putting people first

by experientia
by experientia
23 April 2013

“CasaZera” opens, with Experientia smart meter design (incl. slideshow)

Be the first to share
putting people first
by experientia

In a decommissioned industrial zone in Turin, a single bright yellow apartment stands out in the shell of an old factory. This is “CasaZera”, a sustainable living housing prototype, which was officially opened on the 18th April 2013 by local officials, and the project partners. Experientia consulted for project partner DE-GA, designing a tablet-based solution to enable the residents to access information and systems about energy use in the apartment, as well access to local services. Experientia senior design Renzo Giusti was on-hand to showcase Experientia’s contribution.

The Experientia-designed interface shows monthly energy consumption and production for electricity, heating, cooling and water.
Click on image to view slideshow

CasaZera is part of the ECOstruendo program, funded by the Region of Piedmont, and promoted by Polight, the innovation centre for sustainable construction at the Turin Environment Park. The apartment is an inhabitable prototype, demonstrating ways to utilise decommissioned industrial areas for residential use, and adhering to five main precepts: zero consumption of soil, zero waste of resources, zero time, zero energy and zero project errors. The apartment itself is a fully-designed and equipped residential unit, which has been integrated into the framework of an old factory, instead of creating new zones for residential construction.

The apartment is around 30 square meters, with a bedroom, living-room/kitchen and bathroom. It contains state-of-the-art technology for home automation and resource management, with 75% of the energy used in the apartment produced by renewable solar, photovoltaic and biomass sources. Experientia’s role, as consultants to DE-GA S.p.A, was to employ human-centred design methodologies to make this cutting-edge technology easily usable for the everyday people who will live in the unit. The tablet-based solution Experientia created allows people to interact with key functions for controlling the home appliances and heating and cooling systems, and shows simple visualisations of how the energy in the home is being used – a “living room” view of the household consumption.

As part of Experientia’s holistic approach to enabling more sustainable lifestyles, the final solution also helps connect the residents of the apartment to local services. This includes information on frequency and time of local public transport, bike sharing availability, and locations of local markets, stores and pharmacies.

The apartment systems will now be tested for 10 days with the unit empty, to gather feedback on how systems are working. After this time, two students from the Turin Polytechnic will move in, and will test the apartment systems over the course of the next year. The students will provide an in-depth look at how well the system performs in the long run, and how easy it is to use for people who are not specialists or involved in the system development, but are representative of the people who will eventually live, work and study in similar constructions.

Turin council member for the environment, Enzo Lavolta, was present at the opening, praising the initiative as a “concrete example of a smart city”. Giorgio Gallesio, DE-GA S.p.A’s managing director, and head of the project, and Matteo Robiglio from the architectural partner Tra, also spoke. Much of the debate of the day centred on how affordable the solution is, and the vibrant possibilities for urban renewal it offers, reclaiming existing urban areas for residential use, without waste. The project aims to be an Italian example of a new mindset, and demonstrate an innovative method to create zones for rental property.

Experientia senior designer, Renzo Giusti, who helped implement Experientia’s contribution to the project, also spoke about Experientia’s vision for sustainable, high quality urban development, and how this was channelled into the final solution.

Experientia’s work on this project was as consultants to DE-GA S.p.A. The other partners in the initiative were: Tra architects, experts in social and co-housing; Confortaree, experts in housing fixtures and fittings; Habicher Holzbau, specialised in wooden residences; Teclmp for heating and cooling fixtures; Golder Associates, environmental and energy consultants; Onleco consultancy service; and Tebe, research group on energy technology for construction.

Be the first to share
Related Article
19 January 2015
The agency is dead. Long live the agency.
The traditional agency model is physically more than alive on a small scale, but mentally has been stagnating, writes Tobias van Schneider, Product Design Lead at Spotify NYC: Agencies are now tasked to find their own voice, …
Related Article
19 January 2015
In the age of the Internet of Things, all products are software products
Esko Kilpi, the principal of Esko Kilpi Ltd, a leading research and consultancy firm focusing on the art of interaction, science of social complexity and the design of digital work, writes about how the value …
Related Article
18 January 2015
Texting is family glue for the 21st century
Recent research from the University of Kansas looks at the way technological advancements influence interpersonal communication, with a focus on familial relationships. The study tested whether the number of media used by families to interact …
Related Article
16 January 2015
Case study: Service innovation in the public sector
Case study: Service innovation in the public sector Service Design Network site This case study is based on a series of public sector projects commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with local governments in two …
Related Article
16 January 2015
Videos online of Service Design Global Conference 2014
On 7-8 October around 650 global thought leaders and practitioners from sectors such as hospitality, insurance, retail, telecommunications, finance, IT and healthcare gathered in Stockholm for the 7th Service Design Global Conference. Coming from 40+ …
Related Article
15 January 2015
Ezio Manzini’s introduction to design for social innovation
Design, When Everybody Designs - An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation By Ezio Manzini The MIT Press, 264 pages February 2015 In a changing world everyone designs: each individual person and each collective subject, from enterprises to …
Related Article
1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
Related Article
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live
Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

See all articles