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Design Through Making

Giovanni Dipilato

Giovanni Dipilato is a London based creative Product Designer currently enrolled in the Product Design MA programme at the Royal College of Art.

Giovanni’s design is the direct translation of a deep human-centered approach based on Design Thinking’s ethos. His products are characterised by an inclusive usage as he strongly believes in the “Design for All” future reality of the world.

Firstly a Graphic Novelist, then a Jewellery Designer, he has a multidisciplinary background in Fine Arts which still guides his methodology within his industrial design production. These experiences are reflected into Giovanni's methodologies and the final shapes, ergonomy and use of his products.

His latest experiences are focused on the recycling of harmful materials. Through the designing of new circular economies, taking advantages of the material technologies and characteristics to be then introduced into new contexts giving this material new life.



BA Product Design, NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milano (MI), 2018 with honors

Jewellery Design, Liceo Artistico “Federico II Stupor Mundi”, Corato (BA), 2013

Awards & Exhibitions

RCA 2021, Royal College of Art, London, 2021

Work In Progress Online Show, Royal College of Art, London, 2021

Pokémon Scholarship, Winner, 2020

Premio Nazionale delle Arti, Firenze (FI), Finalist, 2018

Milan Design Week, Salone Satellite, Mexico Design Residency, 2018

Shenzhen Design Week, China, 2018

Milan Design Week, Salone Satellite, NABA’s exhibition, 2017

Growing Materials, Cascina Cuccagna, Milano (MI), 2016

Milan Design Week, Fuorisalone, Side by Side, T12 Lab, 2016

Giovanni Dipilato

I strongly believe that the most valuable Design Practice a creative mind could have is when we are in close contact with the context and the people in it.

Through my practice I always try my best to connect people’s necessities with immediate solutions, test and develop them until reaching valuable and strong usages of my products.

I always try to involve my users during the vast majority of my design process to be able to understand their specific needs and possibilities. This has led me to understand that our profession is really effective only when the design thinking of the products is focused around the final target. They must use us as technical tools able to absorb their requests and then find a way to reach a solution to a specific necessity.

The aesthetic value of the objects is as important as its functions. As a Product Designer, I firmly believe that we can only reach better futures when our surroundings respond to the needs of “Design for All”, giving to every individual the best picture to see and the best product to use.

What's VI Tennis? — A general introduction to visually impaired tennis
The VI Tennis Ball currently in use
The VI Tennis Ball currently in use — Lists of issues and eventually suggestions from the players.
Needs vs Solutions — Tests and documentation showing how the different needs have been fulfilled.
RESET_ the new VI Tennis Ball
RESET_ the new VI Tennis Ball
RESET_VI Tennis Ball_How does it work?
Iteration — A list of tests around different materials, manufacturing techniques and sounds.
Impact, opinions from the main characters of the story — Mark Bullock gives his personal idea on how VI Tennis could potentially change with the RESET Ball and what kind of implications it has on players.
RESET_ VI Tennis Ball
RESET_ VI Tennis Ball

Tennis for visually impaired athletes is one the fastest growing sports in the contemporary scenario for popularity and fun. RESET is the direct answer to the thousands of specific needs that such entertaining and new activity requests. The entire project has involved exceptional experts in their own fields, from charities foundations to members from the International Blind Tennis Association (IBTA) as well as Inclusive sport development advisors and World Champion athletes. RESET has been designed throughout a series of tests with such incredible and talented people in a range of more than 15 hours with the players collecting their feedback and considering the positive impacts that such creations would have on sport and the individual’s life.

Multiple sources gave me a deep understanding of what the problem of VI Tennis is, the ball. The existing balls are manufactured in Asia and as a consequence the prices are not so accessible. The spongy material starts deteriorating after just a few hours from the beginning of the usage and it does impact the way balls bounce and the ability of the athletes to catch them, this creates a difficult environment where people always need to find good status ones to start/continue the activity. The ball has in its core a series of rattles that make a peculiar sound when it bounces on the surfaces, that means that players will never be able to react fast if the ball doesn’t bounce at least once on the court. This not only makes the activity slow and difficult but such equipment impacts the series of regulations that the sport has, the number of bounces allowed and the dimensions of the tennis court. At the moment it is considerably shortened compared to mainstream tennis. Last but not least, if the ball just makes a sound when it's moving what would happen if it stops rolling and I can’t find it? Will players always need to rely on external volunteers and sighted entities?


Foam, Plastic


Needs vs Solutions — Tests and documentation showing how the different needs related to the orientation on the court have been fulfilled.
RESET_the Sensor
RESET_the Sensor — A spinning sensor providing constant reading of the athletes’ position.
RESET_the Bracelets
RESET_the Bracelets — A wearable and vibrating solution for the athletes to understand their position. Left wrist will vibrate if the athletes are on the left side of the court, the opposite will happen if they are on the right side of it. The intensity pattern increases the more players get close to the net.
RESET_Orientation Sensor_How does it work?
From the concept to the Project
From the concept to the Project — Iteration from low-tech solutions to the final one.
Impacts — Amanda and Naqi give their personal ideas on how VI Tennis could potentially change with the RESET orientation sensor system.

RESET does not only enhance the full athlete's potential by providing an easy-to-track ball that increases the reactivity of the players from all the categories. It also aims to give a better understanding of the court’s spaces and the individual position thanks to passive vibrations which avoid the constant need for the players to rely on tactile lines.

After a couple of games I’ve played with some athletes, we noticed that they might get lost several times struggling to understand their own position on the court. This is something that gets better overtime, but for beginners it could result in falling on the net or the side benches. Together we worked on a series of iterations with the intention to provide passive and not disturbing feedback to the athletes while playing. In a first instance we thought to use proximity sensors from the net which in a way were able to let the players understand the level of depth from it and a general indication whether they were on the left or right hand side of the court.

We’ve then opted for bracelets and vibrations with really good patterns of intensity. Those devices are constantly communicating with a spinning laser single sensor placed next to one of the two poles of the tennis net. Through a series of conversations with the athletes I’ve understood that such ideas would have a good potential for the players to play in larger courts with more consciousness of the proper abilities and orientation. This will also increase the chances of a more dynamic rhythm on the court.


PLA, Resin, Silicon, Foam


Needs vs Solutions — Tests and documentation showing the observation and different tests of sounds made by VI Tennis balls bouncing on various materials.
RESET_the mat
RESET_the mat — Anti Slip mat with the "Drum effect", a system that makes a tough and more recognizable sound when the ball bounces on it.
RESET_the mat
RESET_the mat — Private venues assistants and volunteers can easily unfold the mat directly on the court. It does not only make the activity more inclusive for the players but it would also save time for its set-up.
RESET_the Mat_How does it work?

Another part of RESET has been dedicated to a system to eventually let the players autonomously keep score without the presence of a sighted person. By installing a series of foldable mats on the external perimeter of the B1 VI Tennis court the players will be able to hear a different and recognisable sound whenever the ball bounces on them. We have opted for a sort of “drum effect” sound obtained by a particular structure of a plastic sheet with air passing underneath the mats when laid on the surface. The selection of the right material which in a way was able to transmit a recognisable sound has been made with the athletes themselves collecting feedback directly from them. The set-up process of this solution on a tennis court is also saving time for the charity's foundations, at the moment they are forced to use masking tape and tactile lines which need more than 20 minutes of effort, a time that could be saved for the activity itself instead.


Open cell plastic, Anti Slip Tape


1000x1000x3 mm

The Pokémon Company