Material Life Matters

ceramic, a new aesthetic


With “Material Life Matters”, the Hong Kong Baptist University explores new ways of living with more meaning and passion, through objects that can inject joy and resilience in a time of contagious fear and anxiety. The school found ceramics as the best medium for its explorations. The matching with Sara Ricciardi is due to her creative and outstanding approach to design production. Attentive to everyday rituals and not only to the functionality of objects, the emerging talent of Italian design is the ideal figure to follow the development of projects.


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Designer:Sara Ricciardi

Sara Ricciardi was born in Benevento 31 years ago, between peacock feathers and many books.
She lives and works in Milan.

She is a multifaceted designer who studied in Milan, Istanbul and New York. She graduated in 2015 at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts), specializing in Product Design. 6 years ago, she opened her own studio where she designs products for companies, unique pieces for galleries, perform actions, interiors and installations.

Her approach is characterized by a deep narrative exploration: each aesthetic derives from a specific story. The form follows the message. At the base of her method there is a great poetic and formal research. Materials and production are always defined together with the help of great masters of the Italian craftsmanship.

She is a major collector of bizarre objects. She was selected by Wallpaper among the finalists of “Next Designer Generation” - 2018 edition - together with Officine Panerai.
During the same occasion she also designed her first interior "Eden", for the haute couture store of Luisa Via Roma in Florence.
Among the brands she worked for, there are Visionnaire, Houtique, Coin Casa, Culti, Giorgetti, Schloss Hollenegg Design.
In 2019 she became the art director of the project "La Grande Bellezza - The Dream Factory" for the Starhotels Group. It was a patronage project for the high Italian craftsmanship, in collaboration with Fondazione Cologni, OMA Osservatorio dei Mestieri D'Arte di Firenze and Gruppo Editoriale.
She teaches Social Design and Relational Practices at NABA and holds courses and lectures about Urban generation for various institutions and foundations. TheDesign Undergraduate class from NABA honored Sara by including her among the “Women of contemporary Italian design” with the exhibition “Women in Design”.

She is the founder and member of the collective “The Ladies' Room” together with other designers such as Agustina Bottoni, Ilaria Bianchi and Astrid Luglio. This collaborative project is about the creation of sensory projects for various art galleries such as Building Gallery in Milan and Amelie Maison D'Art in Paris.

University:Academy of Visual Arts Hong Kong Baptist University

The Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) is the first university academy of its kind in Hong Kong, providing professional visual arts undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree programmes linked to international exchange and the fast-growing creative industries.

AVA is committed to nurturing creative and professional talent of international renown and strives to provide the very best in visual arts education, combining studio-based research, critical and historical studies and sustainable service for the cultural and creative sectors as well as for the community at large.

The Academy of Visual Arts does not distinguish between the Arts and Design. All creative disciplines are understood as equally valuable outlets for ideas and concepts. AVA builds an environment where students develop their individual critical skills, ideas, preferences, and professional ways of working. It is these distinctly personal abilities that will provide the solid foundation for them to master any creative task during their life-long careers.

An open mind and heart are also conditions for constructive creativity. AVA takes an inclusive and holistic approach to visual arts. We break down boundaries of concepts, beliefs, traditions, perceptions and hypotheses, and create awareness, respect and experience. Students learn to fully perceive their surroundings, sense the impact of form and colour and sound, appreciate the intrinsic nature of things, and to articulate inter-connectedness. An AVA student is aware, working with contemporary issues of society, be they local, regional or global.

The establishment of the Academy of Visual Arts in Hong Kong Baptist University was announced in November 2004, and in the following year, AVA launched its Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Visual Arts Degree Programme in September 2005 on Kai Tak Campus, the historical building premises previously the Royal Air Force Officers’ Mess. The Academy of Visual Arts was officially inaugurated on 13 January 2006.

The Academy expanded in 2011, into the Communication and Visual Arts Building in Kowloon Tong. In 2013, the University entered into a lease of the Kai Tak Campus with the Government; the historical campus now houses AVA’s Centre for Research and Development, a gallery and different studios for teaching and learning.