Design Talks

Program 2020

Program 2020

The 2020 edition of the DesignTalks, the public lecture series promoted every year by SPD, brings together voices from different professional fields and covers a wide range of contemporary subjects.

The program features stories, ideas and insights emerging in the various disciplinary areas, from product and space design to the mobility project and typography, offering an updated perspective on the evolution of the professional scene.

The 2020 series opened on 27 April with the awarded graphic and type designer Laura Meseguer, then the designer Lucas Colombo Carbone, the firms Storage Associati and Marcante-Testa, the car designer Walter De Silva,  the visual designers Roberto Maria Clemente and Andrea Trabucco-Carlos, the car designer Miroslav Dimitrov and our conference season closes with the designer Giulio Ceppi on 15 July at 6.30 pm CET with “Design is Direction”.

All the events are open to the general public and this year are moving online to be all the way more accessible to design enthusiasts. The presentations take place live on Zoom; as always, at the end it will be possible to ask questions to the guest designers.

To participate in a DesignTalk, you just need to join the Zoom meeting typing in here the meeting ID (11 digit code) available in the description of the conference of interest on this page. The web browser client will download automatically when you start or join your first Zoom meeting, and is also available for manual download for computers, tablets or mobile here:

DesignTalks 2020 events

Wednesday, July 15


Design is Direction | GIULIO CEPPI

Zoom meeting ID to join the online event: 968 8414 7705

“Design is Direction”

Our conference season closes next Wednesday at 6.30 pm CET with “Design is direction” by Giulio Ceppi, founder and creative director of the multidisciplinary studio TotalTool, which brings attention to the challenges facing the world of design in the current scenario. Design according to Ceppi is not only about the relationship with objects and space, but now more than ever it has to deal with the dimension of values and time: it has to take into account evolution, perception and change. For this precise reason, Ceppi has been selected to be part of the committee of consultants that, on behalf of the Minister of Education, has suggested guidelines for the reopening of schools after the emergence of the Covid-19 virus. Through an in-depth examination of the firm’s recent projects, the lecture highlights the contemporary vocation of Total Tool: the inclusiveness of its approach and its orientation towards tools of tangible value for society, in which the content returns meaning, duration and reliability to things: a design-for-all shaped by multidisciplinary practice that calls for emotional interaction with people, interweaves and respects everyone’s stories and expresses itself in artistic language to foster this multicultural dialogue.

Architect and Designer, Giuio Ceppi studied visual design at SPD Scuola Politecnica di Milano and Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano where he received the Ph.D. and still works as researcher and professor. His research focuses on sensorial development, materials and design and the development of new technologies, strategies, and identity. Until 1997 Coordinates the DARC Domus Academy Research Center, and afterward join Phillips Design as a senior consultant. In the year 1999 he founded Total, a design strategy and consultancy firm, based in Milan and Buenos Aires. With Total Tool, he received two nominations for the Compasso d’Oro prize, a mention in the ICSID Hall of Fame and two “Premio Nazionale per l’innovazione di Confcommercio” awards. He collaborates with different companies such as Auchan, Autogrill, Bhartyia, Coop, Deborah, Ikea, Luceplan, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Nike, PepsiCo, Pininfarina, Pirelli Re, SaporitiItalia, Viacom, Versace, Vertu, 3M and institutions like Archivio Disarmo, Comune di Milano, Federlegno, Torino 2006. He has given lectures and run workshops in 25 different countries and has written various essays on design and the culture of the project. He has taught at the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea and in the Faculty of Architecture of Genova, Torino, Roma, as well as in the Università Cattolica di Milano, at the Domus Academy and at SPD.

DesignTalks is the international lecture programme promoted by Scuola Politecnica di Design SPD to explore the most interesting research trends in design, architecture, graphics and multimedia.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 968 8414 7705

Thursday, June 25


Building the future of Heritage | MIROSLAV DIMITROV

Introduction by Michele Leonello

Zoom meeting ID to join the online event: 945 9690 5498

“Building the future of Heritage”

From the moment he was able to hold a pencil in his left hand, Miroslav Dimitrov’s passion for cars and car design was sparked. It has since grown into a lifelong obsession, resulting in a successful career in automotive design and in a genuine love for motorsport racing. In this talk, Miroslav will speak about his love for beautifully designed objects, be they sports cars, furniture or household items. This passion has helped to shape his design philosophy and is evident in every project he is involved in. Starting from his first approach to artistic drawing in a country with little opportunities in the design field, he will introduce his journey across various experiences and media, toward many professional accomplishments and key positions in the design studios of the most sought-after carmakers where he produced highly-regarded work for a range of projects.

Miroslav Dimitrov is a Bulgarian-born Industrial designer, graduated in Automotive Design in 2005, who has forged a successful career in car design. He has worked as a leading designer for the world’s most prestigious automotive brands including Bentley, Ferrari, Lotus Cars, Jaguar and Aston Martin. He has lived in Bulgaria, Italy and Germany, and is now permanently based in London. In 2007, he joined Ford as exterior designer. From 2008-2007 he had the opportunity to  work for Ferrari as exterior and interior designer. In 2010, he moved to UK where he collaborated with Lotus as senior designer and Aston Martin Lagonda. In 2012 he joined Volkswagen as senior exterior designer. From 2012 to 2016 he has been lead exterior designer at Jaguar Land Rover before moving to Bentley until 2017. Since 2016, he has been running his independent design studio in London, offering contract design services for clients in the automotive and entertainment business. His work includes sportscars, SUVs and pick-ups, electric cars, computer game vehicles, motorbikes and scooters, graphic design and livery. He is always open to new and inspiring opportunities to help his clients achieve their vision. Naturally, drawing has always been a passion for Miroslav and his artistic approach to drawing cars can be seen in his limited edition artworks and illustrations.

DesignTalks is the international lecture programme promoted by Scuola Politecnica di Design SPD to explore the most interesting research trends in design, architecture, graphics and multimedia.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 945 9690 5498 

Monday, June 22


Typography & Identity: a personal journey | ANDREA TRABUCCO-CARLOS

Introduction by Silvia Sfligiotti

Zoom meeting ID to join the online event: 949 1618 6673

On Monday, 22 June at 6.30 pm CET  our DesignTalks series virtually brings back to school Andrea Trabucco-Campos, a brilliant former Master’s student in Visual Design, now creative director of the Gretel studio in New York City. His focus is on branding and typography: their applications on interfaces and editorial landscapes and their influence over identity programs. In fact, during his talk titled “Typography & Identity: a personal journey”, Andrea walks us through some of  his works encompassing brand identity, type design and interaction design: The National indie band, the As iFF Film Festival and Irvington Theater’s identity and the Odd Apples project. The lecture addresses the evolution of new digital landscapes: how they’re informed by the large print tradition, and vice versa, how print environments are affected by the digital progression. On the relationship between traditionally print-based  and interactive media, Trabucco-Campos shows how the advent of the digital has still not added anything fundamental to the roots of graphic design but has allowed it to grow in new directions with the typographical characters serving as the link between these experiences and expressing the spirit of the times.

Born in Bogota, raised in Lucca and later moved to the US with his family, Andrea Trabucco-Campos brings a multicultural approach to design with a focus on concept and strategy, cultural relevance, and impact through typography. He studied philosophy at New York University and completed the Master’s in Visual Design at SPD in 2014. After his return to New York in 2015, he worked freelance for IL Magazine (Sole24Ore) and as head designer for Heritage Food USA, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Bank, as well as for the As iFF film festival in NY. Prior to joining Gretel, a full service design, branding and strategy studio in New York City as creative director, he was Associate Partner at Pentagram and creative director at Design Studio NY where he was an integral member in building, designing, launching and evolving some of the world’s most well known brands. He’s partnered with large and small organizations like Mastercard, Space10 (IKEA’s Creative Lab), UPenn, Amazon, HP, Raaka, Irvington Theater and The United Nations, among others. His work has been awarded Fast Company’s Innovation By Design, NY Design Award, Type Directors Club, Society of Typographic Arts, Brand New’s Best Identities of 2018, and nominated for a Grammy. Andrea Trabucco-Campos is now faculty of design at the School of Visual Arts in New York where he teaches typography.

DesignTalks is the international lecture programme promoted by Scuola Politecnica di Design SPD to explore the most interesting research trends in design, architecture, graphics and multimedia.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 949 1618 6673

Tuesday, June 9



Introduction by Silvia Sfligiotti

Zoom meeting ID to join the online event: 916 2017 9205

The new SPD DesignTalks of Tuesday, 9 June at 6.30 pm CET puts the spotlight on the work of Roberto Maria Clemente from the visual communication firm Fionda.

With his lecture titled “Sound and Vision”, Clemente will present various commissions and self-initiated projects in the cultural and social field. The diversity of the studio’s approach stems from their original involvement with the creation of Label, perhaps the first Italian style magazine with strong links to youth culture and to the music world.Even today the cipher of Fionda consists in a particular ability to communicate “high” culture projects promoted by prestigious museums, artistic institutions and galleries in a light-hearted and ironic way. Another distinguishing trait of the studio still descends from their seminal experiences with pop languages and lies in the openness, an almost blind faith in the force of “chance”. Fionda believes in a systemic improvisation as the possibility to intercept ideas and, starting from randomized insights or even second-hand ones, turn them into a final artwork. This indicates a different path from the one based on a pre-defined structures, such as the graphic grid that is no longer the only way to bring long-lasting impact and readability for all.

Roberto Maria Clemente is the founder of the the visual design Studio FIONDA.

After getting a Master Degree in Architecture, Clemente become founder and art director of the style magazine Label (1998-2007). Since 1998, the Studio has worked on a variety of cultural and social communication projects. In Turin, he had the privilege to work with Museo d’Arte Orientale (MAO), Museo di Arti Applicate Oggi (MIAAO), Biennale Internazionale di Arte Giovane, Museo Egizio, Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Reggia di Venaria, Galleria d’Arte Moderna and Cesac (Centro Sperimentale Arti Contemporanee), in Caraglio, Piedmont.

In Dublin, he worked with the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Over the past three years, the Studio has been in charge of the global communication of two primary contemporary art fairs taking place in Turin, Artissima and FLAT, focusing on art books.

Since 2015 he is also host of the international network Creative Mornings in Turin, that creates monthly events connected to creativity.

In 2017 he co-founded FFLAG gallery, a non profit space for contemporary applied arts and visual communication.

DesignTalks is the international lecture programme promoted by Scuola Politecnica di Design SPD to explore the most interesting research trends in design, architecture, graphics and multimedia.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 916 2017 9205

Wednesday, May 27


Design for a different mobility | WALTER DE SILVA

Introduction by Roberto Lo Vecchio

Zoom meeting ID to join the online event: 969 0620 7692

“Design for a different mobility”

Walter de Silva, acclaimed car design master and President of the Transportation Design Department at SPD, will take center stage for the next DesignTalk on the theme “Design for a different mobility”. De Silva’s considerations, in dialogue with Roberto Lo Vecchio from Quattroruote, start off with the observation of how, in few days, all our priorities have changed and our mobility, above all, has suffered a real Big Bang. From tomorrow, correctly designing factories, components and sustainable mobility products aimed at a cleaner world will no longer be enough because new parameters and new disciplines to be included in the creative and engineering development process have already taken over. However, De Silva believes that we are close to a new and upcoming world reorganization defined as “Analog / Post Digital”: physical and mental mobility will once again become central and fundamental for the balance of our body. This mobility is no longer understood as wellness and decompression to which we can dedicate a fragment of our day but rather as an all-round concept and a different relationship with the world in which we live. Fuerthermore, the Analog/Post Digital of the near future will be understood not with a downsizing of digitization, but with a more effective, correct, ethical and conscious use of it where especially augmented reality will be much more integrated with everyday reality.

Walter Maria de Silva’s long career began in 1972 at Fiat Design Centre in Turin, followed by a four-year experience working side by side with one of the masters of Italian design, Rodolfo Bonetto, in his Milanese studio. He subsequently moved back to Torino where he spent seven years as Head of Industrial Design and Automobiles of Idea Institute, at the time an influential independent design firm and a breeding-ground of new motoring ideas. In 1986, after a short collaboration with Trussardi fashion house in Milano, de Silva joined Alfa Romeo. Leading the Design Center in Arese until the late 1990s, he penned some of the legendary concepts and production models of the brand, leaving his mark on its renaissance. In 1999 de Silva became head of SEAT Design, the Spanish manufacturer of the Volkswagen group; from March 2002 he has been in charge of the design of the Audi brand group, comprising Audi, Lamborghini and SEAT. In February 2007, he was appointed to the position of Head of the entire Volkswagen AG Group Design, having full responsibility for all brands of the automotive giant. He left the group in November 2015, after an impressive track record of success, with many prestigious awards, about 80 different cars brought on the street, including true design statements such as the Alfa 156, Audi A5 and Q7 and several popular generations of VW Golf. De Silva is now pursuing his independent projects in the fields of product and furniture design. He also started several cooperations with car manufacturers and OEM companies to envision their brand strategies, future-oriented vehicle development projects.

Tuesday, May 19


Between Emotion and Reason | MARCANTE - TESTA

Introduction by Ali Filippini

Zoom meeting ID to join the online event: 928 5296 2512


If certain architectures fascinate us it is because they are examples of a possible choice between different aspects of our character, of the legitimate aspiration to transform them into something beautiful.

Marcante-Testa architecture and design studio is for T The New York Times style magazine one of the most innovative firms on the Italian scene. In 2019 it has been included by AD Germany among its 200 design influencers too, attesting to the growing international attention on its work. During this talk the two founding partners will address the many facets of residential design.

The collaboration between Andrea Marcante, at the time partner of the famous studio UdA and Adelaide Testa, started in 2004. In 2014 the duo created Marcante – Testa, their new firm that expresses a successful fusion of the dimensions of architecture and interior design, with results in continuous, dynamic balance between the two, without one ever prevailing over the other.

The studio is conducting a research that manages to be innovative yet well rooted in the Italian heritage at the same time. Their work encompasses architecture and design as well as corporate consulting in the field of materials and furnishings. The atmospheres created by Marcante – Testa aim to elegantly recompose the multiple values of living: being serious and funny, authentic yet refined, having deep roots and loving the world. So independent melodic lines are combined according to strict rules in the composition.

The studio currently collaborates, in art direction or consultancy mode, with various companies in the field of furniture and materials, such as Ceramica Vogue, GTV Thonet, SEM, London Art, Spotti-Valcucine, Archiproducts, B-Ticino.
In 2016, with the Liberamensa project, Marcante -Testa begun a collaboration with the Italian public administration to introduce interior architecture in sensitive places, such as prisons, thus nurturing their experimental and socially-conscious ethos.

Marcante – Testa projects have won prizes and awards, stimulating spatial research towards an architecture of counterpoint – of emotion and reason – in the spirit of a renewed human sensitivity.

Tuesday, May 12


Truth to material. Fashion and retail as a system | STORAGE ASSOCIATI

Introduction by Andrea Manfredi

Zoom meeting ID to join the online event: 971 7139 0639


“Truth to material. Fashion and retail as a system”

Storage Associati architecture and design studio was founded in Milan in 2002. Their mission is to work in various areas of design, from the architecture to temporary installations, from interior design to set design.
Storage Associati tackles fashion, design, architecture, arts and all other aspects that embody form and volume.

Researching through matter is the key philosophy of the firm: “Experimenting with unusual or different materials, with light and space, attention to detail and elegance are what surround us and inspire us today”.
Storage collaborates with many international brands such as Bally, Dsquared2, Tod’s, Neil Barett, Dolce&Gabbana, Trussardi, Marni, Luxottica, Gant and works for private clients for residential projects.


Thursday, April 30


Advanced aviation design | LUCAS COLOMBO CARBONE

Introduction by Michele Leonello

Zoom meeting ID to join the online event: 92803381370


“Advanced aviation design”

After an industrial design degree in his native Argentina and further to his car design studies in Italy, Lucas Colombo Carbone joined the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design team active in Como from 1998 until 2019, that competed with different Mercedes-Benz teams around the world to impose their ideas and spread new design concepts. Colombo Carbone quickly climbed positions within the studio and at the age of 31, he was appointed head of the concepts of the Star brand, creating the exterior of SLK, leaving his mark on the interior of the S-Class, B-Class and C-Class and on various other interior designs both for concept and production cars, presented at major motor shows.

In 2014, after 12 years with the German manufacturer, Colombo Carbone returned to Córdoba, in Argentina, to open his own independent design practice and to explore other transportation and industrial design projects. He founded the Advanced Design Innovation Studio that offers services and design visions in several fields, from car to naval design, leveraging his complete skillset – from ideation and creative direction to visualisation and modelling –  and his international professional network.

In recent years, with SkyStyle Colombo Carbone has been particularly focused on advanced aviation conceptual design, thus being able to propose innovative and disruptive solutions for an industry that seeks continuous evolution. In 2018, the Genesis concept for Boeing Business Jets, on BBJMax7 platform and adaptable to larger BBJ ones, won the “International Yacht & Aviation Awards” and brought in an innovative vision, aimed at redefining the executive aviation world. Genesis draws inspiration from nature’s tranquility with lenticular clouds hanging over a hint of white sand beach, a smooth rolling hills landscape and a starry night sky ceiling.
Its “Genesis Unique” variation for Boeing Business Jets, targeted at the Middle Eastern market, was unveiled at Shanghai’s Private Aviaton Show “ABACE” and MEBAA 2018 in Dubai. In 2019, the new SkyStyle “Concept Bliss” project has been awarded again the “International Yacht & Aviation Awards” prize in the Concept Aviation category.

Monday, April 27


Words, alphabets, and languages | LAURA MESEGUER

Introduction by Silvia Sfligiotti

Zoom meeting ID to join the online event: 96157042866


“What you design is the essence of what you are.”

Laura Meseguer, freelance graphic and type designer based in Barcelona, works for Spanish and international clients but also on self-initiated projects. As a typographer and type designer, she specializes in all sorts of projects involving custom lettering and type design, for branding and publishing design. Her design approach is to create unique solutions for every assignment, based on the concept, the content and the context, always in close collaboration with art directors and designers. As an editorial consultant, she also helps clients to find and apply the best typographic solutions for their projects.

Laura Meseguer designs and produces typefaces distributed through her own digital type foundry Type-Ø-Tones.  She is the author of TypoMag. Typography in Magazines, published by IndexBook, and co-author of the book “Cómo crear tipografías. Del boceto a la pantalla”, published by Tipo e, published in Spanish and translated into Polish, Portuguese, English, and Chinese. She’s also involved with, a showcase for work and research on lettering, typography, and type design by women. She is active as a teacher and and she’s a board member of the ATypI since 2017. Premio Gràffica 2018.

During this talk titled “Words, alphabets, and languages”, Laura presents culturally complex and socially innovative themes, for example how to decline the project of a typographic family by integrating three different cultural, historical and alphabetical identities. In particular, the Qandus project welcomes, interprets the Latin, Arabic and Tifinagh calligraphic tradition to rework them in an original character system, articulated and unitary at the same time.