Communicating Through Abstracting

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Communicating Through Abstracting

Luca Tommasi



The urban plan of the area of Scalo Farini, the biggest dismissed railway line entering in Milan, reflects about the foundation of a clear planning and its shapes and proportions. The repetition of the singular element of the system, the block “à redent”, builds the form of the urban planned space, ending in the castle which closes the axe. In the end, the water and the green systems make the nature a fundamental component for the inhabitants life and the architectonic form itself, making the project a survey about the relation between the nature and the city, and their shapes.

This is an academic work done at the fourth year in the Architecture Faculty of the Politecnico di Bari, under the supervision of the prof. arch. Carlo Moccia.



It was very important, in the drawing, to convey the sense of deep nature rather than presenting the reality of the surrounding city. Abstracting the project from that element, it was possible, helped by the big dimension of the urban plan, to focus on the nature and the sensation caused by the overlapping of it with the buildings.





 Who influences you graphically?

Generally my influences lies in the variety of the everyday images I get to see daily, from the places I walk through to the feeds of the sites I usually watch, from the axonometric of the Lego instructions to the soviet and austrian paintings between XIX and XX century passing by graffiti and architecture drawings and photography. For this particular project I stumbled upon the work of the Russian movement of the “Peredvižniki” (“the wanderers”), which I tried to merge with the need of a clear and immediate palette of primary colours.


What is the effect and purpose of the white frame?

The white frame has a double purpose: on one hand it is very useful, for me, to reach graphically a sense of completeness within the drawings, showing that every one of them has a beginning and an end, lying inside that frame. On the other hand, while the drawing itself is always a direct consequence of the design – and not the design done thinking about the drawing I’ll made – it is useful to frame the perspectives to see them as a painting, allowing me to focus on the final results, which has to please me in itself. The white has another fundamental task: to be an abstract and anonymous background for those drawing, like the morfema or the axonometries and facades of the block, which I’ve chosen to display within a neutral, non-realistic context.


What dictated how you chose to format – two or more images on a page?

The two image on a page format forces the viewer, and have forced myself first, to make a direct comparison, a sort of final check, between the topic presented: in this way, for example, while viewing the masterplan you’re brought to see what is the spacial result of the planning in the axial perspective, or you can easily see the relation between the internal distribution and the volumes of the blocks or, in the end, you can confront the different sides of the block with everyone of their facades and sections.


How did you achieve this sense of deep nature you were interested in covering?

In order to achieve that sense of nature, it was necessary to erase all of the informations that would have disturbed that sensation. Abstracting the volumes of the project from the real city and its urban context, and placing them in an unreal and not defined background which has to convey that sense of forest and nature I wanted to express, helped me to get the result I wanted to communicate.

What influenced the choice of colour palette?

My colour-blindness and the need of clarity and contrast in the drawings I made is always the first filter I apply choosing the palette. In this case it was a very primordial, elemental approach: the red stands for the bricks, the green stands for the grass and the trees, the white stands for the plastered concrete and the light blue stand for the water. Adding a dark blue for the shadows, to get an higher sense of non-realism, and the yellow for some skies and background, allowed me to have a very basic palette with the primary colors plus the green. It was a very basic approach to reach a direct and easily understandable outcome.



Luca Tommasi, architect, graduated in 2016 at the Politecnico di Bari with a thesis about morphological analysis of the city of Maastricht and Aachen with a project on the latter. Currently working in Bari and assisting the composition course of the fourth year in his university. Attended different seminars and workshops and wrote papers about the typological analysis of the Northern Europe cities.



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