In Written Word

The summer evening is dark and pleasantly warm, as I am not used to it anymore. While the music has stopped, the crowd is still hanging in the park 1 walking the geometric pathways carefully sculpted in the vegetation. The meadow is blossoming for the city insects and the brand-new skyscrapers surround the piazza as if they were to protect the quiet. I haven’t been here since my master’s studies, thirteen years ago. This area was a shapeless working site, that didn’t betray any of his future intentions. I want to cherish this atmosphere of suspension, but a sense of perspective inevitably pervades my experience. As I stroll around, it feels like I am going over every single step of the decade-long journey that leads me here again.

I have been invited by POLI.design2 to speak to their Master Students about my own experience and how the discipline developing, being a former student myself. I have been actively reflecting on my work and the status quo of the discipline for a few years now, so putting together the material for my speech was relatively simple. I had only to commit to the written words some of the ideas that slowly took shape in my head over a long time. I thought this was a good forum and for me a good opportunity to start disclosing my opinions. I will publish my speech here, later on.

Many times over the years I have been reflecting on my work. I always thought that this introspection on the discipline was necessary and to be cared for, and deserved more The medium is the message. Social media turn information into noise, the conversation into jabber, opinions into the simplest ontological statements shouting- I speak/post, therefore I am. As I was feeling drowning in this ocean of noise, I less and less participated in social media, until completely abandoning them. Unfortunately, my hiatus also coincided with a more conflictual experience with writing, that became exclusively private. However, I have been missing an outlet for my work, as confrontation is necessary. Hence I decided to redesign my website to record my work, which I am launching on this occasion.

I designed this version of the website to host work-in-progress projects as I am working on them and to host some of my critical reflections on the work and the discipline itself when I think they are ready to be shared in public. I have added a blog section as I want to re-establish a deeper connection between the written word and the long form. For the moment, I am planning to write in English, but there could be exceptions for the Italian language if needed. Even if my stance on social remains the same, I believe there is value in creating a community and keeping readers posted on updates. For this reason, I have decided to experiment with a mailing list, which I want to edit with the same care as the rest of the content on this website. It is a project, likely to evolve over the months after this release.

As I am walking through the evening a comparison with the working sites I used to cross as a student is inevitable. I can see the vagueness of possibility pervading an evening like this one. I can see hopes and dreams, fear of the unknown and genuine excitement as I have found in the questions of students that respectfully approached me after my presentation. I can see the same curiosity, and eagerness to experiment and to start the next project that still keeps me connected to the discipline today. A stronger sense of perspective is inevitable though. What’s been built is informing a clear point of view. A critical mindset is to inform


  1. Parco Biblioteca degli Alberi, Milano. Designed by Petra Blassie and Piet Oufolf, Wikipedia

  2. Post-graduate school in Design of the Politecnico di Milano, Website

Dimitri Berti, 2023