"Nature / Data" marked the first solo U.S. exhibition for New York-based Italian designer and architect Antonio Pio Saracino. The exhibition, which opened on September 11, 2010, in Washington D.C. premiered new designs by Saracino and introduced two large-scale models of triumphal arches representing Italian emigration to North and South America. The models were constructed from layers of hard foam, each layer a graphic representation (referencing bar charts) of emigration data from 1810-2010. The works in the exhibition were executed in plywood, metal, carbon fiber and synthetics and abstracts from natural forms such as molecules, leaves, blossoms, and crystals. Saracino's designs stem from his lifelong fascination with nature and natural systems. As a child in Puglia (in southern Italy), he collected plants, rocks, fossils and insects. "I have always been fascinated by the mystery of nature, and the beauty and complexity of the natural world," said Saracino. "However, I do not seek to replicate nature. I look to replicate the feeling that nature creates within me."
Dwell Magazine ran a survey of Saracino’s work from the exhibition on its website (http://www.dwell.com/event-spotlight/slideshow/naturedata-industry-gallery). As writer Aaron Britt wrote of the exhibition: “[By] taking the intersection of natural forms and hi-tech manufacturing, Nature/Data reflects one of designs most promising current fascinations: channeling the structures found in nature through the latest in computer-aided design processes. The result, in Saracino's case, is a small cache of furniture that owes a clear debt to both ends of the nature-data continuum.”
As Saracino’s first solo U.S. exhibition, “Nature/Data” generated great interest in the design and architecture world. It was covered by such notable blogs as Design Milk (http://design-milk.com/naturedata-exhibition-at-industry-gallery), and architecture blogs like MocoLoco (http://mocoloco.com/art/archives/019629.php), the latter of which made strong reference to the artist’s “triumphal arches.”