How a visit to the Basilica Santa Croce sparked innovation at Kent State  

In June 2018, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Executive Director of the Design Innovation Initiative, and Director of the Kent State Florence Program met in the Basilica Santa Croce with the curatorial leadership of the “Opera di Santa Croce,” and through divine innovation, a year-long collaboration was born!

The Kent State’s collaborative team saw an opportunity to leverage unique digital and interactive visualization technologies and platforms from the Kent State’s College of Arts & Sciences, Design Innovation Initiative, Wick Poetry Center, College of the Arts, College of Aeronautics and Engineering and College of Architecture and Environmental Design to enhance audience engagement in reflecting on and discussing the concept of “Liberty.”

Kent State sent a research team to 3D scan and digitally capture Pio Fedi’s “Liberty of Poetry” statue, located in the Cathedral Santa Croce in Florence, Italy; utilizing the very high-resolution scan data to create a 3D-printed replica to scale. The nearly-full-scale reproduction will enable visitors to witness the Italian predecessor to the U.S. Statue of Liberty located directly across Ellis Island to Liberty Island.

At Kent State University, the Design Innovation Center reflects the university’s commitment to multi-disciplinary collaboration. The Sisters in Liberty project has seen participation from faculty members in Arts and Sciences, Neuroscience, Architecture, Theater, Engineering, and Poetry.


Kent State University
800 E. Summit Street
P.O. Box 5190
Kent, Ohio 44242

Opera di Santa Croce 
Piazza Santa Croce, 16
50122 Florence, Italy



Exhibition on Ellis Island and Ferry Hours of Operation