The book contains all of Piero Polato’s projects, from the first set designs for RAI TV to his television programmes, product designs, graphic and book designs. The first three parts start with conversations between Polato and Giampiero Bosoni on the designing of stage sets, trade fairs, exhibitions and interiors. They talk about how the difficulties of working in the television studios, lack of time and limited budgets have been partly responsible for a specific methodology in the design. And how needs are a starting point for success. The second part comprises a collection of trade fair and exhibition designs – from the “I 50 della Triennale” exhibition in Milan in 1973 to the design for the Triennale exhibition of wooden prototypes by Giovanni Sacchi.
The fourth and fifth parts begin with a text by Antonio Mancinelli and focus on product and graphic design. Of particular interest is the “portarobe” of 1973, composed of metal nets of equal length that enable the units to be composed in a variety of different ways. As a graphic designer Polato was responsible for the first campaign to raise awareness about Aids in Italy. The final section, which includes a text by Bianca Pitzorno and a further piece by Mancinelli, focuses on the author’s books on educational TV programmes, art text books for secondary schools (including Educazione Visiva, which won the Compasso d’Oro prize in 1981) and Multipli: works of art conceived to be mass produced on a small scale and which summarize his approach to the project accumulated over a lifetime of experience, relaying them on a scale accessible to all.
In 1962 Polato was graphics consultant to “La Rinascente”; since 1963 he has designed 400 TV set designs; in 1972 he met Bruno Munari at the RAI and became his first associate in the “Giocare con l’arte” laboratories. Between 1974 and 1992 he wrote and presented educational programmes on TV. He has written eight manuals, some of which have been translated into several languages. In 1973 he designed “portarobe” and in 1980 the first fully electronic Italian telephone. He teaches at ISIA in Urbino and at the ’Accademia di Brera. He worked for the Italian Ministry for Education and UNESCO during the 70s and 80s. In 1981 he won the Compasso d’Oro for his school book Educazione Visiva.