SACI’s Symposium/Exhibition “From Galileo to Mars: Renaissance of the Artsciences” features artists and guests from NASA – November 12, 2016


Image: Professor Dava Newman, MIT: Inventor, Science and Engineering; Guillermo Trotti, A.I.A., Trotti and Associates, Inc. (Cambridge, MA): Design; Dainese (Vicenza, Italy): Fabrication; Dougas Sonders: Photography

From Galileo to Mars: Renaissance of the Artsciences

12 November 2016

ODEON THEATER – Piazza Strozzi, 8:45am-1:30pm
PALAZZO DEI CARTELLONI (SACI) – Via Sant’Antonino 11, 3:30-6pm

SACI announces its one-day symposium, “From Galileo to Mars – Renaissance of the ArtSciences,” to be held in Florence, Italy on Saturday, November 12th, 2016 at the Odeon Theater and at SACI’s Palazzo dei Cartelloni.


Press conference: Friday, 11 November, 1pm, at the Palazzo Vecchio.

The event is free and open to the public.
R.S.V.P. required.




Cinema Odeon Piazza Strozzi, Firenze

8:45 Guests arrival and welcome
9:00 Welcome by President of the City of Florence Culture Commission MARIA FEDERICA GIULIANI on behalf of Florence Mayor DARIO NARDELLA, Commissioner from the Region of Tuscany STEFANO CIUOFFO, and U.S. Consul General in Florence ABIGAIL M. RUPP
9:30 STEVE BRITTAN Greetings from SACI’s President
9:45 DAVA NEWMAN – NASA Deputy and Keynote Speaker: NASA’S Journey to Mars and Beyond
10:15 NICOLE STOTT – Artist/Astronaut/SciArt Advocate: eARTh from Space: the Journey from Astronaut to Artist
10:45 Break
11:15 PAOLO NESPOLI – Astronaut:

15 Minutes Live from the Russian Cosmodrome of Baikonur in Kazakhstan (via Skype)

11:30 GUI TROTTI – AIA Designer/Architect:

The Convergence of the Arts and Science in Design Thinking with VITTORIO CAFAGGI -Dainese, Corporate Marketing Manager: Mission to Safety: From Earth to Mars Inspired by Humans

12:00 LIA HALLORAN – Artist: Your Body is a Space That Sees
12:30 Symposium Roundtable discussion with all guest speakers

Palazzo dei Cartelloni (SACI) Via Sant’Antonino 11


Opening of research and documentation of LIA HALLORAN’s Your Body is a Space that Sees exhibition in the SACI Gallery.

In addition, on display November 12 only in the SACI Gallery: an original space suit and bio-suit loaned and produced by Dainese, designed in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), D-Tec, and the Industrial Design Studio of Trotti and Associates (Gui Trotti); the Morris replica of Galileo’s telescope, on loan from the Museo Galileo; an “invisible” sandal on loan from the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo; a video installation about Palazzo dei Cartelloni, Galileo Galilei, and Vicenzo Viviani by Laura VillaniEnglish translations of the Latin text about Galileo Galilei that appears on the scrolls of the facade of SACI’s Palazzo dei Cartelloni; digital display of #FromGalileoToMars SACI Instagram contest results; and in SACI’s underground exhibition space, student art works from SACI’s Body Archives course.

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei

The Symposium, sponsored by Dainese, and supported by the Comune di Firenzethe Region of Tuscany, the US Consulate General Florence, and will be introduced by the Mayor of Florence and the President of the Cultural Commission of Florence. The exhibition reception will take place in the afternoon at SACI’s Palazzo dei Cartelloni, original home of mathematician Vincenzo Viviani and Galileo’s disciple, who built his palace façade as a public expression of Galileo’s revolutionary theory.

It is in the spirit of this innovation stemming from the birthplace of the Renaissance, that we will be hosting an interactive discussion between Scientists, Artists and Designers. SACI has invited world leaders in both the Space-Sciences (NASA and the European Space Agency) as well as major Artists and Designers, to initiate a conversation about NASA’s mission to Mars, to bring together creative minds from all disciplines to influence and shape this important endeavor. This is however not just about the mission to Mars rather it is an opportunity to bring great minds together to highlight the power of multidisciplinary collaboration and innovation.

Until recently, space exploration has been restricted to the disciplines of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Educational institutions and commercial corporations traditionally kept the Arts and Humanities separate and distinct from the Sciences. This has changed dramatically with the realization that artists and designers can play an invaluable role in helping to invent, envision, shape and discover new futures—including our desire to reach Mars. Adding “Arts” (transforming from “STEM” to “STEAM”) provides exponential leverage, new insights and increased potential for discovery. More than ever, this interaction is critical to the success – not only to reach Mars – but for the design of the artifacts of everyday life that sustain us on planet earth.

Our main objective is to initiate a dialogue and create a unique learning experience for our students and the international community of Florence. Special guests will include: Dava Newman – NASA Deputy Administrator, Nicole Stott – Artist/Astronaut/SciArt Advocate, Paolo Nespoli – Astronaut, Guillermo Trotti, AIA – Designer/Architect, Vittorio Cafaggi – CEO of Dainese D-air Lab, and Lia Halloran – Artist and SACI Alum (1997-1998).

Steven Brittan
As president of SACI, Steve is an outspoken crusader for the importance of multidisciplinary learning and implementation. An architect, teacher and entrepreneur, his life work has been driven by an inspiration for technology innovation and design with a central focus and interest in sustainability of planet earth. He taught at Harvard, Rhode Island School of Design, and Columbia University.

Dava Newman
Dr. Dava Newman was nominated by President Barack Obama in January 2015 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April 2015 to serve as the Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. She began her duties with the agency on May 18, 2015. Prior to her tenure with NASA, Newman was the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Her expertise is in multidisciplinary research that encompasses aerospace biomedical engineering. Newman’s research studies were carried out through space flight experiments, ground-based simulations, and mathematical modeling.

Nicole Stott
Nicole is described as an artistic astronaut. On the International Space Station in 2009 and a mission specialist on the final mission of Space Shuttle Discovery in 2011, she used her artwork to share the awesome beauty she experienced through the windows of the Space Shuttle. Nicole adapts art and science in unique ways including creating The Space Suit Art Project, a campaign to raise awareness of childhood cancer.

Paolo Nespoli
Paolo is an astronaut who was a mission specialist on Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station in 2007, and a flight engineer on his second mission in 2010-11. He performed a number of experiments for the European scientific community in human physiology and biology and played a key role inside the Station for the mission’s spacewalks.  He also produced a film called First Orbit, a real time recreation of history’s first human space flight by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Paolo will be launched on a Soyuz spacecraft in May 2017 as part of a 5-month international mission.

Guillermo Trotti
Gui has helped organizations worldwide to design and create sustainable environments and products. Working with NASA and MIT, Gui, who is both architect and industrial designer, has made his life work designing structures and vehicles to withstand and operate in extreme environments, including the development of a counter-pressure space suit for lunar and Mars surface exploration. He has taught at the University of Houston and Rhode Island School of Design.

Vittorio Cafaggi
Vittorio has worked for Dainese since 1990, where he has covered positions both in the Sales Department and in the Marketing Department. In charge of corporate activities and special projects, he followed the Biosuit and Skinsuit projects and is today CEO of D-air Lab, the company founded by Mr. Lino Dainese to study all possible applications of the D-air technology (airbags for humans) to activities other than sports.

Lia Halloran
Lia is a renowned artist in the US whose work has been shaped by her profound inspiration for astronomy and space sciences, particularly the role of women in space. A SACI alum, Lia has held solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, and Vienna. Selected works from her exhibition Your Body is a Space That Sees, sources historical images and narratives to trace contributions of women in astronomy since antiquity, will be shown at SACI’s Palazzo dei Cartelloni. Lia was awarded an Art Works Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for this project. She has participated in several interdisciplinary projects where art and science intersect, experimenting with new media technologies.

Join the event on Facebook. 

Instagram contest #FromGalileotoMars for artists and creative people

Press Office: Studio Ester Di Leo / Firenze
+39 055223907 / /

saci logo new

About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: