La Matita Rossa

La Matita Rossa – All photos: courtesy of Libera Università di Bolzano.

A sandpaper bra, a manicure-like sharpening kit, a planing tool and even a nibbling hamster. Design students at the Free University of Bolzano reinterpreted the simple function of the pencil sharpener.

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The workshop was mentored by Claudio Larcher, Eugenia Morpurgo and Alvise Mattozzi. “Expanding on the well known tactile experience, the students developed new gestures. This resulted in new forms and materials that playfully achieve a new route to a perfectly sharpened pencil” said Larcher to ArchiPanic.

"Sandpapered book" by Albert Jovanì Guiral.

“Sandpapered book” by Albert Jovanì Guiral.

Albert Jovanì Guiral proposed a sandpaper book that instead consuming of the pencil it sharpens it one page after the other. The designer imagined also a carrot-made pencil for hungry hamsters that can nibble it to obtain the perfect point.

"Sharpenering" by Michela Franch.

“Sharpenering” by Michela Franch.

Jessica Rosa designed a wearable sharpener with sandpaper facets, Michela Franch created sharpening stainless rings while Marinetta Gorassini was inspired by a nail file.

"Red Dagger" by Marinetta Gorassini.

“Red Dagger” by Marinetta Gorassini.

Isabella Sebald transformed a boring action into something fun. The designer created a bra with sandpaper cups that allow to sharpen a pencil by rubbing it by the cleavage.

Sharpening bra by Isabella Sebald.

Sharpening bra by Isabella Sebald.

O by Caterina Nebl translates the rotational movement of a pencil into a circular design.

"O" by Caterina Nebl.

“O” by Caterina Nebl.

Luca Mantenuto created a sharpening kit for perfectionists. The set includes brushes, sharpeners and files transforming a simple action in a manicure-like ritual.

"Finicky sharpeners kit" Luca Mantenuto.

“Finicky sharpeners kit” Luca Mantenuto.

Maria Girofletti transforms the sharpening gesture into a carpentry action thanks to a special wood plane that literally shaves the pencil.

"Plane pencil" by Maria Girofletti.

“Plane pencil” by Maria Girofletti.

Barbara Rossaro proposes to burn away wood in excess by performing a ritual with a proper kit.

"Set fire to the pencil!" by Barbara Rossaro.

“Set fire to the pencil!” by Barbara Rossaro.

Alessandro Bussi designed Porygon, a flat pack, assemble-it-yourself pencil sharpener. Paper airplane by Lucrezia Faraci features a metal blade folded like an origami.

"Paper airplane" by Lucrezia Faraci.

“Paper airplane” by Lucrezia Faraci.

Snake Sharpener by Susan Guidi allows to work at the same time on both ends of a pencil thanks to an enveloping elastic linking two opposite sharpeners.

"Snake Sharpener" by Susan Guidi.

“Snake Sharpener” by Susan Guidi.

All designs are grouped under the project La Matita Rossa – The red pencil. The workshop was part of a course on “design for education and knowledge sharing” at the art and design faculty of the Free University of Bolzano.

"Porygon" by Alessandro Bussi.

“Porygon” by Alessandro Bussi.

All photos: courtesy of Libera Università di Bolzano.