Today, integrating innovation and technology is increasingly essential in designing installations, commercial, and urban spaces. However, the rapid release of new tools and devices often complicates defining the role of those researching and experimenting with their applications. Milan-based WOA Creative Company is a studio that stands out in this field, shaping light with technology to create immersive experiences, artistic installations, commercial spaces, and video mapping projects.
We spoke to Davide Carioni, Creative Director and founder alongside Executive Producer Giuliana Pajola, to delve into WOA’s operations.
Your projects vary, but technology is the common thread. What journey has the studio taken to its current work? And how does one become a Creative Technologist?
My background is in computer science, then I studied Artistic Design for Business at Brera and Product Design at Politecnico di Milano. Initially, I worked as a Motion Graphic Designer, which taught me to design on a small scale before scaling up. As a freelancer, I experimented with new technologies like holograms and videomapping. My graffiti work also played a role, especially in understanding scale. My IT skills became increasingly relevant over time.
After meeting Giuliana Pajola, who complements my profile, I handle the creative and technical aspects while she manages the business side. We started WOA in 2015 as a lab open to cross-contamination – our space even includes a coworking area. Initially, we created content for events, never imagining our current projects. It was a natural progression, built on collaborations with colleagues skilled in VJing, lighting, and sound design.
So, you moved from the 2D design on monitors to 3D environmental modelling?
Exactly, an unplanned evolution that wouldn’t have happened without my training. Our design skills were crucial when we started creating installations and spaces. We always design with light, playing with it. For us, light translates the monitor into space, serving a scenic function, conveying a message, or inviting interaction.
You’re unique in the design landscape, combining rare skills.
We’re in a strange boundary line with both creative and technical skills, bridging two usually separate worlds. We operate in graphic video, design, and technical events and installations. This niche is ours, thanks to our diverse skills. In projects, we often find interaction without art, or concepts lacking execution. We aim to integrate all three realms. Our roots are in the events sector, which suffered in 2020-2021.
During that period, we focused on AR and digital events. Recently, we’ve collaborated with architectural firms, which we enjoy because it’s a synergistic partnership. For example, for Audi in Montenapoleone, Marcel Wanders Studio from Amsterdam called us to create an immersive interactive tunnel where the digital seamlessly integrates with the physical. Such interventions are becoming a frequent request from studios, even at the urban level.
From art to space, you create both commercial and artistic projects…
Exactly, we have two parallel paths. Artistic installations often increase our visibility with brands that recognize our potential. At the same time, we don’t overemphasize technology: it’s always a tool, sometimes deconstructed and used differently. The message remains the most crucial aspect