About Pino Trogu

At SF State Since:



Recent publications:

Trogu, Pino. Counting But Losing Count: the Legacy of Otto Neurath’s Isotype ChartsVisible Language 52.2 Summer 2018, pp. 83–109. Download article: https://t.co/E5yN3U7EYq

Trogu, Pino. Giorgio Scarpa’s Model of a Sea Urchin Inspires New Instrumentation. Leonardo (MIT). Just Accepted publication October 31, 2016. doi:10.1162/LEON_a_01384

Trogu, Pino. The Image of the Book: Cognition and the Printed PageDesign Issues (MIT) 31.3 (2015): pp. 28-40. doi: 10.1162/DESI_a_00336 


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 focuses on 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 related to problems of data visualization.

In the School of Design (formerly the Design and Industry Department – DAI), I teach Introduction to Drawing for Designers, a sketching, drafting, and drawing class for prospective design majors, Letterpress Printing, using movable metal type and printing presses, and Information Design: Data Visualization, an elective class for upper division students.

For the academic year 2017–18 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 the bio-mechanical engineering department (BITE Group, minimally invasive surgical instrumentation, Prof. Paul Breedveld).