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Build a Plane and Fly to Sicily

Published on in Design

Since Mondays are typically low energy days, I’d like to share this story with, to reassure you: If you have a strong vision—no one can stop you.


Giorgio’s atelier. Or is it a hangar? Can you see the wing of that airplane in the lower left corner?

Never Underestimate an Artist

This summer I made a trip to Italy with my Japanese family, so they could meet and bond with the Italian side. Part of the idea was to introduce everyone to everyone. My grandfather in Italy took that literally and made me drive all around northern Italy to introduce my new family to all of his friends.

After a hot and tiring day, all we could think of was beer and pizza, yet my grandfather wanted to visit “just one more friend. He makes sculptures. Italian art. That’s interesting for the Japanese, come on!” I knew the guy. He made these plaster copies: David, Venus, baroque and antique kitsch. I made the rather-not face.

Who would have guessed what happened next. My Grandfather’s friend, we might as well call him Giorgio, seemed a little bit annoyed at first.

Italian is my second language and yes, it’s become a little rusty here in Japan, but I really felt like I didn’t understand. My Japanese family was getting all nervous because they thought, I’m picking a fight with him shouting like that. So I had to translate. They seemed even more scared after I translated what the guy was up to.

He still seemed kind of annoyed, but as I can read my Italian fellows I know that inside this is exactly what he wanted. You have to see it to believe it:

Building a plane

Giorgio: “No joke, no toy, my friend. This baby is going to fly smooth like a jet plane. So far I built four very different planes. My second one was the best. Once I flew over the Alps to Geneva and I could see the Matterhorn from above like a bird. Of course, the current one here is going to be the best.” And here is his inspiration. What’s he really planning there?

Michelangelo’s inspiration

This is what he does for a living. Giorgio: “Being around Italian art all day long is inspiring. It makes you wana fly… How can I look at Michelangelo’s work all day long and then go home and watch that junk on TV? So this is what I do in my free time. It keeps me busy.”


From left to right: My mother in law, Giorgio and me. Giorgio: “This little one here only gets you to Florence. Not very exciting. I’m selling it. Do you fly?”

This one only flies to Florence