Filippo Sanzeni

MA work


Subsonic is a product system service which employs bioacoustics monitoring and machine learning to monitor in real time leafhoppers infestations, to reduce the use of pesticides and, ultimately, render them superfluous. 

Subsonic is a project focussed on the fruitful entanglement of design, science, sound and the public sphere. My goal is to advance both design and science by “thinking about the future of science in the context of design–as well as design in the context of science” (Ito, 2016) and to prototype the process in a way which is in accordance with open source and DIY methodologies. The background for this impulse lies in three loosely related notions: anti-disciplinarity, DIY bioacoustics and citizen science. 

I developed an Open Source and low-cost piezoelectric sensor, able to pick up sub-hearing oscillations produced by insects. The data generated, after being analysed by a machine learning algorithm based on a technique called t-SNE, is able to flag potential phytoplasma (a particularly destructive bacterial parasite) outbreaks in farms.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Service Design, 2018

  • I am a graduate student at the Royal College of Art, Department of Service Design.

    I took a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Design from Politecnico di Milano. Two of my designs were featured during 2015’s Expo in Milano, showcased in the Design District in via Durando 8. I completed a dissertation on phenomenology and emotion in Interaction Design in my final year.

    In 2014 I co-founded a startup in Italy, Rock My Task, an employment service which uniquely connects students and skilled workers with possible jobs.

    I hold a black belt in karate and was twice Italian champion.

    Some of my most innovative work is in DIY and I am currently working on various sound-systems, including a modular synthesizer. 

  • Degrees

  • Bachelor Communication Design, Politecnico di Milano, 2016
  • Experience

  • Co-Founder & CDO, Rock My Task, Milan, 2014/2015
  • Exhibitions

  • DIY Bioacoustics: Eavesdropping on Nature, Cambridge University, Cambridge, 2017; Artificial Intelligence and Future Agency, Beirut Design Week, Beirut, 2017; Design X Designers, Via Durando 8, Milan, 2015