Il Sesterzio


Italian Soil for EXPO Doha 2023
Designed by MOTOElastico, Handcrafted by MUNLAB.



The sestertius is a symbolic gift for the visitors of the Italian Pavilion at EXPO Doha 2023.
It is a coin made with Italian “terra-cruda” (uncooked soil) that, unlike terra-cotta, once watered, will loose the form of a coin to gain fertility.
The sestertius is the gift of fertile Italian soil, terraforming the EXPO’s “Green Desert” into the Italian Pavilion’s “Garden of the Future”.



Money is a medium with value and potential determined by trust.
The coin, inspired by the Roman “Sestertius”, becomes a transmitter of trust, from the Institution to the designers, to the craftsmen, to the EXPO, to the visitors.
It is sustainable because it will break into dust to be upgraded into mud. The strength is its fragility, it will cease to be a circle and become part of the life cycle.
Put it in your pot, add water and let nature grow.



Making 30,000 handcrafted coins requires a lot of tests, but, above all, it needs a community of motivated individuals who, together with their families, add value to the repetitive dance of preparing clay slabs, stamping, cutting, drying, packaging.
The MUNLAB gathers the ideal blend of makers and artists, across generations, who believe in the value of ecology. It is an eco-museum, not a mint nor a factory, so the production became a choreography and each coin retains the touch and twists of one of the fifteen dancers.



Packaging has a big impact on the environment, especially if it is cheap, like plastic. You save money now, but next generations will pay the cost later. We chose small paper envelopes, individually stamped by hand with instructions, an image of the coin and a QR code of the social media channel “italyinqatar”. If the coins breaks during the journey, the envelope will still deliver the fertile dust inside and the code on the surface.


MUNLAB’s  Team for Sestertius:

Cesario Carena, Elena Carena, Sara Bazzano, Luca Ferrandi, Rosa Pigola, Giorgio & Riccardo Pezzana, Giuliana Forneris, Jacopo Bernatti, Martina Galanti, Chiara Costa, Vito Di Martino, Simone Schio, Emanuele & Fererico Gilardi.
MUNLAB is the Turin Clay Eco-Museum, a cultural association that researches and share the history, the impact and the sustainable future of clay.


MOTOElastico’s Team for Sestertius:

Simone Carena, Marco Bruno, Minji Kim, Giulia Nespoli, Jihye Shin, Felice & Forte & Fermo Carena. MOTOElastico is a Space Lab working on architecture, interiors, exhibition and art