After graduating for her Bachelor at the Politecnico in Milan, Francesca Sciarmella continued her study at the Burg Giebichenstein in Halle (Germany) where she got her master’s degree in Interior Architecture. In 2017 Francesca moved to Berlin to set up her Visual Design practice.
Over the years Francesca’s focus shifted from a more technical architectural method, learned in Milan, to a gradually more free and organic design approach. Throughout, the search to reach and connect with people always has been present. In her work she explores how to communicate with space and materials as tools, to build multisensorial stories and to blend research on materials into scenography and graphics.
Currently Francesca is studying Visual Communication at the Weissensee Kunsthochschule which she combines with her work as an independent scenographer and visual designer.
In 2014 Francesca approached Forbo Flooring Systems for her Master thesis on Linoleum. Together with her fellow student Marta Polenghi she was looking for a material with a “story to tell”. In Marmoleum they found the perfect match; an - in their view - often misunderstood product with a long and interesting history. Their quest was to offer a fresh perspective on Marmoleum and to make people reconnect with it.
Francesca and Marta defined a communication concept which was based on the beauty of the production process, the natural raw materials and the different identities of Linoleum. In the Forbo pilot factory, a series of experimental linoleum samples were made. By adding different ingredients to a basic Linoleum recipe like orange peel, rosemary, lavender and linseeds, they created an unexpected multi-sensorial Linoleum experience, and offered a new story to tell about the naturalness of the product.
Telling stories of underestimated materials was not something new to Francesca. In 2013 she participated in “Terracotta Everyday” - a project from Marta Polenghi and Jacopo Ferrari - aiming to show the beauty and possibility of Terracotta. Together with Manufatture Sottosasso, a small terracotta producer on the Emilia hills, Francesca designed “Line” a side table composed by trays. "Line" was first shown in Milan, Paris and also selected in Triennale of Milan as part of the exhibition “Woman in Italian Design” in 2016.
More information about the Terracotta Project
In 2017 Forbo Flooring Systems invited Francesca to coordinate and coach a student workshop with NABA - Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano. Over 4 months Francesca explored, together with 25 Design students, the potentials of Furniture Linoleum, developing innovative solutions for the contemporary office environment.
More than a surface
The space as a canvas
Recently, in 2020, Francesca worked on a project for a private client’s holiday home. Exploring the idea of a ‘cocoon’, she created a fully monochrome space combining natural materials with Marmoleum Cocoa and Furniture Linoleum. The project is a work in progress.
Francesca's interest in developing stories and communication are married in her work with Museums: transferring knowledge and information through graphics and space.
One of her most recent projects, 2021, is a collaboration with the Technische Sammlung Dresden and Studio Neue Museen. For an exhibition about climate change with a focus on the storytelling and graphics, Francesca was specifically asked to work on “Wolke 8” a permanent presentation that explores the causes and consequence of global warming.
Marta Polenghi | co-author of “Linoleum, an honest material”
Gal Keshet | directing, filming and editing
Max Radke | photography portrait Francesca Sciarmella
Gena Haensel | transcription