CultureInfo SE

Q&A — Aldo Caprini

CultureInfo SE
Q&A — Aldo Caprini

At what age did you first notice or become interested in design?
From very young I've been attracted by what's visual. I've always been struck by the first impression we receive of things – on the surface, if you like. Growing up I became more interested in every facet of the design practice, in its language and grammar. I decided to study it – I quit my first job as graphic designer for an agency in my hometown Verona to move to Milan to get a BA in Communication Design – and that I think was the moment I became more conscious about my practice. In addition to this, I'm very modest in the drawing, and that's the big gap between an artist and a designer. Sometimes I felt that the quote by Vico Magistretti " bel disegno tradotto nella concretezza dell'oggetto non conta nulla. Contano solo le idee..." / "...the beautiful drawing translated into the concreteness of the object does not count for anything. Only ideas do count..." would describe perfectly my path, from the surface to the ideas.

You describe yourself as "interested in developing visual narratives about complex and political issues" - can you tell us more about this?
My MA final project critiques the rhetorical approach to politics, and it aims to develop a visual narrative in order to stimulate, comment and interpret the present political situation using design strategies and research. One of the many theoretical approaches I have encountered during my MA at LCC is taking into consideration the political value of the work. Being critical is being political. To the extent of graphic design, and everything in the social environment, being part of an ideology is innate; that means that every act within this context is political. In taking sides regarding this position the designer is completely free, as the project is addressing the public. Even if the forensic activity I've developed within Damned Green is not enough to advocate an objective political design practice, it still represents to me a good opportunity to increase the responsibility and the authority of the designer. The Green Book narration is an applicable example of what the field can offer; in terms of construction, de–construction, and analysis of political imagery, it broadens the notion of theory towards “the visible”, tightening the gap between theory, critique, and practice.


What project have you worked on that you are most proud of?
I am proud of every project that reaches a sort of independence out of my control. Many young designers – including myself – today confuse their identity with the identity of the work and vice-versa. To me it is really important to mark this border. A Line Which Forms a Volume is a good example of this.

What are you currently working on?
At the moment I am working for a graphic design company based in London. In my spare time, I am carrying forward the Damned Green project. The key inquiry of the research is to establish the original network behind the production and diffusion of The Green Book, the ideological frame of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. On the SE side, I am still working within the MA GMD team at LCC (Paul Bailey, Katie Evans, Gabriela Matuszyk and Carlos Romo-Melgar) to the next issue of ALWFAV.

Who are your biggest influences? 
Enzo Mari. Italian and political.


What can you tell us about the MA Graphic Media Design course at LCC?
The course is a critical arena. During the year (45 week course) you have the chance to test ideas, materials and yourself. The course is rooted in the logic of critical thinking through critical making, and to me has offered, since the first day, both a practical (related to my practice) and personal growth. The heritage of the school is immense –  LCC roots date back to 1894 – and the environment is exciting. You have the chance to work with students from all over the world... this means exchange. The involvement within the MA GMD studio is maximum and if you take a look to 'With a Shift Simultaneous Realities Collide' you see an example of the course's potential.

Where are your favourite places in South East London?
Burgess Park, Peckhamplex and the White Cube gallery, to name but a few. I've been living in SE1 since last September and the whole area offers always something stimulating to do and see!