30th Feast

Last year 30th celebrations involved a casual dinner party with few friends.

The menu consisted of a long array of appetisers and side dishes accompanied by aperitif drinks (AKA Spritz). Here is what I prepared:

1. Maple dijon roasted carrots

2. Raw vegetarian bouchées  

3. Crispy smashed potatoes 

4. Cheese plate

5. Buttered Asparagus

6. Zuppa fiorentina (cold)

7. Baked salmon and sea bream in foil

8. Pie-cake

The crew (Queen included)

Material Alchemy

"Material Alchemy" a new book exploring how materials will be used to shape our future environments. Its author Jenny Lee showcases the most innovative design approaches to 21st century materials. Rather than approaching the topic from a technological or industrial point of view, Lee explores material's intersection in the world of science, design and creative expression.  



Shanghainese shelter

When I mention to friends and colleagues I've been living in Shanghai 3 years ago, the first reaction is: 'Oh really? What's like to live in Shanghai?'. 

It's definitely not easy to sum up with few words what's like to live in China. I realise the first memories that surface my mind are about the flat I used to live in (which describe some parts of my experience there).  Back in 2010 I settled in the French Concession, arguably one of the prettiest neighbourhood in Shanghai. I lived on the top floor of a 3 storey old french building at 899 Huai Hai Zhong Lu, in the heart of one of the biggest and busiest city in the world, still the quietest flat that I've ever lived in.

 899 Huai Zhong Lu, Courtyard.

899 Huai Zhong Lu, Courtyard.

 Building entrance, bicycle.

Building entrance, bicycle.

 Living, on white day.

Living, on white day.

 Window on a bright day. Photo by Francesca Galluzzo.

Window on a bright day. Photo by Francesca Galluzzo.

 Bathroom view. Photo by Francesca Galluzzo.

Bathroom view. Photo by Francesca Galluzzo.

 Bedroom, dresser.

Bedroom, dresser.

 Breakfast table.

Breakfast table.

 Switch detail. Photo by Francesca Galluzzo.

Switch detail. Photo by Francesca Galluzzo.

 Flora.

Flora.

 The last sunset before living for good.

The last sunset before living for good.

 Staircase.

Staircase.

Brand as genetic program

A brand is both the memory and the future of its products.
The analogy with genetic memory is central to understand how brands function and should be managed.
Indeed, the continuously developing brand memory contains the program for all future evolution, the characteristic of upcoming models and their common traits, as well as the family resemblances transcending their diverse personality.
By understanding a brand’s program, we can not only trace its legitimate territory but also the area in which it will be able to grow beyond the products that initially gave birth to it.
Observed in comparison to a living entity, the genetic program can be discovered by analysing the brand DNA, which is the essence of the brand, the seat where all the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of the brand are summarised. The main role of the brand DNA is the storage of all the information.
Brand DNA is a set of blueprints or a recipe or a code, it contains the instructions needed to construct or support the brand and its image.
It ensures stability of fundamental dispositions, attributing internal and external coherence to all the expressions and manifestations of the brand.

The brand DNA segments that carry this genetic information are known as genes. On the basis of our interpretative model of genetics, we can pinpoint and identify in the brand:

Genotype features: genotypes indicate the combination of hereditary traits, the components a brand can transmit to its offspring which do not always correspond to its visible/external attributes.
 

Phenotypes features: phenotypes are secondary physical attributes determined both by its genetic patrimony and by environmental influence, consequently adaptable to the extent that needs for adaptability are context-driven.

Of the two, the former represents the predominant features of the brand, permanent and unchanging, reflecting its genetic structure.
The core of the brand, constantly fuel by its progenitor, lies however in the essence that determines its distinction.
The feature or features that distinguish it from others, locus of brand value transferable over time, constitute its personality or, more specifically, its character, in terms of permanent traits.
The essence, presents an original and congenital, not easily modifiable structure.
Essence in effect, refers to how the brand functions in user scenarios and determines manifestations of personality,
conferring continuity to market experience. (In addition: in its evolutionary process, the brand’s uniqueness ends up representing a kind of objective limit, intrinsic and insurmountable save for the modification of its essential nature.
However, during the process, by means of its genotype attributes/features the progenitor can transfer its own meaning and values.)

On the contrary, phenotype attributes mainly have a temporary value; their essence is less stable and their structure precarious and transitory, socio-cultural dependent.
Examples of phenotype attributes are slogans or jingles accompanying the communications that characterise brands in the eyes/minds of the user, making them readily identifiable, engendering affection and contributing to brand recall; however, in the long-term they are subject to a semantic usury, and need restyling to update them to current taste and appeal. Phenotypes, therefore, make up the elements of brand which, in an evolutionary phase, can yield as a consequence of predetermined demands.
To correspond or to support the capacity of adaptability of these recessive features, the dispositions of which in conceptual terms are “semi external” , as regards brand DNA, the ecotype attributes come into play.
These aspects of the brand depend essentially on the different environments of development (like the adaptation of packaging on the basis of different intercultural interpretations or, the selection of testimonials or personality icons that contribute to the representation of the brand).
Treating the brand as an ecotype means to take into consideration attributes (essentially transitory) that emerge by virtue of their adaptation to the external environment and whose permanence remains functional while the brand relates to a specific community of consumers, ceasing their charge when interaction with the context ceases. Of the categories of attributes present, the ecotype features are those with less cognitive and affective persistence, in terms of “attitudes” in brands of practical utility for capturing/entertaining their clients.

 

From “Brand Morphology”

Simona De Rosa

 

Banana Graffiti

Marta Grossi uses bananas as her canvas. Every night she customizes a banana that she will eat for breakfast the next morning.

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Nice to meet you Christine

Tonight I had the amazing pleasure to meet Christine Sun Kim, she visited SFPC and give us a talk about her works.

Christine is a deaf artist that uses the medium of sound through technology to investigate and rationalize her relationship with sound and spoken languages.

"I constantly questioned the ownership of sound" Christine said.
Tonight her “words” opened up my heart and reminded me that we must look at things in a different way. Always.

Thanks Taeyoon for inviting Christine at School!

 
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One month in New York

One month in New York: moved into 3 different apartments, walked 116 kilometers, spent 226 hours and 23 minutes at School, cannot tell how many time I got lost. 

One metro card lost, epic skylines watched, 4 new parks explored, drunk gallons of Starbucks coffee, eaten way too many burgers and bagels, zero meals cooked at home.
More than 700 pictures taken (100 of which were Instagrammed),
lots of new friends, old friends reunited.
100 if questions, tons of random ideas, new dreams, overstimulated brain.

This one month has been *fantastic*

I wish I had a time machine to slow down the next one.

 

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Life is about choices

Life is about choices.

Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever.

Life is like a road. There are long and short roads, smooth and rocky roads, crooked and straight paths. In our life many roads would come our way as we journey through life.

Just like any road, there are corners, detours, and crossroads in life. Perhaps the most perplexing road that you would encounter is a crossroad. With four roads to choose from and with limited knowledge on where they would go, which road will you take? What is the guarantee that we would choose the right one along the way? Would you take any road, or just stay where you are: in front of a crossroad?

There are no guarantees.

You do not really know where a road will lead you until you take it. There are no guarantees. Nobody said that choosing to do the right thing all the time would always lead you to happiness.
The only thing you have power over is the decisions that you will make, and how you would act and react to different situations.

Take the risk: decide.

Today I’m glad to announce that I will be joining The School for Poetic Computation (holy crap) this fall in New York City, to explore the intersection of code, design, hardware and theory.
Fingers are crossed and I hope to learn some magics.

 

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23 days in my homeland

 

23 days in my homeland: eating millions of urchins and a 7kg tuna seen with my eyes coming from the sea, drinking liters of coffee with almond milk and way too many glasses of rosato and negroamaro in good company. Riding the bike in the beautiful fields under a crazy hot sun, boating, diving and diving again in the crystal clear water. Epic sunsets watched from the sea, and polishing the boat steals at the end of the day.

Couple of kilos gained, skin tanned, and family hugged.

Next stop, my temporary home: Berlin.
Salento, see you soon

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Follow what makes you happy

Today I had the pleasure to be inspired about data by the great Nicholas Felton.

An amazing way to celebrate my 29th birthday!  

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