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ristretto to information design

Carla & Stefania [Cafè Mendi, Aversa]

contents 1 Why Ristretto ––– 3 2 Genuine Espresso ––– 4 3 Hippocampo ––– 6 4 Triple Diamonds ––– 7 5 LATCH and Universal Design ––– 8 6 The Dog and Omotenashi––– 10 7 First Steps ––– 12 8 Platforms and Shinto ––– 14 9 Icebergs and Flowers ––– 16 10 Street Photography ––– 18 11 Quotes and Notes ––– 20 12 White ––– 22


RISTRETTO … It was almost wintertime when we had an easy going, in-depth discussion on the essence of information design during a one-week project at the Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana. Quoting „Espresso“ a metaphor of Graziella Tonfoni, Roberta stated that „Ristretto“ might be an additional way to describe the nature of excellent information design in daily life. So this notebook is the smaller extension to the „Espresso“ booklet.

Roberta Nozza Binago / Italy


It started with an

ESPRESSO ‌ According to Graziella Tonfoni Information Design could be compared to the concept of an Italian espresso: it needs strong beans = content; well roasted and brewed = competence; as little water as necessary = short; made with Moka-machine = simple; presented sweet and usable = aesthetics; to be enjoyed in public life = context.

Graziella Tonfoni Bologna / Italy






0,2 sec

0,7 sec

1,2 sec

Time Management

HIPPOCAMPO‌ belongs to the limbic system and plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, Impact is a matter of time management: 0,2 seconds to gain attention, 1,2 seconds to create relevance, 0,7 seconds to be stored.



discover define



develop deliver

detect distill

Best friends

TRIPLE DIAMONDS… A revolving three steps design process, in an ongoing sequence of opening-up and making decisions stages: STEP-1: Explore open: get as many as possible input decide: on the topic: who will benefit in which situation STEP-2: Make open: what are the various ways decide: on the activity within given time and resources STEP-3: Check open: collect any reactions decide: which of them to consider relevant for re-design


Organising Data


Any design takes place in situations. Any situation is a set of data. Any date

L ocation

can be organized and represented in at least five main dimensions: Locations, visualized by maps


Alphabet, as a glossary or index Time, like timelines or sequences


Categories, differences without ratings Hierarchies, in measurable figures.


A lphabet


Richard Saul Wurman


t 1

T ime

C ategory

H ierachy



As a starting point

UNIVERSAL DESIGN… Age, disabilities, culture, language, impairments, being a celebrity or a refugee, having a broken leg or just a heavy suitcase, there are many reasons to feel handicapped and limited. Any concepts include three conditions: Enable and protect privacy, give access to (public) spaces and offer participation in social life. Thomas Bade



THE DOG If you have lost your dog, there might be three strategies to reunite: • search for the dog • how would a finder behave • imagine you are the dog This third perspective could be applied to anything: Imagine being a sign, a folder, fruit in the supermarket, tickets of a theater, an invitation card, a shoe on the shelf or a cup of espresso: So, how, when, where, by whom would you like to be presented, handled, communicated or recycled. – 10 –

An attitude

OMOTENASHI ‌ The spirit of selfless hospitality. At the core of omotenashi is attentiveness to the needs of others. To be attentive means to read the atmosphere, sense the mood and feel the invisible energy pervading an occasion.

Tokyo, Daikanyama Ivy-Place

Keiichi Koyama Tokyo

Pedestrian Wayfindingsystem Vienna / Austria

Well planned

FIRST STEP … The direction of the first step is crucial. As in walking situations (you never want to go back) or when ploughing. Extensive research and orientation enable to identify a promising path for future activities, concepts and designs. This first path is determinant and should be accompanied by immediate quick, low-resolution prototyping.

– 12 –

Ploughing Worldchampionship Fuchsenbigl / Austria

Design offers a platform for

SOCIAL INTERACTION … Bringing people together, creating an atmosphere of respect and appreciation, offering a stage for dialogue, listening, understanding and fruitful interactions. Making data accessible, unknown fields familiar and giving shape to ideas and phantasies. In this sense, we are empowering people to come to better decisions and attain their goals.

– 14 –

temporary design


Every 20 years Shinto shrines were torn down. The process of rebuilding the wooden structure every couple decades helped to preserve the original architect’s design against the otherwise eroding effects of time. Information Design is an ongoing dialogue with the context, therefore also the elimination is part of the design concept.

– 15 –


ICEBERG … application: you see: the tip of the iceberg, any kind of visible- and sense capable design: pictograms, visuals, infographics, signage, forms. But it is always based on: Analysis, understanding, structures, concepts, systematics and procedures. Like the iPod and iTunes. For information design elements: Always as little as possible.

– 16 –

Bouquet of

FLOWERS … It was in Japan, being in a hurry, a ready-to-go bouquet was the ideal offer for a short stopover in the flower shop. But in Tokyo, the lovely young florist exchanged every single flower, which was not 100% fresh. This is quality. Following the iceberg model, the less we do the impeccable ist has to be. When it comes to design, God is truly in the details. Masaaki Hiromura

– 17 –

Tokyo, TĹ?kaidĹ?-line to Yokohama


PHOTOGRAPHY … Street photography is often candid photography of life and human nature. It is a way to show our surroundings, and how we as photographers as well as designers relate to them. We are filtering what we see, to find the moments that intrigue us, and to then share them with others. James Maher It is about documenting others, places, and the streets with your heart. Having an open mind, and wandering the streets, and exploring, with no concepts or pre-conceived ideas. Eric Kim – 19 –



Design is the transformation of existing conditions into preferred ones. Herbert Simons If there is not coffee for everyone, there will be coffee for none. Ernesto Che Guevara The everyday material under which people live actually create the way they see and understand the world. Karl Marx No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. Adam Smith To remember simplified pictures is better than to forget accurate figures. Otto Neurath Use what exists, to create what is to be. Soichiro Fukutake Photography helps people to see. Berenice Abbott The eye should learn to listen before it looks. Robert Frank

– 20 –

Max Wertheimer

GESTALTGESETZE… Gestalt psychology is a concept to understand how to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions.: Law of Proximity, Similarity, Closure, Symmetry, Common Fate, Continuity, Good Gestalt and Past Experience.

John Maeda

SIMPLICITY… Reduce – Educate – Feelings – Organize – Context – Trust – Contrast – Distance – Open – Skip the obvious, show the relevant.

and Your

NOTES… This booklet is a notebook for your thoughts and perceptions. Please don´t hesitate to make it yours.

– 21 –


WHITE … ”White“ symbolising simplicity and subtlety, which prompted Hara Kenya to associate the colour white with emptiness and in visual communication the ability to listen.

– 22 –

Daniela [Doppio Zero, Lecce]

2019 welcome@hi-pe.at