in the books for younger learners. The aim is to highlight the ability of graphic design to produce a connection between perceptual, cognitive and executive functions expressed both in XVIII initials and in alphabet books created for language teaching.

Maria Martone, Alessandra Marina Giugliano, Salvatore Gaeta

Graphic Communication and Digital Media


Doing, Having Done, Doing Less, Doing Nothing

Otium and Negotium in Graphic Design and Art

Designing is something that is midway between doing and doing nothing, an activity that programmatically goes beyond the confines separating negotium and otium. It is a third way that constantly mediates between the practices of the two hemispheres, between the interior and the exterior, the personal and professional or public. Having done, doing less, or doing other, are all ways of inhabiting this confine. Starting from this short premise, this text focuses its attention on the multifaceted role of the designer, analysing all the above-mentioned ways of practicing it and which are found within the design and art context, in different historical periods and in different movements that tend to crop up in cycles and which frequently co-exist as stages in a journey that, in spite of numerous attempts at rationalization, are not fixed in a single method, once and for all.

Gianluca Camillini, Jonathan Pierini

Ephemeral Memories. The Paradox of Images’ Abundance in the Age of Digital Mortality

Visual communication has always been one of the primary forms of human expression. Moreover, since the digital revolution, we are leaving in between two phenomena: the so-called société du spectacle directly relying on images as social representation and the information society. More than ever, we are living an abundance of mass picture production thanks to mobile devices, and social network devoted to visual storytelling. Nevertheless, this profusion is dramatically changing the nature of images: from timeless memory-machines to ephemeral experiences to be shared and consumed. Besides, the perishable materiality of digital images and the technological obsolescence risk to erase original documentary sources forever. The paper presents and discusses the paradox the end of mythography – the visual form history storytelling as we know it today – and the cultural creation of the eternal present due to the mortality of digital images.

Letizia Bollini

Strati-Graphics. Relationships Between Graphics and Photography in Print Advertisement

The semiotic approach is adopted here to analyze the interactions between the graphic mode and the photographic mode within promotional communication. A corpus of advertising campaigns is used to explore the two ways graphics and photography are contributing to the process of meaning creation: the projection of the graphic within the simulated space of the photographic or the overlapping of a graphic layer on the photographic one. The rhetoric dimension of discourse is solicited to interpret the effects of meaning of these two logics of compositions: deepening the initial main configuration or working on a polemical confrontation between the two layers of meaning.

Giacomo Festi

ACADEMY REBRANDING from Coat of Arms to Logotype, from “Dissegno” to Design

Can a rebranding strategy relaunch an Academy of Fine Arts established in the 16th century? But above all: can the rebranding strategy of an institution of higher education be based on the transformation, in some ways revolutionary, of a coat of arms into a logotype? The exceptional, both quantitative and qualitative, results achieved in recent years by the Academy of Fine Arts “Pietro Vannucci” of Perugia provides an affirmative answer to both questions. So much so as to provide a starting point for the methodological reconstruction, in the form of storytelling, of a successful case history, which has confirmed the validity of the interdisciplinary marketing/graphic design synergy.

Paolo Belardi, Moira Bartoloni, Paul Henry Robb

MICRO-GRAPHICS. Icons in Visual Communication: Between Symbolic Value and Interaction Design

This paper critically analyses the field of visual artefacts composed of icons, defined as small synthetic graphic symbols that identify actions and functionalities, and allow people to interact with the digital and non-digital devices they use in the scope of their everyday activities. Starting from semantic and semiological considerations, the aspects of codification, interpretation and interaction that involve these systems of signs are addressed, from conception to use. Finally, a paradigmatic case study within icon design is outlined, namely Susan Kare and her decades of experience. Icons – micro-graphics that mediate the interaction between humanity and the surrounding world at every level – inform, orient and communicate, influencing our perception of reality in a decisive way, configured as elementary units of visual language.

Valeria Menchetelli

Norman Graphics: A Multimedia Manifesto

The apses of the Cathedral of Monreale (XII century) are characterised by extraordinarily rich decorations, to enhance the most sacred part of the sanctuary where the altar is located.The paper describes some circular inlays of the central apse of the Cathedral of Monreale through a geometric analysis communicated via a multimedia language.The geometric motifs can be arranged in a graphic composition according to an imaginative process that collects all the scientific analysis procedure described above such as a sort of Manifesto of the Norman architectural culture geometry in Sicily and in southern Italy. The Manifesto is an audio-visual product, consisting of vector drawings’ animations sequences and conceived as a programmatic document, a form of narration that exposes the rules and principles of the inlays’ geometries.The aim of the Manifesto is to make perceptible and understandable the geometries that generate the motifs and to highlight variations, links and connections between geometries. The Manifesto is the narration of the inlays represented through moving images, an audio-visual product aimed at enhancing and communicating the geometry of the disks of the central apse.

Vincenza Garofalo, Federica Villanti

Linear Representation: Contemporary Use

“Linear representation” has been used, in the past of western history and near east, with celebrative functions and a mode of representation where a perception of depth is used linked to the overlapping of elements present in the scene and a consequent visualization in side elevation. A rediscovery of “linear representation” occurs in contemporary age, where it assumes a technical use in temporary and permanent environmental solutions or in new media, defining a new research field for representation applied to architecture, graphics and design, better known as “environmental graphics”. In this context, a particular development takes place on some ephemeral structures such as yard fences, with horizontal development, or in facades of buildings.

Tommaso Empler

Museum A/V Branding

This article aims to illustrate the potential of the combined use of visual branding and sound branding applied in museums. After discussing sound branding and its use in areas related to the marketing of industrial products, it will deal with the contribution of sound design to visual communication, the synaesthetic relationships that link visual and auditory perceptions and how these can amplify the message you want to communicate. The case study on which the experimentation was conducted concerns the audio/visual rebranding of the tactile museum of Ancona (IT). The process of developing an audio/visual logo will be illustrated on the basis of the method identified by the Italian artist Luigi Veronesi based on the identification of a precise relationship between the diatonic scale and the chromatic scale for the visual transposition of musical melodies. The logo was then animated in order to obtain a dynamic version to be used alongside the static one, to be used on contemporary digital broadcasting channels.

Daniele Rossi, Alessandro Olivieri

Graphics AND Motion. Graphics ON Motion Futurism and Motion Between Image and Imagination

The figurative language research to representing the painting’s movement of an object in space is the central theme of Futurism, influenced by the myth of the exaltation of the land and air speed of the machine, especially the airplane. Sharing the opinion which the construction of a painting is a function of a structure, a system of lines with regard to which is organized the two-dimensional representation, this contribution faces two topics. In the first, will be analyzed the ways of construction and graphic allusion to represent the action in motion in Futurist pictorial images of Balla, Russolo, Carra and Umberto Boccioni, the most innovative and creative Futurism’s member. From this analysis, new images will be created, which graphically interpret the vanguard of the last century. In the second, using the technique of digital motion graphics will elaborate the action represented in a work Futurist painter Tullio Crali, expanding the imagination by virtue of the design of a temporal and musical narration.

Ornella Zerlenga, Antonella Rosmino

Graphics in Process. Fortunato Depero’s Experience in Commercial Advertising

The history of graphic design is marked by significant milestones that, on several occasions, confirmed the importance of the cultural value underlying graphic thought. In the specific disciplinary of the design and in the field of the graphic design, will be evaluated as object of study the compositional criteria for the figurative management of some ‘visual images’ (posters for advertising purposes) by the futurist artist Fortunato Depero (1892–1960) - offered to graphics by the Italian season of Futurism - which from the beginning of the twentieth century will constitute an ideological basis for graphic design as a communicative medium of great creative commitment to convey messages for advertising purposes.The analysis of Depero’s graphic production was methodologically carried out through the identification of the main guidelines contained in the numerous Futurist posters signed by him (from 1915 to 1937) and represented mainly using essential forced lines in the graphic composition. Furthermore, the conception of the new ‘advertising architecture’ has been evaluated, that is the design of buildings and pavilions designed with a style that was in tune with the ‘contents’. Both the different graphic configurations and the ‘graphic codes’ will be identified with the use of linear signs or backgrounds, color, symmetry-asymmetry, motion indicators, integrated solutions with the representation of architectures to build solutions capable to capture the observer’s visual attention.

Vincenzo Cirillo, Valeria Marzocchella

Communication’s Strategies and Images. The Case of Federico Seneca in Perugina

The images have always been an evocative, effective and incisive expressive method, representing the main tool for the transmission of contents, values and meanings in the most varied fields, proving to be an indispensable communication resource. In turn, propaganda is a form of communication that aims to influence the collective psychology and behavior of a community. Both have an ancient common matrix: persuasive communication based on techniques of conviction that refer to rhetoric. The artistic director, today visual designer, is a key figure that can determine the success of products or ideas with his creativity, mastery of the graphic’s language and visual communication, knowledge of communication and marketing strategies, possession of visual and expressive linguistic tools and the needful technologies to make them.The aim of this paper is to describe the communicative power of images and the role of propaganda through the work of Federico Seneca as artistic director of Perugina in the 20s and 30s.

Marcello Scalzo, Benedetta Terenzi

Imagining Colour. Marks as Chromatic Figures of Thoughts

An instant and synthetic image, the mark is a sign that originates from a distillation, from the maximum concentration of the ‘very few’ features that it is made from. The hypothesis we are putting forward is that this peculiar, extreme synthesis, could be designed, in order to go beyond the traditional role of branding as mere ‘signal’ of a coordinated image. Retracing some of ours works experiences, we propose the idea that the design of a mark could be devised and structured with a precise intent to give shape to a thought; that such design may questioning – according to the specific modalities of graphics – the key questions of the ‘identity’ that the project tries to highlight.This paper outlines the stages of a specific line of research that is faced with the elusive dimension of colour – of its both sensitive and conceptual nature – to launch the graphic design toward possibilities that have been explored very little. Regulatory structure, organisational pattern of graphic signs according to a coherent inner structure, the mark is not (just) a ‘nice drawing’. Moreover, it is to be devised as the medium for an imaginative and conceptual synthesis that can be exploited, reactivated and reread, according to the multiple plans of its historical, theoretic and sensitive references upon which an identity project is developed.

Marco Sironi, Roberta Sironi

Representation in the Time of Videoclip

Musical videoclip is a theme which involves different disciplines, including the history and technique of photography and cinematography, but in this study we concentrate on the images of some videoclips which deserve special interest because of how they use methods of representation of space on a plane, in their scientific and expressive value. Episodes of great interest can be found starting from the 1970s, when videoclips began to spread through TV channels - for example Ian Emes with One of these days (Pink Floyd, 1972), featuring a succession of animated one-point perspectives, used later by Broken Fingaz in a perspective cross-section for U2’s song video Get out of your own way (2018). Examples can be also found of two and three dimensional ambivalence of axonometric representation (Stromae, Tous les Mêmes, 2013) or even of videos based on the ambiguity of anamorphosis (OK Go, The Writing’s On the Wall, 2014) and on recent 360° immersive techniques (Caparezza, Compro Horror, 2014), besides countless examples which show an interest in reflected vision, with infinite conceptual references and an inexhaustible potential for stimulating the imagination. In videoclips, which often present ties with pictorial and architectural culture, contents are transposed in a much more direct fashion, because they are addressed to a public which is not necessarily aware of figurative arts.

Cristina Càndito

Visual Aspects of the Symbols of Terrorism. Identity, Representations, and Visual Statues

This article investigates the representational and graphical characteristics of the symbols of terrorism and relationships between the visual statues that characterize the periods in which armed organizations develop. When this phenomenon spread throughout Italy and Europe in the 1970s, the visual identities of terrorism seemed to be united largely with the distinctive signs of totalitarian regimes in the early 1900s. These simple signs were easy to reproduce and conformed to the visual climate of the period of protest that began in 1968. The climate was defined by self-produced languages and artefacts that differed from professional elements used in the world of institutional and commercial communication, determining “low-definition” visual paradigms that characterized the image if terrorism itself. The new terrorism of the Islamic State has subverted these paradigms, making use of more complex, more articulated symbolism that is difficult to reproduce. It uses systems of communication that employ the same visual statues as in “high-definition” cinematic fantasy, in which violent actions are transmitted and spread. In the collective imagination, this paradox subverts the visual statute of the phenomenon of terrorism, which also seems to depend on technical factors that are apparently marginal but which actually distinguish the visual artefacts and media. These factors are shown to be aesthetic qualities capable of influencing the perception of terrorism and are key in strategically orienting the symbolism of terrorism in public opinion and imagination.

Federico O. Oppedisano

Images of Identity: Exploring Local Identity Through Visual Design

The paper describes the investigation our research team carried out during the development of two design-oriented research projects in the area of communication and corporate design. Despite their diversity in size, context and structure both projects – the design of a wide corporate identity framework in the event of Milan’s 2015 EXPO and an exhibit of crafts hosted at the Triennale during Milan’s 2017 design week – have given us a unique opportunity to investigate an approach to territorial promotion based on conveying, through various design strategies and tailored artifacts, identity at a regional level in the rapidly transforming scenario of contemporary communication.As we are in the first place a research unit and both projects intersected areas of research work that we had been previously confronted with and are central to our investigation interests we managed, beyond the immediate satisfaction of the communication needs of our commissioners, to direct our work both in a stimulating and productive directions.

Nicolò Ceccarelli

Instantaneity, Brevity, Involvement

Title Design as Cinematographic Communication

“Brevity is one of today’s myths, precisely because it relates to the short time available to us as a result of the amplitude of our daily communication and technology.

Martina Capurro

Persuasive-Graphic Propaganda: Signs, Shapes, Glances

Starting from an iconographic recognition of those social transformations that in the twentieth century recognized in the poster a means of communication and in the image a device for capillary information, the essay aims to deepen the forms assumed by historical ideologies in posters propaganda, the graphic metaphors adopted to spread the message and the persuasive techniques to spread its values. This is not an iconographic classification structured by artist or historical period, but an analysis on the identification of a common language for the representation of political ideologies that several historical moments intertwined with the artistic movements from which they drawn strategies and expression techniques for the formal composition of a visionary and visual propaganda.The graphic material of the essay summarizes visual stories of social actions that found expression in the fight against national control policies, in the liberation movements and in respect for human rights campaigns during the reconstruction phases of socialist societies like Soviet Union, China, Cuba, or at the dawn of the Italian-German dictatorial regimes and in the countries militarily occupied by Nazi-fascists, through propaganda posters and graphic units codified by symbols and verbal-visual constructs.

Starlight Vattano

Technology Transfer System. Overcoming a Cliché to Communicate Technology

Clichés are useful for communication, in their intrinsic meaning of visual shortcut. A shortcut that immediately allows to associate areas and concepts to conventional elements. In this sense, a designer is able to recognize a cliché starting from the repetition of certain elements and visual cues, now emptied of their original meaning. In the eyes of a designer, clichés look like roads taken all too often, sets of symbols that now no longer cause interest, much less surprise. Static situations that can be overcome.The Technology Transfer System (TTS) project, aims to overcome clichés about technology communication in the university environment for the realization of the so-called Third Mission, defining a method that involves the analysis of each element of the communication system and its ad hoc design. Carefully considering every formal, conceptual and material element of the system, a personalized structure is constructed. A structure that can take original and surprising shapes, exceeding any given convention.

Gabriele Fumero, Chiara Remondino, Paolo Tamborrini

“Graphicizing” Service Design

The representation and the story of a service is affirmed through the use of graphics. The aim of this text is to explain this involvement. Graphic design, in relation to ser vices, does not yet have a developed its potential: they are to be studied the aesthetic aspects, functional to involve the people, and the revision of the design thinking tools, used for the design, that lack systems of adequate representation, at the moment borrowed from other disciplines. The design phases of a service will be described, to check how and where graphic is used. In the design phases it is essential to identify a common language useful in co-design sessions. Then the role of project communication will be described, dividing the general view of the process, from the communication of the service (brand identity, interfaces, etc.). In the re-definition of the communication of service design, the role of the designer is enhanced, because it combines the ability to process activator and process representation. The opening to other disciplines, such as storytelling, could be useful, not only to settle the elements in the process, but also to promote the communication of the service, using always the tools of the graphic.

Giovanna Tagliasco

Tools for the Communication of the Sardinian Carnival

This project aims to define the development of a strategic communication plan and visual identity of Sardinian Carnival: Carrasecare.The specific intent is to promote the event by placing it into the regional policy of tourism promotion as a bridge between it and public, with the aim of increasing its visibility without losing sight of its cultural aspect.The research explore the concepts of Place Branding and Territorial Marketing and how these affect the national and regional policies of tourism promotion. Then it’s analyzed the current event promotion scenario, also exploring the aspects of Carnivals communication in Italy, proposing a brief analysis on two case studies, getting to the final phase of designing the visual identity system that contains different communication tools, such as graphics, web and multimedia.

Alexandra Fusinetti

Drawing, Geometry and History of Representation


More History of Representation! Images Risk Homologation

The ever-greater ease with which we can acquire, generate, reproduce and communicate images, together with current intercultural tendencies (too often dictated by globalization), impose continual historical-technocultural reflections on criticism. Studies able to critically elaborate the state of the art of architectural representation, highlighting positivism and negativity of the revolutionary conquests of humanity. In its general aspects, the theme is known, and has been variously treated by critics who have debated opportunities and risks. Especially in those disciplines where “to represent means to conform”, as for architecture, the exceptional potential energy contained in the current post-digital techno-cultures imposes specific cultural deepening. One of these concerns the risk of homologation and “improper” use of the meaning of architectural images: representations which, between real and virtual, ideal and utopian, materialize, in a historical context, the sense of human living. The antidote to the images homologation here proposed is known and consists in amplifying and updating the historical knowledge of the phenomenon: it means, in short, decoding, contextualizing in a historical path and transforming into knowledge that pervasive flow of images (information) we are all continually subjected to. That’s why, against the risk of the images homologation and their conformative use, I hope more representation history!

Maurizio Unali

Nineteenth Century Illustrations in “Cosmorama Pittorico”

The nineteenth century was unquestionably the era of the journal. Numerous daily and weekly publications on politics, commerce, science, literature, the arts and, above all, culture, appeared in leading cities across Europe and Italy. The essay looks at the images published in one of Italy’s first illustrated journals, published from 1835 to 1848. Like so many others, its primary aim was to educate readers and generate interest through images. Great stock was placed in the graphic communication of illustrations created by a sizeable group of largely unknown artists. Their contribution would influence tastes and the drive toward cultural transformation. While the majority hailed from art academies there was also always a notable level of practical experience behind these illustrations for the masses. New printing techniques, substantiated by technological advances, stimulated the renewal of the publishing industry. Information moved beyond regional boundaries into a sort of globalisation. Organisational skills were honed and access to knowledge and new relations amplified.

Pasquale Tunzi

Seeing Through Cross-sections: Implementations of an Age-Old Graphical Form on Landscape Description

After centuries of use and age-old empirical origins, the theoretical and practical process of intersecting an object in a three-dimensional space with a plane and representing its shape, commonly known as “cross-section”, it is still the foundation of architectural and territorial representation. Despite this, the critical and inventive possibilities linked to the vertical plane study, especially if applied on the landscape description, do not take advantage of extensive theoretical speculations and practical experimentations. In fact, the experiences related to this way of use are less practiced and theoretically deepened in comparison with those applied to the zenithal view in mapping.This paper traces new correspondences between well-known descriptive procedures, usually applied to the plan, and the exploration of the vertical dimension. This process allows the discovery of sometimes-underestimated matches. Likewise, the combination of section drawing and photographs extends the reading potentials and critical power of description, allowing the association between measurability and sensation. Such reflections underline the indispensability of a simple graphical form like that of the cross-section and its endless possibility of renewal in new implementations.

Andrea Oldani

Looking for the More Favourable Similarity Between Graphic Images

The processes of a projective nature, through the construction of images, both rigorous and expressive, make it possible to translate the spatial qualities and figurative properties of the space that surrounds us on the level of design, making it possible for those who read the image, the recognition of the object of the space. The model that is created, as a conventional image of objective reality, uses a linguistic code with a precise system of rules. The work presented here, in tents, illustrates, within the code of projective transformations, that operation that transforms on the plane (or rather on a plane π ≡ π’) the same relations that exist between the figures in the perspective, the homology, understood as the process capable of creating an image in which the original one is recognizable in its transformed, preserves its characteristics, and from it we are able to recognize, backwards, the initial image.

Maria Ines Pascariello

Ephemeral Graphics_ Illusionism and Representation in Baroque Machines

The paper examines the forms of graphic expression related to the representation put in place by the ephemeral machines of the Baroque period. It investigates through images and narrations the atmosphere generated by equipment set up, designed and staged for civil and religious occasions, destined to last the timeframe of the event. The artificial and illusory pomposity of these works of ancient origins finds its maximum expression and symbolic value between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when they spread to celebrate recurrences or important events. The stage machines, built with perishable materials such as wood, metal and papier-mache’ were often designed by famous architects and represented a means to transform the architectural and urban context into an engaging collective stage to which the people witnessed. The temporality does not diminish the value of these works designed to communicate sacred and profane values, to generate amazement and wonder, designed to be transformed with ingenious mechanisms triggered during the show. The testimonies of such events are often documented by images and narratives, reports to the ceremonies that describe the theatrical event and the ephemeral machines made for the show, depicted in preparatory drawings, engravings and paintings that describe the episodes. The sources show names of artistic personalities such as Bernini, Pietro da Cortona, Girolamo and Carlo Rainaldi, Domenico Fontana, Andrea Pozzo indicated among the designers of important installations that took the pretext to experiment with forms and scenic perceptions of urban space, some translated into final works. In summary, from the extensive research conducted on the subject, some prototypes reconstructed with digital models were analyzed and selected in order to simulate the appearance of the machine and the theatricality staged by the ephemeral representation.

Caterina Palestini

Architectural Language, Between Narration and Architectural Representation

The following article intends to deal with the theme of representation in its various conceptions and types. Starting from a first approach focused on the terms of narration and expression, we interrogate ourselves about the difference that exists in applying the notion of graphics to them. In this way, we introduce the architectural sphere, which is able to express its own language only through graphic representation, thus communicating the idea behind the project. As a consequence, the development and changes sustained over time by the discipline regarding its expressive representations are addressed. Particular attention is given to the metamorphosis and renewal due to the advent of electronics: in fact, digital technology has transformed the vision of space and provided a new modeling methodology, determining a modern concept of graphics. The implications that derive from it are manifested in multiple ways of reading and narrating the architectural project; the current characteristics of objectification and expression in contemporary representations are therefore treated. Finally, there is a space for reflection on the importance of the knowledge of traditional design in approaching the most avant-garde techniques.

Stefano Bertocci, Silvia La Placa, Marco Ricciarini

Extemporaneous Handwriting. Writing with Light in Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Grave

The use of the light in Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Grave (San Vito d’Altivole, Treviso, 1970–78) allows to lead some reflections on the value of the representation, in comparison to the realization of the masterwork, and to its interior architecture. With regard to a historical excursus that progressively aims to the control of the light by the sketch (as writing of the design prefiguration), or through the arts (as writing of symbolic meanings), in the Grave Brion architecture, the completion effected by the light requires the presence of the man, as an experiential subject that can enable the total overlap between architectural work and its extemporaneous representation. In front of this performative appearance of the architecture, an aspect that has been programmed and predisposed for the user, the man becomes conscious of an aesthetical process. As a result, thanks to the transcendental value of the architectural experience, the physical and the metaphysical scope of the man are linked together.

Santi Centineo

Modes, Techniques, Sciences and Arts of Representation Drawn Through Images. Religious Architecture in the City of Ohrid in Macedonia

The research proposes the study of the modes, techniques, sciences and arts of representation drawn through images. In the representation scene, the photographic image, in addition to constituting a database value, which can also be used in times subsequent to the survey phase, is evident in the possibility of interpolating this static figurative datum with dynamic informatic elements. Case study of the research is the city of Ohrid in Macedonia which preserves a considerable number of religious monuments from the Middle Ages. These are religious buildings, richly frescoed, dating from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. A legend is known, also supported by the narratives of an Ottoman traveler of the fifteenth century, which supports the ancient presence within the city limits of 365 chapels, one for each day of the year. During the Middle Ages, the city of Ohrid was known as the “Slavic Jerusalem”.

Luigi Corniello, Enrico Mirra, Adriana Trematerra, Lorenzo Giordano

Imagination and Image in Renaissance Wooden Inlays

It is in the vivid imagination of the authors of Renaissance wooden inlays that lies the marvelous attraction for these works of art. Imagination that comes and develops in the mental model of both draftsman and carvers.The image that is the product of this intellectual operation should not be considered only as the final and final result of this activity, but is configured as the key to open the door of another world suspended between reality and illusion, a world that comes to life in imagination of the one who looks at the work.To favour this illusion, the architects of the inlays resort to the principal tool used to create this illusion: perspective. Many of the leading artists who have characterized the Renaissance have lent their work in the conception of inlays.The perspectives of urban scenes present in many tablets have been the subject of various interpretations: from simple perspective exercises to ideas for theatrical sets but perhaps the most effective explanation is to recognize in these inlays the desire to “build” urban views in a dreamer vision of a imaginary world.To apply these considerations, some inlays in the choir of the Basilica of San Domenico in Bologna were analysed.

Marco Fasolo, Flavia Camagni

Nomadic Sign

The “decorated shelter” in Norcia

After the earthquake of October 2016, the historic centre of Norcia was largely emptied of its commercial activities, which were temporarily located in anonymous shelters. In this context, the sign takes on the central role of an element of recognition. The relative process of decontextualization from the original location to the temporary one, leads to results sometimes balanced and familiar (where the dimensional characteristics between the original building and the temporary arrangement are similar) sometimes out of scale and unusual (where the dimensional characteristics between the original building and the temporary arrangement are particularly discordant). Through the methods of architectural survey and drawing, this paper focuses on the analysis of the relationship between the refuge and the sign, attributing to the latter a clear value in the processes of reconstruction of the city, both from a physical and an identity point of view.

Giovanna Ramaccini

The Design Drawing, Between Vagueness and “danger”, from Mansart to Domus

If architects usually consider drawing as a tool for the creation and development of any project, recognizing to it an essential role in the gestation phase of the project, it is also true that during the last four centuries, design drawing has sometimes been seen as a tool to set the ideas that architects had “mentally” developed in their minds. On the one hand, we have the idea put forward in 1935 by the famous American poet Gertrude Stein according to which the creation act takes place between the pen and the paper, on the other hand, the conception that the graphic act would have a reduced impact on the creative process and could even prove to be a real “danger” for it. It is important to reflect on this concept of “danger”, which may be related to the fact that the drawing may be sometimes disconnected from the mental act or simply replace it, or well to the intrinsic inaccuracy of the drawing itself in relation to the conceptual elaboration of the project (that is to say, the imprecision of the drawing in the visualization/materialization/representation of the mental idea).

Simona Talenti

The Drawing and the Artefact: Biomorphism in the Design of Murano Glass Objects in the 20th Century

By analysing the relationship between drawing and actual object, it is observed that the design of glass artefacts depends on the features of the material itself, on the processing techniques and their limits. More generally, therefore, we can say that form is the result of forces located inside the matter, as it also happens in the generation of a living organism.For this reason the discourse on the creation and graphic representation of these objects can be approached from the point of view of biomorphism, a feature that can be found in similar artefacts on several levels: from the figurativity of the glass animals to the almost abstract shape obtained from the self-organising matter through its intrinsic forces.It is precisely in the creations with a higher degree of abstraction that we observe the same “biomorphic” feature found in some of the major scientific and artistic studies since the 1950s, although the tradition of blown glass, with its particular processing techniques, is preserved.

Irene Cazzaro

Anatomographics. The Parallel Lives of Medical and Architectural Disciplines

Anatomographics is a neologism that intends to embrace the wide range of digital representations and images dealing with anatomy. However, this last term seems by now no more confined to the medical disciplines but instead able to describe approaches and methodologies that are typical of other fields of expertise. In this framework, the paper tries to outline how much the digital revolution has influenced medical and architectural anatomographics providing an insight on common approaches, data processing and visualization. The analysis carried out on some representative examples clearly show that 3D modelling and 3D imaging are standing out as major interleaved methodologies in which geometric points on one side and pixels on the other create new unexpected interactive tools to understand the anatomic complexity of bodies and buildings.

Carlo Bianchini

Topography and Topology of the Interior: Lissitzky vs. Florenskij

The representation of the interiors in exhibitions – as “exemplary interiors” – and in the graphic, photographic, cinematographic images, is studied here according to the theme of the “anti-perspective” that characterises the two opposite tendencies – the abstractionist and the realist one – in the teaching of graphic arts at VChUTEMAS in Moscow. On the one hand, the best example of Proun, intended both as a graphic representation and a spatial installation, is the Kabinett der Abstrakten by El Lissitzky. On the other hand, Pavel Florenskij’s teaching opposes to the naive abstractionism a realist semiotics of the work of art and an anti-Kantian geometry that we exemplify by showing its analogy with the conception of “internal space” expressed by Andrej Tarkovskij in Solaris.

Fabrizio Gay, Irene Cazzaro

The Drawn City and the Reconstruction of a Collective Model

A new way of thinking and representing the city, which follows the re-configuration of the post-earthquake L’Aquila. The research is created from a study proposal meant for the “Architecture Design Workshop” (University of L’Aquila), which tries to apply the analysis of the urban “places” by Quaroni, Samonà, Rossi, Lynch and others, to the architectonic singularity of the Aquilian historic centre. Many projects, remarks, restorations, old and new works were generated after the earthquake, and we can feel the irreducible tension between the tourt court re-proposal of an historical model of city and the necessary creation of a new one. The result of the class is the inclusive remark of peculiar parts of the historical city, through direct and photogrammetric methods, of an urban landscape idea.The long-time aim we have is to regain, having Gordon Cullen’s “serial visions” as a model, the theoretical streams about perception and urban enjoyment, in order to implement the methodological training of future careers that are meant to project, study and use the architectonic and environmental heritage.

Giuseppe Maria Antonio Romeo, Barbara Cantalini

From Graphics for Calculations to Drawings for Works: Exercises of Students Engineers of the Regia Scuola di Applicazione di Torino at the End of the Nineteenth Century

Graphic representation can be a tool for analysis and synthesis that closely relates different areas of scientific knowledge. Among these, the Graphic Statics is a discipline that uses graphic techniques to solve the problems of the equilibrium of a rigid body, allowing to reach the definition through the composition or the decomposition of the forces represented in a conventional way. Specific geometrical methods are used to determine the tensions and pressures in structures, including complex ones, which are subjected to internal and external force systems. The contribution intends to present some didactic materials, also describing the historical and cultural context in which they matured, coming from the heritage preserved at the Politecnico di Torino relating to the graphic elaborations drawn by the students of the Reale Scuola di Applicazione at the end of the nineteenth century. These graphic illustrations show the ability of graphic calculation aimed to the study of the relationships between the geometry of the structure and the forces acting, associated with the art of the “buon disegno”.

Giuseppa Novello, Maurizio Marco Bocconcino

Perception and Communication of Urban Space: Observations on Fourteenth- and Fifteenth-Century Representations of Rome

The cartographic representation of Rome is as varied as its history; however there are several qualitatively significant discontinuities within an evolutionary process we can consider as linear. The research presented here focuses on a specific selection of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century maps of the city of Rome as a way to discuss not only one of these glaring discontinuities, but also several aspects linked to the perception and communication of the image of the city in the period preceding the more meticulous representations executed after the scientific revolution in the field of urban and territorial surveying. An analysis and comparison of these representations was performed using criteria that evolved during the research. It concentrated on three objectives: to produce observations about the perception of the city during that period; to draw attention to select contents in the maps; to discuss related communication strategies.

Laura Carlevaris, Jessica Romor, Graziano Mario Valenti

Andrea Palladio Graphic Designer

The essay deals with the analysis of the treatise I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura by Andrea Palladio with reference to the editorial composition of the pages, to the relationship between text and images, also considering the ways in which the different books of the volume are composed. What emerges is a clever use of the layout as an extraordinary way to communicate which, together with the novelty of some contents, configures the work as one of the most important architectural treatises that has ever been produced. In particular, we reflected above all on the position of the various drawings on the page, on the alternation of the plan/elevation according to the position in which they are located, on the importance of the frame as a figurative organization tool for the layout. Furthermore, some hypotheses of compositional references are proposed in the placement of text and types of drawings (plans, elevations and sections) in the layout that could be traced back to some solutions proposed by Sebastiano Serlio for his unpublished Sesto Libro dell’Architettura.

Alberto Sdegno

Digital Modelling, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Gaming


Differences in Distance Estimations in Real and Virtual 3D Environments

Computerized 3D modelled spaces are thought to be reliable imitations of Real Environments (REs). Depth perception in displayed Virtual 3D Environments (VEs) is a controversial issue. The present work compared both egocentric and allocentric distances in a RE and a VE. Results showed more errors in the VE (underestimations) than in the RE (overestimations), and a gender effect in the different environments mediated by Mental Rotation ability. Findings suggested that spatial and perceptual processing underlying artificial 3D modelled space may not be similar to cognitive spatial processes in REs.

Chiara Saracini, Marta Olivetti Belardinelli, Andreas Hoepfner, Demis Basso

Advanced Heritage: From the Virtual Copy to a Virtuous Image of Reality

ICT and digital tools promote the development of a new relationship between real and digital world, in which mixed reality experiences enrich the physicality with multimedia contents. We could speak of “Advanced Heritage”, to underline the relationship between the real dimension of tangible and intangible assets, and the sphere of “mixed media” with their digital contents. In particular, with Social Media, images play an increasingly important role in defining the meanings and values that people attribute to cultural heritage, and digital technologies encourage participatory dynamics developed in the third dimension. In relation to these issues, considerations are presented on the types of digital models and on how to share, use and rework digital models.

S. Brusaporci, P. Maiezza, A. Tata

Stereoscopy Does not Improve Metric Distance Estimations in Virtual Environments

Stereoscopy is widely used to render depth and perceptual spatial cues information in Virtual Environments (VEs). In literature, the use of stereoscopy in VEs reported advantages but also disadvantages on perceptual skills such as metric evaluation of distances. The present study tests the influence of stereoscopy on a verbal metric and nonmetric evaluation of egocentric and allocentric distances task, in closed and open scenarios, correlating performance with Mental Rotation ability. Results show that stereoscopy could be helpful only for nonmetric estimates. More errors occurred in metric evaluation, modulated by gender.

Chiara Saracini, Demis Basso, Marta Olivetti Belardinelli

New Interpretation Tools and Metamorphosis of the Image, How the Self-synthesizing of Visual Elements Influences the Aesthetic Evolution

With increasing consideration the management and technology of image transformation today implies different areas of use, strongly intervening on human perception and pursuing the tendency to reproduce extreme realism in synthetic images generated by computer. The importance that today we give to the image thus sees the involvement not only of dynamics typical of aesthetics and art but also of clinical and psychological analysis, in which the search for reality, in configuring non-existent contents, leads to new experiments connected to strictly practical areas and new means of representation. The article investigates technological evolutions based on artificial intelligence algorithms based on facial recognition, digital reproduction of the image and its reconfiguration according to processes of self-synthesizing of visual elements, applicable not only on human faces, but also on objects, spaces and architectural elements. Such an acceleration in scientific results has been possible thanks to a simpler management of quantum physics applied to AI algorithms and the introduction of new development methodologies.GAN, (Generative Adversarial Networks) is involved in strategies to preserve cultural heritage as an excellent low cost tool to solve critical issues of various nature.

Alessandro Basso

Display the Invisible. Automated Algorithms to Visualize Complex Phenomena

The artworks collected in the museums are characterized by formal and invisible values. These latter ones are generated over time and derived mainly from the historical, artistic, social and media history that characterized the exhibited artworks; informal properties are as important as the formal values of the work. The weighted relationship between these values helps to create an attractive weight of the artwork within the exhibition project. Therefore, it is an interesting subject for a correct foreshadowing of visitor flows. We illustrate automated procedures to show, through graphics, the complex phenomena triggered by the attractive weight of the collections.The elements involved in this research are the exhibition area (the graphic field), the collection (the attractive elements) and the users.The conceived procedure, once automated, becomes a prototype to support the exhibitor to control the exhibition design and eventually make it more efficient if compared to the quality of the displayed collections.

Michele Calvano, Michela Cirelli, Massimiliano Lo Turco

Spherical Drawing for Understanding Urban Spaces

Drawing, besides being the only tool able to represent ideas that live in our mind, is also a means to represent the perception of the world. The importance that is still dedicated to freehand drawing has led to the proliferation of digital tools for simulating traditional techniques, creating good opportunities that mix manual gesture and virtual world. Spherical drawing is placed in this context: it comes from spherical photography and from digital environment but, to some extent, is bearer of that materiality and abstraction that are sometimes sought to communicate images or interpret real places. The idea is to exploit the potential of an immersive 360° environment for the understanding of urban spaces through graphic-perceptive analyses. This type of representation is very close to the human vision from which perceptual studies derive, so it could contribute to the discipline with considerable advantages. In order to verify the validity of this new procedure, piazza Sempione in the Montesacro district in Rome was chosen as a case study. The contribution includes a series of representations of piazza Sempione that are based on the fragmentation of some visual stimuli, so that they can be recognized and appreciated individually.

Laura Carnevali, Marco Carpiceci, Sofia Menconero, Michele Russo

Concept Art for the Entertainment Industry. Graphics for the Evocation of Imaginary Spaces

Nowadays, the entertainment industry relies on a massive visual development which employs all kinds of representation modalities and technologies. Especially as regards the design of imaginary worlds or fictional reconstructions of past eras, there is a huge need of prefiguration in order to visualize an idea before it can be transformed into the final ‘on screen’ product. The concept artist is now a key-figure in the industry, who has the complex and hyper creative task to condense the atmosphere, the mood, the feeling and the peculiar features of an environment in a single bi-dimensional image. Such kind of evocative artworks are not far from the scenographic designs in use in theatre ever since the Renaissance, which also exploit the possibilities offered by traditional representation techniques like perspective and value composition. These means are used in an imaginative and illusionistic way to serve the visual prefiguration need and to provide a ‘vision’ of the setting. The paper reflects on the centrality of representation techniques in the conceptualization process of environments for the entertainment industry (videogames, movies, TV shows etc.) and on the similarities between concept art and scenographic design, which are both powerful visual communication tools characterized by the strict, consequential relationship between the concept and the mise-en-scène.

Barbara Ansaldi

Redrawing the Nineteenth Century Panorama of Milan to Learn the Cultural Heritage

The analysis of three case studies, Galvano Fiamma “Mappa di Milano” (XIV century), Leone Zucoli “Nuovo panorama geometrico-orografico-pittoresco di Milano” (1844) and “Panorama orografico e pittoresco della città e contorni di Milano, preso dalla sommità della cattedrale” (1867), has given the opportunity to use historical 360-degree charts as active tools to understand and to imagine the historical cultural landscape of Milan. The redrawing of the 1867 engraving has been made by overlapping the visible landmarks depicted in the original print on a high-resolution panoramic view. The position of the elements which are no longer visible has been instead deduced with the orientation with the Alpine peaks, the proximity to other buildings and the analysis of both historical and current maps. Reading and redrawing historical images are considered as immersive experiences and they have proved to be interesting tools for the education to both material and immaterial cultural heritage because they have given the opportunity to visualize and compare the historical and the current landscape.

Marco Vedoà

Grammar of Visual Communication in Videogame: Analysis and Comparison of Languages Between the Present and Past

The theme of this contribution is the world of video games, with particular focus on modern narrative video games whose communicational mode is based on mainly visual forms. In other words, the complexity of these games also regards the ideation of graphical expedients used for communicational purposes in the dynamics of the game. With respect to this field, the studies therefore focus on the theme of visual communication in modern graphical video games, with the goal of investigating different expressive forms. This was addressed on two planes. First, analyses and comparisons were proposed and made among different examples of video games, pausing on some elements of the language and visual grammar. Second, an attempt was made to understand if and how some of the expedients used in this field are really communicational artifices and representational principles used historically in classical and contemporary art, always with a precise intention, that is, to convey a message.

Ramona Feriozzi, Alessandra Meschini

Data Representation, Digital Stereotomy and Virtual Museums at the VIDE Laboratory

Part of the research infrastructure IR.IDE (Research Infrastructure Integral Design Environment), the VIDE (Vision Integral Design Environment) laboratory aims at researching the emerging questions of representing projects of architecture, art, multimedia and cinema. Cultural Heritage is involved in many of these questions, therefore a specific focus is on the safeguard and promotion of Heritage by means of digital tools employed in survey, algorithmic and BIM 3D modeling, digital manufacturing and Immersive Technologies. VIDE, and more generally IR.IDE, are particularly interested in the Made in Italy context.One of the lines of research investigates the relationships between drawing and big data, both theoretically and through designing the features of a database which combines information on multiple semantic layers. Another research deals with the modernization of stereotomic techniques, by means of tools coming from digital modeling and 3D printing, in order to build an algorithm capable of automatizing innovative design processes. The other field researches the requirements for a Virtual Museum of Venice, in primis suitable for showing the architectural and urban transformations of the city, by means of an interactive database.

Giuseppe D’Acunto, Francesco Bergamo, Alessio Bortot, Isabella Friso

Two Methods of Optimization for an AR Project: Mesh Retopology and Use of PBR Materials

In an augmented reality project dealing with complex objects with a large scale, it is necessary to minimize the number of polygons of a mesh. The challenge is trying to find a compromise between accuracy, details and fluidity of the representation. Starting from two different surveys (Laser Scanner and Photogrammetry) with high resolution, two paths have been identified: the first one consists on the retopology of the mesh obtained from the point cloud with the help of software like Instant Mesh; the second one relies on the complete re-modelling of the artefact, trying to simplify its structure in macro-elements using Retopoflow tool in Blender. The level of detail is preserved in both cases: in the first, the “quad mesh” keeps complex geometries minimizing the number of polygons; in the other an accurate management of texture of PBR materials returns realism with simple shapes, with a lower number of polygons. These methods have been applied to the reconstruction of San Lorenzo Bridge, one of the ancient monuments of the Roman Padova no longer visible, examined by the research project PD-Invisible. Results validate that the second method is more effective, ensuring an excellent realism in the rendering phases, minimizing the size of the file.

M. Perticarini, C. Callegaro, F. Carraro, A. Mazzariol

Integrated Technologies for Indirect Documentation, Conservation and Engagement of the Roman Mosaics of Piazza Armerina (Enna, Italy)

3D digital imaging for the study of archaeology and the global dissemination of knowledge is of growing relevance and has proven to be extremely beneficial in particular on cases study characterized by a poor digital accessibility. With seven Unesco World Heritage sites, Sicily has an extraordinary heritage perfectly representing the cultural achievements of many Mediterranean civilizations, but yet the digital presence of such heritage is rather limited. The aim of this paper is to present the some methodological insights to tackle issues of 3D digitization of mosaic floor via digital photogrammetry on the basis of direct experience with the case study of the Roman Villa del Casale at Piazza Armerina (Enna, Sicily, Italy). The virtualization of over 2500 m2 of mosaic floord was carried out in the frame of an international collaborative project undertaken by University of South Florida’s Institute for Digital Exploration – IDEx (former CVAST), in partnership partnership with the Regional Department for Cultural Heritage and Sicilian Identity and specifically with the Regional Hub of Piazza Armerina, Aidone and Enna and the University of Catania’s Departments of Civil Engineering and Architecture (DICAR), Mathematics and Computer Sciences (DMI), and Humanistic Studies (DISUM).

Francesco Gabellone, Maria Chiffi, Davide Tanasi, Michael Decker

Architectural Visualization in the Age of 5G

A Mixed Method Pipeline for Architectural Design Communication

This research is a case study of a bigger scientific project (as part of a 4-year loan from the Ministry of Economic Development led by Vodafone) that involves a large number of academic and industrial partners working on the pre-industrial tests on the 5G connectivity ongoing in Milan urban area. The use case we analyze here is the only one related to the built environment design process with a focus on the innovation in architectural representation and communication made possible by the 5G as enabling technology. Starting from the construction site of new Politecnico di Milano architecture campus, designed by Ottavio di Blasi – ODB from an idea by Renzo Piano, the research deals with new possibilities for translating the project’s BIM data in a dynamic visualization tool through a mobile AR device at a building scale. The AR designing and engineering process has allowed to test strengths and weaknesses associated with the adaptation of complex digital architectural models to the required geometrical simplification for gaming rendering engines, evaluating different possible and most fitting graphic pipelines.

Daniele Villa, Lorenzo Ceccon

Data Visualization and Infographic


It’s Time for Data! Modulations of Representation: Visible, Perceptible, Imaginable

“Representing is a transitive verb which demands an object” (Gombrich 1985, p. 214). But what are the possible modulations of this object? And, likewise, what is the extent of representation? These are the questions we have posed in carrying out a particular experiment: creating an infographic to give shape to a musical performance, String Quartet no. 10 Op. 74 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The experiment aims to combine knowledge and experience, logic and aesthetics, function and metaphor. By exercising these aspects, we would like to verify some of the possible extensions of representation with an approach that is at once modulated and synthetic, notational and systemic. The experiment has entailed considerations and reflections, requiring us to make some choices that will become as clear as possible in the paper’s development.

Elena Ippoliti, Manlio Massimetti, Angela Testa

Participatory Data Physicalization: A New Space to Inform

The paper proposes a reflection on how to analyze, assess and design Participatory Data Physicalization (PDP) by taking into consideration a PDP project designed by one of the authors of the paper. For Data Physicalization we intend the translation of data into tangible and, in any case, perceptible-with-senses-other-than-vision artifacts. Data Physicalization allows for an engagement of the recipient of information which differ from that of Data Visualization. By exploiting and exploring these different forms of engagement, which often entail the involvement of the entire body, Data Physicalization can give way to artifacts that dispose and afford participation. PDP can be then a way to promote participation and to democratize data beyond a broader diffusion and deeper understanding of information. The paper discusses all these issues by taking into account a PDP project about cancer awareness.

Matteo Moretti, Alvise Mattozzi

Atlas of Abandoned Villages. An Online Database for the Ongoing Representation of Neglected Towns in Abruzzo

This research is located within a study of the abandonment phenomena in Abruzzo where surveying, representation and documentation have already been tested through individual case studies. The specific objective of this essay aims to propose an advanced system of interactive infographics on the web through which to collect and make known the statistical, cartographic and graphical materials (2d and 3d drawings) collected in the previous study campaign. The study of living context with its forms and its subtle but fundamental relations with the intangible expressions of local culture and history, has been the starting point for an interactive online atlas project that proposes itself as a graphical and statistical support to understand and address the problems but also the potential of a territory in crisis and to stimulate desirable processes of improvement, conservation and enhancement by multiple actors such as public administrators, groups of citizens and private investors.The interactive atlas project starts from the analysis of some examples to research the technologies and the communication modes (user experience) best suited to convey the information collected, continues through the design of the information architecture and the choice of a responsive layout up to a prototype through which to simulate an optimal flow of querying, reading and sharing data.

Giovanni Caffio

Limes et con-finis

In our research about decoding complex events through the process of graphic abstraction, we investigated a possible visual or mental representation of boundaries.Boundaries are typically built on a large scale and cannot be reduced to a geometric figure. These two properties lead to the following consequence: boundaries are perceived as something immaterial. We all know the role of imagination as a means to be conscious of something and to make it exist. So we tried to create an overall and concise representation of boundaries.To achieve this goal we conducted an analytic study on relevant defensive and military walls, from the ancient Roman Empire to post World War II. We selected 23 case study, classified by the same criteria. At the end, we found out that two categories are prevalent: continuous boundaries and discontinuous boundaries. Both of them are organized into four different typologies. We translated them into graphic symbols which constitute the minimum unit useful to draw a conceptual map. So we condensed a lot of information in a short space and, above all, made visible the invisible.

Domencio Pastore, Francesca Sisci

Can a Map Save City Shops? Applications of Data Visualization to Represent the Material and Immaterial Urban Survey

From the origins of civilization it is known that a picture is worth thousands words. However, the scientific study of visual communication applied to the data visualization represented on the territorial extension is a relatively recent field of research, dating back to the late 1800s, long after the first golden age of statistical graphics. The paper presents a case study in the city of Parma and it assumes that a thematic map can be more effective than a chart diagram in displaying the territorial distribution of the answers of a census of the commercial units of the city, realized with the collaboration of the shopkeepers. The translation of percentages and graphs in a thematic cartography, through the ultimate open-source tools of interactive mapping and live geolocation of the information, allows an immediate and intuitive visualization and a field control in real time. Even more, it underlines the spatial connections and the critical points and potentialities for those who must make decisions regarding the future of the commercial sector in a historical moment of serious crisis and rapid transformations.

Chiara Vernizzi, Donatella Bontempi

The Use of Graphs to Explore the Network Paradigm in Urban and Territorial Studies

As a result of the evolution of the ways of inhabiting and of the ways the economy has evolved in the post-industrial age, the network paradigm has become the most appropriate framework to describe urban and territorial processes. In overcoming the vision of space as a set of areas and points in which the reciprocal position is the main object of the analysis, exploring of internal and external relations to settlement and production systems has become the key element for examining reality. Therefore, finding appropriate tools and methods for examining networks has become fundamental in the studies aimed at understanding the city and territory. In this framework, the graph theory, which allows an analysis of the metric and topological properties of binary relationships represents an increasingly used means for modelling and studying networks also in the science of planning. The visualizations that can be achieved by graph theory in terms of urban and territorial processes have the potential to produce intelligible images of complex phenomena, which, otherwise, would be difficult to describe. The graphic representation of the urban and territorial phenomena is decisive, but sometimes it is underused in influencing public opinion and also the opinions of decision makers and administrators. In this framework this paper reflects on the effectiveness of graphs for exploring the network paradigm in urban and territorial areas under different profiles: communicative effectiveness, analytical effectiveness and interpretive effectiveness.

Mara Balestrieri, Amedeo Ganciu

Circle Tales. Infographics to Tell About Contemporary Art

Geometrical depiction, originally conceived as a series of decorative, symbolic, self-referential, and eschatological shapes, became intertwined with statistical science in the eighteenth century. In the modern era, it has related to new informational theories, thereby giving rise to the contemporary infographic: a tool to analyse and present data based on graphs, maps, and diagrams. The visualization of data encompasses the geometrical abstraction of the discrete world and the numbering of its parts; there is a whole series of models (histograms, diagrams, dendrograms, etc.) whose representational effectiveness and final visual harmony are possible only applying specific creative knowledge. The circle, in its capability to be divided into infinite portions (rings, sectors, and segments), is one of the most used model: it allows for a very rich variety of applications to compare data.After a basic introduction on the discipline of Information design, the paper presents a teaching experience in which graphical design is applied to a project to visualize contemporary art: the series of installations in the exhibit space of a private institution in Rome. The students created original infographics containing point-like information relating the 76 shows and they often chose circle images to organize the numerous data.

Marta Magagnini
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