Francesca Daloiso

MA Industrial Design, Creative Boom Conscious Award, 2021

Francesca Daloiso

Ulïètu is a collection of surface panels reflecting the traumatic effect of xylella fastidiosa, one of the most dangerous plant-pathogenic bacteria in the world. The bacteria dehydrate trees causing leaf scorch, wilt, die-back and ultimately plant death.

The bacteria is spread by the spittlebug which can fly long distances, reaching almost 1.4 km in a single flight. According to the European Food Safety Authority, 563 species are susceptible to infection. Xylella bacteria started spreading in southern Apulia, Italy in 2013, caused by the importation of an infected Costa Rican coffee plant in that area. Since then, half of the Apulian olive trees have died of xylella, precisely 21 million trees.

Subsequently, olive trees in southern France, Corsica, Portugal and southern Spain have been infected too. According to the EU and Italian Commission Implementing Regulations of August 2020, to prevent the spread of the bacteria, the infected trees must be immediately eradicated by being passed through a wood chipper and then burnt.

This project presents an intelligent and sustainable use for these wood chips, avoiding combustion and taking advantage of the material residual properties in large-scale contexts. This preserves what remains of the Apulian olive trees, giving them a second chance of life. Ulïètu represents a traumatic loss but also a rebirth.

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