Four Short Films

Four Short Films

February 2016


neo~local design


As part of the project we experimented at Expo 2015, the task of designing a family of short films has been a great opportunity to explore the potential of the contemporary language of the moving image.


This part of the project was about designing and producing a set of modular multimedia elements, developed through the exploration of the different languages of cinema, animation, motion graphics. We set out our research effort along two main line of thinking.

Being aware of the overload of visual and environmental stimulation that our World’s Fair visitors would be subjected to, we decided to focus on a few strong key elements. At the same time, we decided to work on the idea of a family of films that, whilst being based on a variety of visual forms and dealing with different themes, could function as individual products, without losing the idea of a common structural matrix.
In order to fit the project organically within our general corporate identity and communication program our films had to meet other requirements.

Scheme of the common identity elements shared by the four films developed for Milan's Expo.

Firstly the films didn’t have to be perceived as foreign elements, but instead an integral part of the exhibition. It was therefore essential that, in their dynamic and narrative dimension, the shorts connected to the physical exhibits. We also wanted our four short films to become the core of a multimedia library of thematic insights, thought to feed the Expo web platform and to support the project component dealing with social networking.

The four films have been though as part of the exhibit as well as a multimedia show.
Combination of physical and digital elements as part of the design for Sardinia's Pavillion.

In this frame of reference, many of the constraints that the pavilion’s physical structure and equipment posed, became elements of strength in the project’s actual development.

To prevent the films’ simultaneous projection in the pavilion’s main hall a crowded environment and informative noise, would generate confusion, we have given the film a common rhythm track. It structured according to a common base, the audio track – created specifically for the project and subsequently declined in four dedicated versions, to accompany each of the four films – has allowed effective interchangeability. At the same time, sharing a common rhythmic score facilitated the modular composition, through installation and commissioning page, the visual components of the film.

The result is that the films can be though as four idents for a common theme. Developed by different work teams on a shared structure, the films present, topics ranging from the quality of food and of the environment, to active longevity and sustainable innovation, treating each one with a specific visual approach. The common structure, the identical duration, the sharing of some elements taken from the general identity project, allow the films to ‘talk’ to each other. The four films, which are ideally associated with different colors (white, black, gray, blue...) end up working like a family of audiovisual products sharing a robust identity. The films hence produce the sense of a visual familiarity. They can either act as a sort of ‘dynamic wallpaper’, that blends quietly in the design of the Pavillion, as well as an integrated media show in which the four pieces can either be seen and enjoyed on their own or as a system working together.


Nicolò Ceccarelli

Associate Professor, Alghero School of Design


Associate Professor in Design at the Alghero Department of Architecture, Design and Planning. Over the years he has oriented his research work towards the interactions between design and digital technology, exploring various research fields such as 3D modeling and design visualization, heritage valorization, the exploration of new languages for making information accessible, through visual design. In 2013 he organized and hosted the first edition of the international design conference 2CO_COmmunicating Complexity. More recently, in his research laboratory ‘animazionedesign’, he started exploring ways to develop a design approach aware of the local dimension, working abroad, in Morocco and Palestine, and in Sardinia, with a major research project at the 2015 Expo, a project about the dissemination of his University's historic scientific museum, and a multimedia installation for the PastFuture exhibit at Milan's Triennale.

After organizating and chairing the second edition of the international design conference 2CO_COmmunicating Complexity, Tenerife, Canary islands, Spain, November 2017, Nicolò is currently engaged in a new exciting project about visualizing the 'Statuti Sassaresi' a codex from the beginning of the 14th century