San Diego Design Students Befriend An Italian Village
The village of Radicondoli, Italy, sits on a hilltop surrounded by nature and spectacular views. It’s similar to dozens of small villages in Tuscany. At the same time, it’s unique, with its own story and own struggles to stay connected in a changing world.
This particular Tuscan town became the focus of a unique collaboration with California college design students and their innovative ideas on how to invigorate an Italian village through design and marketing communications.
Design director Ron Miriello lives part-time in Radicondoli, near Siena, and thinks about ways how to connect his adopted home with the youthful energy and vitality of his other home, San Diego. “There’s a special relationship between tradition-less America and tradition-bound Italy. We see in each other what we don’t see in ourselves, and we learn,” says Miriello. He approached Professor Candice Lopez, head of graphic design studies at San Diego City College, about using Radicondoli as the “design-challenge” for her design and multimedia students. The design-challenge was to to increase awareness and interest in the village and its surroundings. “Our students immersed themselves in this project because it was real. I call it Travel By Design. Ron counseled them on what makes this village special; it’s geothermal, the music festival, rich artistic traditions, and ‘island in the clouds’ storyline. It became an inspired way for my students to solve real communications problems, to make international contacts and most importantly, to make a difference with their ideas,” said Lopez.
A medieval village of less than a thousand people may soon have, its own Wikipedia page, a GPS app, an integrated website, street banners, a signage system, brand identity, and retail packaging. As important, a new generation might have the opportunity to meet “their client” in person one day, in what could become the best branded village in Tuscany. ,