What is the Future of Publishing? Visionary Minds

Magazines are not dead. An exhibition at the Fashion Room bookstore in Florence with outstanding student projects proves it.


By Isabella Chevasco Champsaur. Photographs by Gabriele Busi.

At Istituto Marangoni Firenze, our passion for books and magazines runs deep. Over the past years, we have been introduced to old and new ways of publishing and have carried out our own editorial projects.
This is especially true for Fashion Styling & Creative Direction and Arts Curating students. I think these two careers have the same production role in different disciplines. So, what is the future of publishing? Visionary minds.
We have teachers who love the editorial process and have taught us how to love it. Most of the road to this year’s collection of finished publications involved sitting together to pore over printed materials. We’ve learned about personal collections of rare artist books and magazines and spent countless hours visiting print shops and libraries.


It was a truly gratifying to present our work at the Fashion Room bookstore in Florence, surrounded by the many eclectic books and magazines they store.
Our projects aimed to show our research processes through original ideas. Fashion Styling & Creative Direction students were tasked with creating a magazine using their most recent photoshoots, while Arts Curating students came up with an artist book and a publishing house.
Many of us have developed new obsessions throughout the year, though. I spoke about my fascination with paper and textures here when I visited the last edition of Testo.

Summing up our explorations of materials is always challenging – with so many types of paper available to us, freedom of choice becomes a burden! However, seeing our final products lined up made it clear that everyone’s ideas, the formats and visual design we aimed for were well-defined.


Publishing is a key element of basically anything a curator does. My peers from the Art Department and I had the mission of reconstructing our notions of what a book can be, which resulted in us obsessing over typographic details and concepts for creating artist books. Some publications included detachable brochures or individual elements, such as Giulia Piceni’s fashion card game. We have fun with these projects! My book features a few sheets of colourful stickers that can be pasted around the pages, while Sk0ac’s series of five flip books asked friends, “Are you okay?” and compiled their responses. The videos were recorded during a party, and as the viewer flips through, they can see the first few seconds of reaction.

Marines Salcedo’s book Soy América Latina showcased contemporary Latin American art through the lyrics of popular rappers, providing an analysis of their identities and existence. We all experimented with various formats and materials – Multimedia Arts 2 champion Lorenzo Risani made a wooden sculpture inside his book Hápto, La storia del niente. Seeking to reunite natural communication with the need for a slower-paced life, he carved the space for it in the pages and then secured it to the back cover of the book from the inside. When opening it, many were surprised by the small wooden sculpture, immediately reaching to feel it, connecting with the material and fulfilling the book’s purpose.


Publishing is (also) a key element of basically anything a stylist does.
My Fashion Styling peers had other parameters to follow. They had to envision their own magazine. From cover to back, the concepts and mock advertising campaigns, the photoshoots, and the articles. Some chose a traditional format, while others, like Guanbo Wang in his magazine Kong, experimented with unique binding methods, such as using a long strip of decorative paper. He shows the eccentric aesthetics of Hong Kong during the decades of its golden age, in the 1980s and 90s. The pages were glued to gether for continuity and then folded to create an accordion-style publication.

Another student, Macarena Arias Silva Del Pozo, took a collaborative approach in her magazine Nómada, which explores the theme of movement, whether in countries, relationships or mindsets. Every segment was dedicated to a different friend’s art. She included the work of previous and current Istituto Marangoni Firenze students, visual essays and interviews with Ecuadorian filmmakers close to her. Certain icons represent the chapters, and there are small breaks with questions throughout the magazine to encourage self-reflection on the kind of person you are before, during and after reading the magazine.


This was the second edition of Visionary Minds, an exhibition showcasing our growth in exploring our forms of publishing. It was a great opportunity to share our work with new people, including students and faculty members that hadn’t seen our finished products before. For us second-year students, this exhibition marked another milestone in our undergraduate journey.

We are excited for the summer a head and another year of bringing our voices together and further developing our research methods. Perhaps a new publishing house will emerge from Istituto Marangoni Firenze? Who knows.
But you’ll be among the first to know. Be ready!

Isabella Chevasco Champsaur is an Arts Curating undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.

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