Sfondo Italiano


Fisher ARCHitecture has now designed a line of clothing we named “Sfondo Italiano”!  First off, many thanks are due here to Viviana Altieri, pictured on the right,  who runs the remarkable Italian language learning studio, Istituto Mondo Italiano, here in Pittsburgh. As some readers are aware, I’ve been taking classes there to improve my Italian (in an effort to keep up with my Italian wife/partner, Bea!)

We meet weekly – online these days – and practice our nascent skills. There’s even homework. Students take it seriously. You haven’t experienced a true adrenaline rush till you have to present a project in front of her class. È  vero!

This design effort resulted from a class project. We had been studying words having to do with Italian fashion so I decided to design a line of clothing for Italian language students. My concept was to fill the clothing with Italian words and their English translations.  My partner on the project, and fellow classmate, Angela, was kind enough to go along with the idea.

The result, which we presented to our class in Italian,  was a big success!  My fellow students enjoyed the presentation but expressed particular fondness for one of the drawings that depicted a scarf:  The scarf was filled with Italian words and their English translations. You could even reverse it when you wanted to learn more: Words you typically learn in first year were depicted on one side. Second year words were on the other.

Our next step was to create a double-sided 70″x 12″ prototype. My engineer sister, Sally, who quilts on the side, turned me onto Spoonflower.com, an amazing online digital fabric-printing studio. We digitally printed the fabric there onto fleece for much less than you might think.  As you can see, Bea and I were delighted when the fabric arrived two weeks later.  The next day, Bea put her sewing machine to use and soon we had two super-comfy “Sfondo Italiano” scarves in our hands.

Naturally we gave one to Viviana!

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