Recent publications


Interview: Leonardo Book Club (Leonardo, MIT Press): Live discussion with Pino Trogu, author, “Giorgio Scarpa’s Model of a Sea Urchin Inspires New Instrumentation” – Length: 58:38. April 24, 2019.

Live discussion of my article on Giorgio Scarpa which was the featured article (free download) in the April 2019 issue of Leonardo journal (MIT Press).

Trogu, Pino. Giorgio Scarpa’s Model of a Sea Urchin Inspires New Instrumentation – Leonardo, 52.2, MIT Press, 2019, pp. 146–151.

The article describes Giorgio Scarpa’s (Italy, 1938–2012) bionic model of “Aristotle’s Lantern” – the mouth of the sea urchin, and how it recently inspired designs for an experimental biopsy harvester and for a mini-rover prototype to collect soil samples on Mars.
"Leonardo is the leading international peer-reviewed journal on the use of contemporary science and technology in the arts and music and, increasingly, the application and influence of the arts and humanities on science and technology."

Trogu, Pino. Counting But Losing Count: the Legacy of Otto Neurath’s Isotype Charts – Visible Language, 52.2, 2018, pp. 83–109.

Despite their widespread use, the article questions the usefulness of bar charts made up of repeated little human figures or little dots, "and concludes that counting rows of pictograms is not as effective for reaching a total as reading an arabic number."
"Visible Language is the oldest peer–reviewed design journal (...) first published in 1967 [on the basis that] research and scholarly information [are] essential to the development of communication design and in particular to the development of typography in its support of reading and writing."

Trogu, Pino. The Landscape of the Physical Book: Space and Memory in the Printed Page – TXT – The Book Issue, Amsterdam University Press, 2018, pp. 90–99.

Q: Why the puzzling resilience of printed books? A: Better learning by physically moving through the pages; The fixed shape and frame of reference of pages are great aids to memory; Paper and book design always guarantee proper functioning of reading activity.

Trogu, Pino. The Image of the Book: Cognition and the Printed Page – Design Issues, 31.3, MIT Press, 2015, pp. 28–40.

Is it possible that in another five hundred years, paper will be obsolete as the material of choice for making books, and that only digital books will be available? Even though digital gurus such as Nicholas Negroponte, who in 2010 said that physical books had five years of life left in them, assure us this is the case, perhaps this obsolescence will not fully happen because of certain qualities of the printed book that complement a reader’s psychological makeup.
Design Issues is "the first American academic journal to examine design history, theory, and criticism. Design Issues provokes inquiry into the cultural and intellectual issues surrounding design."