Civica Scuola Interpreti e Traduttori Altiero Spinelli

Fondazione Milano Scuole Civiche

Roberta Cesani, Laura Zanetti

Permanent graphics and signage project for School of Interpreters and Translators Altiero Spinelli – Milano. 2015 – 2017

The construction, built in the Thirties, was in need of renovation: over the years the original materials were worn out, a wrong use of colors made the spaces look smaller and uncomfortable. We were asked to cowork with the architects of Fondazione Milano to restore the building and to make it suitable for students, teachers and school staff

After finding new shades of white and grey for the walls and the new flooring, classrooms and circulation areas looked much more open and spacious, although the white walls seemed intimidating. The second step was inserting some graphics on the walls and the challenge was to create not just decorations but something meaningful.

We wrote on the walls ten articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

We produced two series of the first ten articles in ten languages: Italian, Arabic, Russian, English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese.

And we also designed the signage for a wayfinding system, producing pictograms according to the lines and shapes of Gill Sans typefaces, designed by Eric Gill between 1928-1930, the same years when the school was built.