14 December 2023

Cooperative art fills distances. The 9523 km between Milan and São Paulo becomes an element of union, with the project of Graphic Design students from both the cities: two unique murals to celebrate the essence of each place.

In the world of contemporary design, geographical distance is no longer an insurmountable obstacle, but rather an opportunity for connection and collaboration. A tangible example of this innovative perspective emerged through the first COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) project by the Istituto Europeo di Design, involving Graphic Design students from Milan and São Paulo in creating two murals, one from each city.7

They have been working in symbiosis: each team designed their mural drawing inspiration from the cultural and urban environment of their city, thereby conveying a fragment of their identity to the other side of the world.

The project originated from a physical distance of 9523 km, a number that has taken on a new and captivating significance. Beyond its geographical connotation, this value has become the emblem of a profound connection between two distant realities, transforming distance into a pathway for sharing and creativity, a tangible symbol of a shared vision, a testimony to the unifying power of creativity in the modern era.

Each digit in this figure, "9523 km," has been transformed into a visual message, personalized to reflect the soul and essence of their respective originating cities. Milan brought its dynamism into the project, showcasing its windows and store-fronts, the elegance of fashion design, and urban frenzy. São Paulo, on the other hand, enriched the numbers with local slang, its modern locations, and the vibrant Paulista nightlife.

The pulsating heart of this initiative was a mural conceived and executed by two groups of students,

IED professors Marta Biasi and Gil Tokio guided and inspired the students through virtual meetings and discussions, shaping these two collaborative artworks that now adorn the walls of the IED campuses with the aim of transforming distance into a creative bridge, a tangible symbol of the power of design in surpassing physical and cultural boundaries.

The painted murals aren't just simple artistic representations but true visual conversations between Milan and São Paulo. Each artwork is a kaleidoscope of symbols and elements celebrating the cities, from their historical monuments to the cultural dynamics that define them.

Watch here the video of the project

Eliane Weizmann, Coordinator of the Graphic and Digital Design course at IED São Paulo, emphasized the importance of a design education that extends beyond the physical limits of classrooms: "By uniting students, a global network of designers is being built, where innovation and cultural exchange converge to shape the future of design".

Giuseppe (BOB) Liuzzo, Coordinator of the international Graphic Design Course at IED Milan, emphasized the role of design as a universal language capable of transcending linguistic and geographical barriers: "Through this project, students experienced the enrichment of the learning process through international collaboration."

The entire journey, held between October and November, was a transformative experience. Online meetings served as the starting point for idea exchanges and the birth of artistic concepts that now embellish the walls of IED campuses.

The initiative by IED Milan and IED São Paulo goes beyond creating a shared mural: it's a global invitation to witness the transformative power of design. Crossing oceans and borders, these two cities unite in a common vision of creativity, culture, and connection. 

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