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LIVE Palazzo Person Scale Conversation Kit

Deck of playing cards of the typical Italian game Scopa.


In order to provide the project with funding and to create awareness for the disappearing city, as a mean to spark a conversation what could be better then a deck of playing cards. Scopa cards are traditionally italian, played at all ages but mostly with elderly, it is a very common pastime.

1. Sketch of the concept behind the deck of cards. 2. Rendered mockup of the cards


3. Final design ace of coins 4. Original Italian ace of coins 5. Mockup of card reference



Scopa is an Italian card game, and one of the two major national card games in Italy. It is also popular in Brazil, brought in by Italian immigrants, mostly in the Scopa di Quindici variation. It is played with a standard Italian 40-card deck, mostly between two players or four in two partnerships, but it can also be played by 3, 5, or 6 players.

6. People playing scopa

A deck of Italian cards consist of 40 cards, divided into four suits. Neapolitan, Piacentine, Triestine, and Sicilian cards are divided into Coppe (Cups), Ori or Denari (Golds or Coins), Spade (Swords) and Bastoni (Clubs), while Piemontesi, Milanesi and Toscane cards use the ‘French’ suits, that is Cuori (Hearts), Quadri (Diamonds, literally “Squares”), Fiori (Flowers) and Picche (Spades, literally “Pikes”).


7. Final design ace of cups 8. Original Italian ace of cups 9. Mockup of card reference


10. Final design ace of clubs 11. Original Italian ace of clubs 12. Mockup of card reference


The values on the cards range numerically from one through seven, plus three face cards in each suit: Knave [Fante in Italian] (worth a value of 8), Knight [Cavallo in Italian] in the Neapolitan-type decks or Queen [Donna in Italian] in the Milanese-type decks (worth 9), and King [Re in Italian] (worth 10). A Knave is a lone male figure standing. The Knight is a male figure riding a horse; the Queen is a female figure. The

13. Image of printed cards on luggage

King is a male figure wearing a crown. To determine the face value of any numeric card, simply count the number of suit icons on the card. Since the Coins are important in winning some points, the cards of that suit are also nicknamed as “bello” (handsome): so, “il settebello” is the Seven of Coins, “l’asso bello” is the Ace of Coins/ Diamonds.


14. Final design ace of swords 15. Original Italian ace of swords 16. Mockup of card reference


17. Pattern elements 18. Final design of card back 19. Card reference


The choice of the symbols on the cards is in response to Palazzo, it’s businesses and requirements. The Marche region, famous for its leather goods governs the back of the cards. Money, the most important symbol of the deck is represented by the coin. Wine, a local product is another symbol. Spade for the agriculture of the area. Wood, for the construction companies of the area that have a big involvementin the business of the area.

20. Image of cards at Palazzo’s consortium

Designed by Unit+ Attributes of Icons from The Noun Project: Acorn designed by Adam M. Mullin from The Noun Project. Bird Cage designed by Matthias Schmidt und Jule Steffen from The Noun Project. Coins designed by Bram van Rijen from The Noun Project. Cow designed by Olivier Guin from The Noun Project. Drop designed by Fernando Vasconcelos from The Noun Project. Bird designed by Bram van Rijen from The Noun Project. Horseshoe from The Noun Project. Shovel designed by Steven Dow from The Noun Project. Wine designed by Paul Philippe Berthelon Bravo from The Noun Project. Flower from The Noun Project. Grape designed by Stefano Bertoni from The Noun Project. Hit designed by Andrey Gerasimov from The Noun Project.


“Palazzo, an image of the memory to save” cit. LIVE Palazzo-How will the cities in constant demographic declin be in a not to distant future? How can we save ghost towns?


In April 2013 UNIT+ in collaboration with Riserva Privata San Settimio will present in Palazzo D’Arcevia an installation produced through a study that analises the past and the present and imagines a future for ghost towns. Taking Palazzo D’Arcevia as an examplary case we want to offer an hipothetic solution at the problem of shrinking cities and ghost towns (of which the centre of Italy is full). The temporary installation doesn’t want to be a finished product but a tool through which, together with you, residents of Palazzo D’Arcevia, we imagine a future. The interactive structure will represent an idea and will gather

thoughts, ideas and information to bring the design to a higher level of detailed analisis. Subsequently, in June 2013, we will present a summary document of the project and of the final proposals to the council. The goal of “LIVE Palazzo” is that of experimenting a collaboration between designer/artists and the inhabitants of shrinking cities, in this case Palazzo D’Arcevia, to spark conversations on the revitalization of cities; ultimately to ideate together strategies to recover and re-live the centre of Italy in its history and in its future unifying the arts with the every day life. We are sending you these playing cards made especially for Palazzo D’Arcevia to start thinking about the project before April 2013, but also the have fun! They were inspired by the arts and crafts of Palazzo.

LIVE Palazzo Playing Cards  

Diary of the playing cards design for April 2013 UNIT+ Installation in Italy for the Operazione Arcevia 2.

LIVE Palazzo Playing Cards  

Diary of the playing cards design for April 2013 UNIT+ Installation in Italy for the Operazione Arcevia 2.