Fabio Peri guests at Land Flag: From Waste to New Materials


“Man who attempts to become familiar with the universe is like a parasite in a potato closed in a sack in the hold of a ship, which attempts to discover the nature of the vast ocean from the way the vessel is swaying.” Fabio Peri quoted the astrophysicist Arthur Eddington during the third date with Land Flag: From Waste to New Materials, the series of conversations curated by Angela Rui, design critic and curator, on the different ways of understanding our Planet.

Fabio Peri is a physicist and intergalactic astronomer, conservator of the “Ulrico Hoepli” City Planetarium in Milan. He spoke about the universe, offering a perspective that arrives from afar and projects itself faraway: towards the Moon, where there are no colours – there is no blue, red or yellow – and the sky is black; to Mars, planet of red sand with pink sky and light blue sunset; to Jupiter with its gigantic dimensions; towards Saturn with its amazing rings; Uranus; Neptune; Pluto, the dwarf planet. And towards the Earth, a special planet on which the atmosphere, its location (the correct distance from a star, the Sun), and water in liquid, gaseous and solid form have enabled life to develop.

We are only familiar with 5% of what constitutes the universe, explains Peri, and we call the remaining 95% dark matter and energy, because we still know nothing about it. We are attracted to the stars, because we are made of their same material – we inherit carbon, nitrogen and oxygen from them.

So when we look at the starry sky, we are looking at ourselves, as if in a mirror. And the task they assign to us, he concludes, is the same one they have been set: to provide light, life and warmth to those we encounter during our time on this planet.