About Pino Trogu




Additional Title: 

Information Design and Data Visualization


School of DesignCollege of Liberal and Creative Arts


Humanities (HUM)


Office Hours: 

Thursday: 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Office Hours (Additional Info): 

Advising appointments are made through the Navigator page. Use the link next to my name in the Advising Office Hours page: https://design.sfsu.edu/advising-office-hours.


At SF State Since:



I grew up on the island of Sardinia, Italy, where my father, who was a mason, taught me how to lay bricks in a straight line.

In Sardinia I attended the Istituto Statale d'Arte in Oristano, earning a diploma in Industrial Design in 1979. I earned a B.F.A. in graphic design in 1983 from the Istituto Superiore Industrie Artistiche in Urbino, Italy, and a M.F.A. in graphic design in 1985 from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, R.I., which I attended on a Fulbright scholarship.

I have been a generalist in my professional work as well as in my teaching, with projects ranging from museum exhibits to web design and film, and courses ranging from letterpress printing and bookbinding to drawing, environmental graphics, and information design. My research includes bioinspired design and psychology of perception, with a focus on metamaterials in the former and on working memory and cultural conventions in design in the latter, as they relate to problems of data visualization.

In the School of Design I teach Drafting and Sketching for Design, a hand-drawing class for industrial design majors, and Information Design: Data Visualization, which focuses on good graph construction. At State I have also taught Rapid Visualization and Letterpress Printing, using movable metal type and printing presses.

During the academic year 2017–2018 I was on sabbatical as a visiting scholar at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Netherlands, conducting research on bio-inspired design and transformable origami structures, hosted by Prof. Paul Breedveld (BITE Group), minimally invasive surgical instrumentation, in the bio-mechanical engineering department.

I will continue research on bio-inspired design and metamaterials during an upcoming 2024–2025 sabbatical year as a visting scholar at Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Intelligent Robotics and Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), Shenzhen, China, under the direction of Prof. Jian S. Dai, Dean of the Institute of Robotics,. Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering.

From 2013 to 2016 I served in the Academic Senate as part of the Faculty Affairs Commitee (FAC) which I chaired in 2015–16. I am again in the Academic Senate, in the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) for the 2022–25 term.

To view and download some of my recent publications, click here or the tab above (top right).