I hope you are doing fine and enjoying these last days of August.
I’m about to go to the airport to come back home after two holiday weeks in Italy, my native country. They have been really intense days, with hugs with friends and beloved family: a trip full of emotions, of unforgettable moments and also a great chance to do a little bit introspection.
Italy is the place where I grew up, lived and experimented lots of things, so coming back here for me is, normally, a great to put my life on “pause”, take a break and leave the memories arise. This is why today I’m very eager to share with you something very personal and related to my origins.
Everytime I come back to Italy, my parents take me in at their home, the same one I grew up together with my brother and sisters. Is a house in the countryside in the outskirts of the city, big enough for a family of ten people to live in. A great family in which, as I was growing up, taught me I had to collaborate and to manage by myself almost for everything.
For me, it was a great learning experience and I am aware that it has been an uncommon one if I compare it with people my age. When we were little, we spent most of the time outside the house, in the garden, in the vegetable garden and also in the wooden little house that my father (a biologist professor) and my grandfather (a retired electrician) had built together and in which my grandfather raised chicken and rabbits. I have lots of beautiful memories of these outdoor moments.
These days I have been spending again some time in my parents garden: is a pretty wild one, a sustainable place where nature is free and most of the plants grow without being without restrictions. A peculiar aspect this garden has is that the plants have names: for example, there is a Lantana that has my name, Lucia, a pear tree that is called Eva as for my niece and many more. This was my parents idea: both of them studied biology and they wanted us to considerate plants as the living beings they are: for me and my brothers, they were the first ambassadors of a respectful live towards nature.
I remember that, when I was a child, my father worked at the Botanical Institute of Ferrara and, in front of it, there was a great park with wide variety of trees. When we were there with him, he would explain us lots of anecdotes about the wonderful mechanisms of nature. It was a way to discover things mixing theory with practice and nature was our life teacher. I was totally amazed by the incredible design solutions that plants made use of to resolve any problem that may arise. They were the first experiences that helped me understand that shape and function go together or, as the architect Louis Henry Sullivan said: “form follows function”.
Mi vision about plants and nature was taking shape. They were not only wonderful items with an unquestionable aesthetic value, but great resources of solutions and wisdom to solve our everyday problems. The thing that has always fascinated me is the idea that plants, in general, never waste energy, and they use a solution to resolve more than an issue. In their vital functions they do not waste even a bit of their energy in actions or movements that are not really fundamental. Nature and plants in particular are an immense resource of inspiration.
These moments in the garden and the walks along the countryside surrounding my parent’s house, have made me relive this atmosphere, to feel the emotion of looking and discover things with the eyes of a child. See my grandpa taking care of the vegetable garden, spending entire summer evenings leafing through wonderful books full of botanical drawings, chit chatting with my parents in the garden or at the park or visiting the botanical garden. I am sure that all of this has deeply influenced my work.
This year, I have enjoyed a lot my visit to Italy. Holidays are the perfect moment to re-connect with the world of ideas and creativity. Also, this year has also been a great opportunity to look closely my passion’s origin.