Io Sono Scienza
My master degree final thesis project at Politecnico di Milano, a ‘cross-media communication campaign for the diffusion and promotion of science in Italy’.
The one-year project consisted in a huge research on field, on books, through interviews and on the web, around the subjects of ‘science awareness’ of people in Italy and science popularization; research data were then analyzed and reworked to spot the right issues, in order to design the best project to answer to science awareness and diffusion’s critical situation in Italy.
Check the project of the Master Thesis Book: Io Sono Scienza – the Book
“The greatest enemy of knowledge
is not ignorance,
it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Intro: Research & Solutions
Despite its glorious past, nowadays science in Italy is facing a vast range of problems. Research funding are less and less; job insecurity is growing; public institutions are in serious trouble; eventually, in the last decades, politics seems unable to understand the value of science in relation to the progress of the country, being fascinated, like the majority of citizens, by the so-called “scientific hoaxes”. All this in spite of Italian scientific excellence, internationally acknowledged both under the human and professional profile.
Next to these obvious difficulties, however, scientific institution is also facing the “invisible problem” of communication: partly due to inexperience, partly to distrust of design, it is unable, apart from some exceptions, to find functional communication methods to overcome the cultural obstacles represented by Crocianism, indifference and pseudo-science, resulting in an increasing distance from people.
This thesis aims to suggest a possible solution to these communication problems, a kind of design model, which points to engage people with scientific reality, without distortions. The idea behind this struggle is to design a new image for Italian science, a new “science world”, a real rebranding based on scientists’ words and requests, and which will use awesomeness to inform.
This concept turns itself into a cross-media communication campaign, called “Io Sono Scienza” (I Am Science), which aims, through the connection of different media such as social networks, exhibitions, live meetings and performances, videos, posters, books and website, to create an adaptive communication for several targets, in order to convey its message to as many people as possible. The core of this campaign is the collaboration, during design phase, between scientists and designers: the former give campaign contents, which are then translated by the latter into the most suitable and effective media.
The whole identity of the campaign answers to the simple question: “Who (or What) is the science?” Since the main goal of the project is to create content directly from scientists’ words and lives, the answer is really simple: “Io sono Scienza” (I am Science), a pay off that pull the observer right into the concept, creating a direct link between him and the main characters of the campaign, scientists and science’s marvels.
All the visual elements of the identity and the campaign are built to express all the values set at the end of the research. The logo is based on connections and golden ratio grid, two symbols of scientific community and imagery. The identity is dynamic, evolving in space and time, and it’s brighten up by brilliant colors and gradients, all elements that will be present in campaign’s media.
The posters are the first step of the communication, apart from Twitter. Their aim is to amaze the viewer, juxtaposing a daily life image, that every layman knows, and a complex scientific concept, showing how science is really part of our lives. Again, the colors and gradients set the “awesomeness” tone of the visuals.
The books are meant to be given for free, to create a “public domain” consciousness of knowledge. Moreover, their aim is to express all contradictions which science is made of, showing and explaining two opposite themes on different sides of the same book: relative vs absolute, past vs future, beauty vs horror… Science is made by humans, and humans are made of contradictions: that’s the reality of science.
Facebook is split into two different pages: one institutional, “Io Sono Scienza”, the other one “viral”, “Io Sono Cose che Vuoi Umani Non Potreste Immaginarvi” (“I am things you people wouldn’t believe”, a direct quote from Blade Runner). This way, the communication on the social network is wide-spread, taking out the most of its possibilities; also, special graphics are created for the posts.
“Io Sono Scienza” produces also science motion graphics video, a trend that has already great examples nowadays. Moreover, Youtube channel is used to spread content, and to create themed playlists.
Meetings & Performances
One of the centers of the campaign are the public performances of scientists, that mix a science lesson with the art of the buskers: that’s Street Science, the most innovative way the campaign has to reach directly the people, putting them in front of the marvels of science, and letting them talk face to face with scientists of all disciplines.
“Io Sono Scienza” organizes also exhibitions of two kinds: the most important are the ones set into exhibition spaces, interactive experiences based on sliding screens and sensors based content. The other exhibition format is the one on the streets, big double-sided photographic panels. The themes are, again, the ones of the books.
The real center of the campaign, the website let the visitor to explore science 360 degrees. Here one can find the “reality” of science, the people, the stories, the knowledge, the archive of present and past researches in Italy. One can browse all the campaign’s content, discovering all the amazing voices of real science.