SFU italiaDesign

Field school Summer 2014

italiaDesign is an bi-annual research project documenting design and innovation in Italy. The objective of this project is to introduce students to the rich design history and philosophies that exists outside of the tech-driven North American context, as well as to contribute to an ever-growing wealth of design research.

Gruppo Nove

Translation: Group Nine – the ninth group of senior design students to participate in SFU's italiaDesign Field School. I was lucky enough to be one of these 12 students. Prior to the trip, the team underwent an intensive fourteen week research period examining Italian design, history, culture and language in preparation for our in-field experience. At the core of the field school are interviews that the team conducts. Therefore, a great deal of preperation was necessary to ensure meaningful dialogue with the designers.


We had the opportunity to interview 15 designers from a wige range of disciplines. On set of the interviews I was responsible for audio production and recording. Alongside my research partner Sean Brouwer, I lead interviews with Zoe Romano, Enrico Bassi, and Giorgio Olivero of ToDo - the digital agency behind Arduino. We gathered perspectives on their work then process and edited that into individual films. At the end of every interview, we asked the subject simply what "design" meant to them.

Cultural Films

In the time between interviews, the team went out into the cities and countryside to create a number of short films. I approached each video opportunity with the attitude of being ambitious, experimental, and above all curious.

Design / Development

Finally, the months of cultural insights and inspiration culmiated in the design and implementation of the italiaDesign website. Entirely handcoded, the site was designed, built, tested, and launched in less than one month.

Team Members:

Sean Brouwer, Juan Henao, Roxanne Henschke, Scott Horsfall, Vivian Hu, Gracelle Mesina, Liam Leyland, Terrence Ma, Sonya Spowage, Russell Taylor, Taylor Ward, Judy Zheng


UX Design Lead, Development Lead, Interviewer, Researcher, Audio Production and Recording


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