#nevicata14 was the experimental pedestrian configuration of piazza Castello — the second most important square in the city of Milan, during Expo Milano 2015. #nevicata14, is the Italian for “snowfall of 2014”, an original idea to artificially recreate what happens when a thick layer of snow covers the city. Learn more about the project.
From the very beginning #nevicata14 was not a traditional purely architectural project, but a hybrid space with a system of services and strong vision. It required work on the brand for number of reasons: to connect the physical and intangible layers into a consistent system, to communicate the vision and also to strengthen the value of this new space overcoming the dominance of Castello, making it’s not just a spot to pass through on the way to the Castle, but an enjoyable space for various activities.
After a long process we came up to the flexible open identity representing main elements of furniture reorganized in different ways — just as the square which was open to multiple uses and changes.
To start the elements were organized in 5 main logos with possibility to apply them with continuous gradient or different patterns based on the combination of elements and gradients:
Informational poles in the square:
In addition to the regular elements installed in the square like benches, umbrellas from the sun, etc., also the informational poles were designed. They had the crucial role for #nevicata14 bringing together two layers of space— physical and digital, working as a portal between the two and creating continuous experience.
Six poles were located at the main points of access to the square. Each was holding 7 posters in 3 languages (Italian, English, Chinese) with general intro about #nevicata14, map of the square with description of each island, directions to sightseeing points around, info about wifi service, website and social networks pages of #nevicata14.
Thanks to this guests entering the square could immediately connect to the Openwifimilano network and get access to the Internet, where at the website and social channels of #nevicata14 they could find out about activities planned in the physical space, participate in them, document what was happening and contribute to online channels directly from the square.
Three of the poles were bilingual — Italian/English and 3 others for Italian, Chinese, English respectively, to help distinguishing them, each language had a dedicated version of gradient.
One of the surprising aspects was the impact of Wifi signs. Eventually #nevicata14 got often mentioned as “the square with public Wifi”, even if numerous public spaces in Milan have municipal Wifi service as well, but the signs are probably not that visible and don’t give full info on how to access the service.
Web and Socials:
Website of #nevicata14 was telling the story of the project, why was it made, how and by whom, explaining what is special about it, telling about all the equipment in the square and digital services, bringing together also the social media flows for the full coverage of the life of the square.
All the same principles were used in the website (nevicata14.it) design: 2 different gradients, distinctive font, pattern of elements, plus all the photos edited with special #nevicata14 filters:
#nevicata14 started its life on social media from the very beginning of the project in July 2014 with the Facebook page, which changed its style a lot after project was selected for implementation and therefore the page became official channel of the square, not just of group of designers. Also Twitter was opened for the live communication.
#nevicata14lab was a month of our residency in Expogate, which was happening at the same time with construction process in the square. During this time we were communicating the progress, working as an open studio welcoming any citizen to pass by and also organizing series of events on topics of public spaces and urban welfare.
We have personalized the space developing particular variation of visual identity and also finding the way to involve everyone in its creation.
We decided to use the glass walls as the screen to represent our work and activities going on inside. It had a “calendar”applied to it, signalizing each date of our presence in Expogate, under which we were putting materials produced during that day and announcements about the future events planned. This was another tactics of sharing work with people and opening #nevicata14 to the citizens.
In the end of the Lab all the stickers were saved for the future use ;)
One of the favorite activities during #nevicata14lab was the stamping lab. From the beginning #nevicata14 was thought as an open space for everyone to contribute to it, the same value was represented in the flexible identity. The next logical step was to invite everyone to participate in it. Together we have created stamps for the elements and decorated various objects with it, letting people to bring some pieces of #nevicata14 with them.
In fact one of the inspiration secrets behind the identity of #nevicata14 was the stamps sets —they’re playful and open for everyone to use, and hold infinite numbers of unique patterns variations. So in the end we made also the #nevicata14 set.
#nevicata14 &Interstellar Raccoons Xmas 2015:
For the second year we wanted to greet our network and friends for all their work, support and contributions to the projects we make. This time we also used this occasion to properly close the #nevicata14 process.
We used materials remaining after #nevicata14LAB — paper, stickers from the windows, banner to bring in some gradient, stamps. With all these we have stamped new postcards, made the notebooks and as a special gift — assembled packages of #nevicata14 samples: pieces of “snow” from the square together with little bit of gradient.
With this last initiative almost one year of #nevicata14 identity evolution got to its logical finale.
Credits — Interstellar Raccoons:
Art-direction: Marco Lampugnani, lead designer: Yulya Besplemennova, with contribution and work of all the team: Camilla Ceschi, Camilla Marini, Martina Pini, Marco Pioventini, Chiara Cicchianni during #nevicata14LAB, and coordination with Guidarini-Salvadeo studio