SACI MFA Final Exhibition, “Un Punto d’Incontro,” at Frittelli Arte Contemporanea | SACI College of Art & Design Florence


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SACI MFA Final Exhibition, “Un Punto d’Incontro,” at Frittelli Arte Contemporanea

"Un Punto d'Incontro"
Frittelli Arte Contemporanea
Florence, Italy

Photos by Benedetta Di Ruggiero

SACI MFA in Studio Art and MFA in Communication Design graduate candidates exhibit their final works in "Un Punto d'Incontro" at Frittelli Arte Contemporanea in Florence, Italy.

In a culmination of the last two years in Florence, SACI graduate candidates exhibited their thesis works in the SACI MFA final exhibition “Un Punto d’Incontro.” The exhibition, held at the prestigious Frittelli Arte Contemporanea gallery in Florence, included works by emerging artists and designers in SACI’s MFA in Studio Art and MFA in Communication Design programs.

Participitants included Alina Akbar, George Alexander, Maria Manuela Bosch, Julia Bowden, Robin DeSantis, Rachel Dziga, Rebecca MacLachlan, Koyal Raheja, and Caline Touma.

At the opening reception, held on April 12th at 6pm, SACI President Steven Brittan introduced the exhibitions and the program directors spoke about the students’ works. Many SACI students, faculty, and staff attended the opening, along with friends of SACI and members of the Florentine community.

The exhibition was on view April 12 - April 18, 2019.

Artists & Designers:
Alina Akbar, MFA in Studio Art
George Alexander, MFA in Studio Art
Maria Manuela Bosch, MFA in Communication Design
Julia Bowden, MFA in Studio Art
Robin DeSantis, MFA in Studio Art
Rachel Dziga, MFA in Studio Art
Rebecca MacLachlan, MFA in Studio Art
Koyal Raheja, MFA in Studio Art
Caline Touma, MFA in Studio Art

Learn more about graduate programs at SACI.

Un Punto d’Incontro

"Un Punto d’Incontro" is an excellent title for a final exhibition of a Master in Fine Arts program, including artists from different cities and continents. But what is incontro? Is there something in common between the artists? Do they share more than the same space? It is frequent today to affirm specific interests and identities, and multiculturalism seems far away, lost in the 21st century. Why would such a diverse group meet in Florence and engage in the process that culminates in this exhibition? Regardless of all difficulties, art and education today remains a fertile ground for communication and coexistence. Maybe Florence, this center of European culture at its best, exists only because it was receptive to Eastern and Southern influences. It is the right place to start rebuilding necessary bridges, in today’s Babel, made of soundbites of antagonistic standpoints.

The inspired title represents a convergence of essentially different works into a minimal geometric element…a point: Alina Akbar shows her fleeting, emotional self- representations; Caline Touma brings Neoclassical drawings, distorted by intense tension and movement; Koyal Raheja installs airy spacious surfaces, expressing the beauty, but also the tragedies of labor; George Alexander celebrates the daily resilience and victory of the spirit of his people against annihilation; Julia Bowden makes visible the persistence of the chaotic growth of nature within the geometric white cube; Rebecca MacLachlan’s work is also concerned with nature, but on the contrary reveals a design concealed in the most disorderly appearances; Rachel Dziga, through her cartoons and graphic novel, uses her very unique sense of humor and a deep knowledge of science and politics, to critically comment on reality; Robin DeSantis proposes a very poetic interactive dialogue within the community and each individual. 

As a group, a punto, they are a whole different new reality, a puzzle built during the last two years and crystalized in this surprising way.

This was an exercise in freedom of expression, coexistence, intercommunication and complementarity, which is destined to reproduce and multiply. The spirit of "Un Punto d’Incontro" will spread from the walls of this great gallery of art, Frittelli, and potentially permeate to the rest of the world.

- Filipe Rocha da Silva (Director of the MFA in Studio Art program at SACI)


There is nothing more exciting in the practice of Communication Design than the creation of a new identity. 

Definitely a complex matter, the creation of identity is currently undergoing a shift to a next level. Designers focus more and more on the intangible (services and processes) rather than on the tangible (such as products). Understanding this shift triggers reflection on the new role of communication designers in society.

Design of a logo and strict guidelines have been the rule for decades. At one point (1981), also thanks to a technology that was not printing on paper, MTV Music Television chose to go dynamic with a logo containing different graphics: identities have never been the same since. With dynamic projects such as the book covers of the publisher Zone Books or the several logo images of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (by Bruce Mau, 1985 and 1993), new languages were created, where variability was welcome and fixity was just out of the question.

Identities were unable to stand still (Brooklyn Museum by 2x4, 2004) and logos disappeared in the texture of carefully designed visual systems (City of Porto by White Design, 2014, or Jewish Museum by Sagmeister&Walsh, 2014). 

Digital technologies took this dynamic identity to the next natural development, generative design: countless logos, generated by meteorological data such as in Visit Nordkyn (NeueDesign, 2010) or by Processing algorithm (MIT Media Lab, 2011), set the new standards.

The new role of designers creating tools rather than designs, finally steered this process to collaborative platforms, such as the Bologna City Branding website where everybody can insert a different word expressing the meaning of city creating a different logo every time. 

A city is definitely a “punto d’incontro.” It is made of layers, buildings, networks, traffic, but it is also a crossroads of many lives, hopes, projects, cultures. Even if a city is a very tangible entity, its essence is hard to grasp. Focusing on her hometown Montevideo, Maria Manuela Bosch has managed to find a balance between the communication needs of a city towards tourists and the feelings of identity of the Montevideanos, with the design of a visual system that definitely gives birth to a new identity and could develop as a collaborative platform.

- Camilla Torna (Program Director MFA in Communication Design)

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