Streets are full of unnoticed letters most often hand-made or designed long ago. The Lettering da is a project which put together a collection of letters, numbers and street inscriptions, whose design and typography is then analyzed and redesigned. It started in 2012 by Silvia Virgillo and was born from her fascination with urban typographic elements visible in the public space. Its aim is to create a photographic archive of letters focusing on design that mirrors the historical period in which they originated. The project begun in Turin, birthplace of Silvia, and then spread to other Italian cities like Milan, Genoa, Mater, Venice, Rome, Faenza, Trieste, and Lecce. Each of these cities has its own curator, with a graphic education background and a passion for letter design. The curator’s task is to collect the material in the city, and then prepare it for the archives. It is later redesigned and made available in a web archive; the project is transparent and accessible to everyone. Every city has its Lettering da Facebook page that a particular curator regulates. The process of preparing material for the archive involves the digital transcription of letters, which are then compared with existing fonts. Then, their exact location as well as their origin and purpose are determined, documented and given a number. This project is just the starting point for what’s planned to be achieved in the future: designing completely new typographic letters inspired by city typography, hand-made or taken from a non-digitized alphabet. Lettering da is constantly growing because of the rich city typography of Italy, and many cities will join the project in the future. The desire of the curator is to bring the citizens closer to the treasures they pass on a daily basis, so that the typography of the cities will receive their deserved attention and respect. In addition to archiving and designing, this team also organizes various events, exhibitions, workshops, bicycle tours, which support this basic idea of promoting city inscriptions.
Category - Culture
Italians are known for their passion, their enthusiasm, their joie de vivre. This love of food, wine, art, romance and indulgence feels deeply ingrained in the modern Italian’s being, a genetic thread that runs through the country’s citizens. And where does this inherent hedonism come from? One can surely point to the ancient Italian city of Baia as one of the epicenters of Italian culture. Originally called Baiae and located on the Gulf of Naples, Baia served as an ancient Ibiza for the most elite and notable Romans during the Roman Empire. As a coastal town with a nearby volcano that created natural hot springs through the area, it was the perfect spot for emperors to unwind (and get into trouble). Roman engineers harnessed the hot springs’ healing effects for saunas and bath houses. The Romans built casinos and visitors hosted beachfront bacchanals that lasted all night long where the wine flowed and food was abundant. It was a party town in the purest sense, though it never attained legal municipal status.
Really, what is there to do in the winter except cozy up by the fire and eat lots of food and drink wine? For the residents of Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, there’s the annual Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival— the largest of its kind in the entire world.
While the festival was confined to local participants when it first started in 1963, its since become an international festival drawing contestants and visitors from all over the world. The festival had a brief intermission for a number of years due to the Cultural Revolution but reopened in 1985 in Zhaolin Park.
The festival begins on January 5 and lasts for an entire month though certain participants and areas will begin early and stay later, weather permitting. Average temperatures during this time of year hover between 1.8 and -31 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are two main areas of the city that get dedicated to the festival, though it is scattered throughout. Sun Island sits on the opposite side of the city proper, just on the other side of the Songhua River. Here, visitors will find an expo of outsized snow sculptures. Ice and Snow World, however, is a nighttime city built entirely from 3 inch thick blocks of ice that have been taken straight from the river.
Local artisans use swing saws, ice picks, and chisels to carve the ice into moveable blocks. The blocks are then used for the Snow World constructions or ice sculptors use them to create temporary works of art. Festival participants have learned how to use de-ionized water so that their ice blocks are crystal clear; additionally, they’ll use colored lights to illuminate their artworks.
In addition to the snow and ice sculptures, the festival also features a wide array of winter sports that include alpine skiing and even swimming in the river. Additionally, there’s a beautiful ice lantern exhibit in the Zhaolin Gardens.
In 2007, a snow sculpture celebrating the life of Canadian doctor Norman Bethune won the Guinness Record for largest snow sculpture, clocking in at 820 feet long, 28 feet high, 250 meters long and using almost 460,000 cubic feet of snow.
Last year’s festival celebrated 31 years with a “Ice Snow Harbin, Charming China Dream” theme. The city went all out and had an opening ceremony complete with a fireworks show. In addition to the usual ice lanterns, snow sculpture competitions and expos, the festival also featured fishing competitions, a group wedding ceremony, multiple fashion shows, live music and ice sports. sources: Wikipedia