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Antonio Scarponi

Dr. Antonio Scarponi is an architect, designer, educator, and the founder of Conceptual Devices, a Zurich-based office with the mission to develop design strategies with social, economic, and poetic impact.

Antonio Scarponi’s projects take the form of narrations that activate and repurpose objects and subjects such as local communities, industries, agencies, and municipalities. In addition, he has been active in the field of resilient urban strategies with a strong focus on urban agriculture. 

Dr. Scarponi’s 2007 interactive project “Dreaming Wall,” installed in a historic Milanese square, was a digitally generated billboard that displayed randomly chosen real-time text messages sent to the projector by people from across the globe. The projector beamed ultraviolet lasers onto the billboard’s phosphorescent, UV-sensitive green panels, which allowed each message to remain visible on the panels for 15 minutes before making way for another “dream.” The dissolving layers of messages produced the “subconsciousness of a city asleep.”

Antonio Scarponi is the author of ELIOOO, an urban agriculture manual that activates the IKEA distribution infrastructure to build devices for growing vegetables above ground which is part of a collection of “counter products”, designed to transform the consumer into a producer of an idea that otherwise would not exist. This book has been translated into German, Japanese and Russian.

Recently, Dr. Scarponi has been active globally in the field of resilient urban strategies, focusing specifically on urban agriculture. He has designed several soilless urban agricultural projects at different scales of interventions.

Currently, Dr. Scarponi teaches Interdisciplinary Design and serves as the co-head of the Certificate of Advanced Studies Knowing Space at the Zurich University of Arts (ZHDK). He also teaches Exhibition Scenography at The Master in Education and Curatorial Studies. He is leading a research project for the reactivation of the Olivetti UNESCO World Heritage Factory in Ivrea, coordinating an EU Horizon 2020 grant request.