Marco Lurati

Interactive plotter

Drawing plotter for natural history museum


The Interactive plotter titled “From Africa...and return” is an installation on the journeys of the swallows from Switzerland to Africa. The installation uses kineticism and a paper poster to engage the visitors in an analog-digital experience. By selecting a theme from a tablet application, the machine moves a pen that draws the information on a poster that can be taken at the end of the visit.

The installation combines the craft of custom metal parts, the programming of a tablet application, and genuine Swiss graphic design.







Giovanni Profeta Serena Cangiano


Museum of Natural History of Lugano


X-Nature. Il tempo della terra e il tempo dell’uomo


about 1500 poster drawn


From Africa...and return is an interactive installation designed by LCV/Fablab SUPSI for “X Nature”, an exhibition dedicated to the natural history of Canton Ticino (CH) through the minerals and the objects of Cantonal museum of natural history in Lugano. The exhibition was open to the public from 2016 to 2018 and featured the installation within a more extensive public experience.

The installation consists of an analog-digital machine that visualizes the swallows' journey from the Magadino area to the African routes in Nigeria.
The interactive installation, co-designed with a biologist and expert on the swallows in Ticino, has been realized to provide an experience based on kineticism and drawings.

By selecting a theme from a tablet application, the visitors can activate a mechanical arm that moves a pen. The pen draws the data and the paths of the swallows: the lifetime, the size, the summer journey, the winter journey, the nesting period, etc. When the drawings are complete, the visitors can take the physical paper poster as an exhibition souvenir.
The kinetics of the mechanical arm that draws on the poster invites the visitors to enjoy the slow emergence of the information patiently, and it plays with the time that alters the usual fast-paced experience with the interactive technology using only screens and digital content.

For the exhibition's duration, the plotter drew about 1'500 posters with just the replacement of two servo motors.


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