I grew up on the island of Sardinia, Italy, where my father, who was a mason, taught me how to lay bricks in a straight line. In Sardinia I attended the Istituto Statale d'Arte in Oristano, earning a diploma in Industrial Design in 1979. I earned a B.F.A. in graphic design in 1983 from the Istituto Superiore Industrie Artistiche in Urbino, Italy, and a M.F.A. in graphic design in 1985 from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, R.I., which I attended on a Fulbright scholarship. I have taught classes in foundation design, drawing, exhibit design and information design, first at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and later at San Jose State University. I have been on the faculty at San Francisco State University since 2007.

Both in my professional work as well as in my teaching, I prefer being a generalist rather than a specialist, with projects ranging from museum exhibits to web design and film, and courses ranging from letterpress printing and bookbinding to drawing, environmental graphics, and information design. My research focuses on psychology of perception, working memory, and cultural conventions in design, and their implications for problems of data visualization.

In the Design and Industry Department (DAI), I teach Drafting and Sketching for Design, a mandatory class for all students in our department, and Information Design: Data Visualization, an elective class for upper division students. I am currently a fellow at the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University, working with student interns on a major exhibit on disability: Patient No More: People With Disability Securing Civil Rights, scheduled to open in 2015 at the Ed Roberts Center in Berkeley, CA.

SF State Design and Industry Department: design.sfsu.edu
YouTube drawing videos: bit.ly/16wQECH
Patient No More! An exhibit on disability and civil rights: patientnomore.blogspot.com/
Information Design class at SF State: Data visualization class blog/