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 cinetism 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 the 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 it featured the installation within a larger public experience.

The installation consists in an analog-digital machine that visualizes the journey of the swallows from the Magadino area to the African routes in Nigeria.
The interactive installation, co-designed with a biologist and expert of the swallows in Ticino, has been realised to provide an experience based on cinetism 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 patiently enjoy the slow emergence of the information and it plays with the time that alters the usual fast paced experience with the interactive technology using only screens and digital contents.

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

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