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Posts in category 'Italy'

4 November 2013

Experientia presents “BancoSmart”, the innovative ATM interface designed for UniCredit Bank

 

The user-centred approach is moving into finance, as banks increasingly connect to their customers’ needs and wants. As part of this trend, global banking and financial services company UniCredit Bank collaborated with user experience consultancy Experientia to create a user-friendly, people-centred ATM – the BancoSmart.

A customer trials the new BancoSmart interface, with personalised home page.
Click on image to view slideshow

The user-centred approach is moving into finance, as banks increasingly connect to their customers’ needs and wants. As part of this trend, global banking and financial services company UniCredit Bank collaborated with user experience consultancy Experientia to create a user-friendly, people-centred ATM – the BancoSmart.

Experientia has reinvented the ATM interface for UniCredit – making it easier to use, faster, and with more services, all offered through full touchscreen interaction. The new ATM is already in use in selected locations, and will finish its roll out across Italy in 2014.

The first reactions to the BancoSmart interface have been extremely positive, with people commenting on the increased speed, legibility, appealing graphics, and the improvement in features and functions. The highly intuitive ATM interaction allows clients to easily navigate, locate and use functions, from simple features like cash withdrawals to more complicated functions like deposits, information retrieval, bill payments and mobile phone top-ups. The interface is visually attractive and easy to read, with large fonts and clear banking function categories.

Experientia carried out in-depth user experience research as a foundation for the information architecture and service design of the ATM.  Multiple cycles of design, prototyping and user acceptance testing ensured that the final interface is strongly based on people’s banking behaviours and exceeds their expectations and needs for ATM use.

Experientia’s design is a responsive solution that runs on various ATMs including legacy terminals of different providers with various screen sizes and tech specifications. Usability and technical tests were performed across this device range.

BancoSmart offers a full touchscreen interaction, thanks to the extended network of touchscreen ATMs available in Italy (over 6,000 UniCredit touch ATMs, equal to 85% of machines).

The ATM offers several original features, conceived especially for UniCredit Bank, based on the research findings. These include:

  • Speedy withdrawal, with 3 predefined options on the Home Page based on the most frequent behaviours of the user, which the system learns over time. This cuts the time for common task completion by 30%.
  • Georeferenced payment service, which organises bill payment options and filters them based on what is available in the user’s location.
  • Adaptive interface, with a home page that offers personalised content based on the user’s banking profile.
  • Tone of voice, with the creation of a coherent language in all situations, which is more friendly and direct, and provides the correct support during operations.
  • Contextual support and feedback Contextual messages and continuous feedback keep people informed during interaction, particularly in case of data entry errors or other problems, using a clear language and coherent visual support.

UniCredit SpA is an Italian global banking and financial services company. It has approximately 40 million customers and operates in 22 countries.

Experientia® is a global experience design consultancy that practices user research-based and people-centred design. They help companies and organisations conceive and innovate products, services and processes, through a qualitative understanding of people, their mental models and their behaviours.

Experientia won the 2011 Italian National Prize for Innovation in Services, for a low carbon service platform to be implemented in an eco-friendly residential area under construction in Helsinki, “using innovative methodologies devised in Italy.” They have conducted research and design projects in every continent, for industries ranging from mobile telecommunications to sustainability, from automotive to architecture, and much more. Their portfolio includes a range of financial products, aimed at bank and customer use, developed for some of the biggest banks in Italy and Europe.

Experientia’s client roster features Italian and international clients, such as Alcatel Lucent, ASUS, Banca Fideuram, Banca Carige, Condé Nast, CVS Pharmacy, Expedia, Fidelity International, Haier, Intel, Max Mara, Microsoft, Motorola, Mozilla Corporation, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, SAP, Sky,  Trenitalia, Toncelli, UniCredit Bank, United Nations and Vodafone.

 

Contact

Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia srl, +39 011 812 9687,
[mark dot vanderbeeken at experientia dot com]

4 November 2013

Experientia rivoluziona la user experience degli ATM con “BancoSmart”, l’innovativa interfaccia degli ATM UniCredit

 

Le banche stanno cercando sempre più di entrare in sintonia con le esigenze ed i desideri dei propri clienti, innovando i propri prodotti e servizi secondo una approccio centrato sull’utente. Per dare concretezza a questo principio, UniCredit ha deciso di collaborare con Experientia con l’obiettivo di rinnovare a fondo la user experience del proprio canale ATM.

Un cliente prova la nuova interfaccia di BancoSmart e la home page personalizzata.
Click on image to view slideshow

Le banche stanno cercando sempre più di entrare in sintonia con le esigenze ed i desideri dei propri clienti, innovando i propri prodotti e servizi secondo una approccio centrato sull’utente. Per dare concretezza a questo principio, UniCredit ha deciso di collaborare con Experientia con l’obiettivo di rinnovare a fondo la user experience del proprio canale ATM.

Experientia ha di fatto reinventato l’interfaccia degli ATM UniCredit, rendendola più facile da utilizzare, più veloce e più ricca di servizi, il tutto attraverso un’interazione full touch.

Il nuovo ATM (denominato “BancoSmart”) è già attivo in agenzie selezionate e terminerà il roll out sul territorio italiano nel 2014.

Le prime reazioni al lancio della nuova interfaccia sono state molto positive, in modo particolar riferite alla maggiore velocità, alla grafica più moderna e di facile lettura, al fatto di far emergere con più chiarezza la ricchezza dei servizi offerti. L’interazione intuitiva del nuovo ATM consente ai clienti di navigare, individuare e utilizzare agevolmente tutte le funzioni, da quelle più semplici come il prelievo di contanti a quelle più complesse come il versamento di assegni.

Experientia, prima di procedere con la progettazione, ha condotto una ricerca dettagliata sulla user experience, i cui risultati sono stati alla base dell’architettura dell’informazione e del service design di BancoSmart. Molteplici cicli di design, prototipazione e test con utenti, hanno permesso all’interfaccia di rispondere ai bisogni espressi dalle persone.

BancoSmart funziona su sportelli di fornitori diversi, con schermi di varie dimensioni e specifiche tecniche dissimili fra loro. I test tecnici e i test di usabilità sono stati condotti sull’intera gamma di dispositivi in modo da mantenere inalterata la user experience.

BancoSmart offre un’interazione full touchscreen grazie alla più estesa rete di ATM touch presente in Italia (oltre 6.000 ATM touch UniCredit pari all’85% dell’intero parco posseduto) e presenta funzionalità, alcune del tutto inedite, concepite appositamente per UniCredit e ispirate ai finding emersi dalla ricerca. Tra le principali novità citiamo:

  • Prelievo veloce, con 3 importi immediatamente disponibili sin dalla home page e definiti sulla base dei comportamenti d’uso del cliente, riducendo del 30% il tempo impiegato per il prelievo.
  • Servizi di pagamento georeferenziati, con le opzioni di pagamento organizzate e filtrate per aree geografiche.
  • Interfaccia adattiva, con una home page che offre contenuti personalizzati, adattandosi al profilo dell’utente.
  • Tone of voice unico, con la creazione di un linguaggio coerente in tutte le situazioni, più amichevole, diretto e in grado di fornire il corretto supporto durante le operazioni.
  • Supporto e feedback contestuali fornendo all’utente un aiuto costante durante l’interazione, con messaggi e feedback contestuali, anche in caso di errori o problemi, utilizzando un linguaggio chiaro ed elementi grafici a supporto.

UniCredit S.p.A. è tra i primi gruppi di credito europei e mondiali. Conta oltre 40 milioni di clienti e opera in 22 paesi.

Experientia® è una società internazionale di experience design, il cui obiettivo è supportare società ed organizzazioni a concepire e innovare i propri prodotti, servizi e processi, grazie a una comprensione qualitativa delle persone, dei loro modelli cognitivi e dei loro comportamenti.

Experientia ha vinto il Premio Nazionale per l’Innovazione nei servizi, nel 2011, per un progetto di change behaviour destinato a ridurre le emissioni di carbonio da parte della comunità di residenti di un nuovo complesso residenziale eco sostenibile in costruzione nella città di Helsinki,”utilizzando metodologie innovative concepite in Italia”. Experientia ha condotto ricerca e progetti di design in ogni continente, per settori che spaziano dalle telecomunicazioni mobili alla sostenibilità, dall’automotive all’architettura dall’healthcare all’entertainment e molti altri.

In ambito Finance & Banking Experientia vanta numerose collaborazioni su tutti i principali temi di innovazione, con progetti di ricerca e design sviluppati per alcune fra le maggiori banche italiane ed europee.

La lista di clienti di Experientia annovera aziende e multinazionali italiane e straniere quali:

Alcatel Lucent, ASUS, Banca Fideuram, Banca Carige, Condé Nast, CVS Pharmacy, Expedia, Fidelity International, Haier, Intel, Max Mara, Microsoft, Motorola, Mozilla Corporation, le Nazioni Unite, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, SAP, Sky,  Trenitalia, Toncelli, UniCredit Bank e Vodafone.

 

Contatto

Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia srl, +39 011 812 9687,
[mark dot vanderbeeken at experientia dot com]

12 September 2013

Experientia workshop on strategic UX design for Taiwanese businesses

taipei

Taiwan meets Italy this week, in a series of workshops and company visits hosted by Experientia for Taiwanese business people.

The 15 participants are from a diverse range of roles, from secretary to CEO, and a wide range of industries, including IT, appliances, car accessories, B2B suppliers (sugar, saw blades, electronic components), a dental clinic and a law office. Their visit is a part of a China Productivity Centre (CPC) initiative to introduce Taiwan to the Italian business world, from a user experience perspective.

Experientia, in collaboration with Taiwan-based partner ScenarioLab, has prepared and organised a programme of workshops and company visits that will conclude on Friday 13th, focused on User Experience (UX) design for high-end lifestyles and for sustainability. Experientia has created the majority of the workshops and activities, which are designed to offer the participants both theoretical and practical knowledge of UX design.

In their time in Italy this week, the participants have attended workshops on the main principles and practices of strategic UX design, with successful case study examples. Hands-on sessions have focused on learning, applying and implementing UX methodologies. Other sessions focused on measuring the business impact of UX design, and differentiating company offerings.

The visit to Italy has also focused on introducing and promoting Italian businesses, thanks to meet and greet opportunities provided by the Piemonte Agency for Investments, Export and Tourism. The visitors have had the opportunity to visit some of Piemonte’s most successful businesses, with tours of Gessi, Officine Arduino, Italdesign Giugiaro, Eataly, Maserati, and BasicNet.

On Friday, the visit will conclude with a lecture on “Sustainability as a Strategic Vision” at the Polytechnic of Milan, and a final opportunity for the participants to share their insights and experiences from the week with the group.

Experientia looks forward to continuing its collaboration with ScenarioLab, CPC and the Taiwanese companies that are participating in this trip, and supports the City of Taipei in its ambitions to become World Design Capital in 2016.

25 April 2013

Jan-Christoph Zoels on interfaces at UNStudio during Milan Design Week [video]

logo_unstudio

Jan-Christoph Zoels, an Experientia founding partner, was one of the panelists at the UNStudio Platform Dialogues during the Milan Design Week and a video of his discussion with Markus Benz (CEO Walter Knoll) and Birgit Lohmann (Associate Editor-in-chief Designboom), is now online.

Experientia and UNStudio, the famous Dutch architectural design studio led by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, have previously collaborated on the design of sustainable buildings, environments and behavioral change.

The dialogue explored explored the current and future possibilities of Interfaces with each other and through materiality Whether it is as a portal to the World Wide Web or active nano-technologies, the communication between users and materials is no longer only one-way. The surfaces and objects through which we communicate and design provide new tactile and virtual feedbacks.

The UNStudio Platform Dialogues webpage also features the videos of the two other talks:

DESIGNING (FOR) CO-CREATING
How can architecture and product design contribute to co-creation? Is co-creation a romantic idea driven by the democratisation and customisation of the consumer industry, or a true reflection of contemporary working practices? What are the potential benefits of co-creating within architecture and product design? This session investigates the importance of materiality at the human scale of design. Jurgen Bey, Ben van Berkel and Leo Schouten invite design critics and writers to actively share their opinions concerning the future of co-creation. Sharing an interest in encouraging dialogue, innovation and creative exchange through design, they will discuss the process of co-creating within their own practices, as well as the designing of spaces for the accommodation of co-creation.
Panelists:
– Ben van Berkel, Co-Founder/ Principal Architect, UNStudio
– Jurgen Bey, Director/ designer Studio Makkink & Bey and director, PROOFFLab
– Leo Schouten, Founder / director, PROOFF
– Moderator: Christine de Baan

MATERIAL ATTAINABILITY
Every day we strive to find new materials and novel uses for old ones to discover inventive, effective and sustainable solutions. In the context of this Dialogue, ‘attainability’ is the combination of research and sustainability in the pursuit of advanced materials. For this dialogue we will explore what materials can do now, and what we want them to do tomorrow.
Panelists:
– Gabi Böhm, Senior Architect/Project Manager, Premier Composite Technologies
– Micol Costi, Director of Materials Research, Material Connexion Italia
– Giammichele Melisz, Associate Director, Buro Happold
– James O’Callaghan, Director, Eckersley O’Callaghan Structural + Facade Engineers
– Federica Sem, Managing Director, Permasteelisa Interiors

25 April 2013

Video online of Milan debate: “The Long View of Interaction Design”

ixd14

The people behind the upcoming IxDA Interaction14 conference organized on 6 April a panel discussion in Milan on the “Long View of Interaction Design”.

5 panelists debated with Interaction14 chair Alok Nandi on how to design for those interaction design challenges that go beyond the immediate consumer product/service launch cycle.


Note that due to technical difficulties, sound only starts at 0:10:15.

What if your interaction design has to be integrated in a hospital or a building or a city? How do you design if your creation has to last 10, 20 or even more years into the future? What tools can you use as an interaction designer? How do you make it adaptive and resilient? How to avoid obsolescence?

Panelists

The event was held at the Domus Academy in Milan who provided promotional and organizational support.

4 April 2013

Jan-Christoph Zoels speaker at three Salone del Mobile events

jan-christoph

Jan-Christoph Zoels, one of Experientia’s founding partners and our creative director, is going to be a lot in Milan next week.

Aside from his participation on Monday 8 April at the IxDA organized “The Long View of Interaction Design,” he will also speak on Thursday and Saturday.

On Thursday 11 April he will be one of the invited speakers at “The Future of Design,” an evening conference (7 to 10 pm) organized by frog design at their Milan studios.

The theme of the event is “Designing the Future, The future of Design”: “With technology embedded where we work, live, and play, the pace of innovation is increasing. Connected products and services create a new complexity for companies and consumers alike. Making sense of it by designing the human experience has never been more important and strategically relevant than today, but how can we design the future in a meaningful way?

The other speakers are Mark Rolston (Chief Creative Officer, frog), Paolo Ciuccarelli (Associate Professor, Communication Design, Politecnico di Milano), and Tjeerd Hoek (Vice President Creative, frog Europe).

On Saturday 13 April (3 to 4 pm) he is one of the panelists at the UNStudio Platform Dialogues at at Emporio Building, Opificio Courtyard, Via Tortona 31, Milan. Experientia and UNStudio, the famous Dutch architectural design studio led by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, have previously collaborated on the design of sustainable buildings, environments and behavioral change.

The theme of the Saturday talk is the “Interface“: Whether it is as a portal to the World Wide Web or active nano-technologies, the communication between users and materials is no longer only one-way. The surfaces and objects through which we communicate and design provide new tactile and virtual feedbacks. This Dialogue – which will also involve Markus Benz (CEO Walter Knoll) and Birgit Lohmann (Associate Editor-in-chief Designboom) will explore the current and future possibilities of Interfaces with each other and through materiality.

The other UNStudio Platform Dialogues are also worth checking out:

DESIGNING (FOR) CO-CREATING
TUESDAY, 9 APRIL – 11.00 – 12.00
Panelists:
Ben van Berkel – Co-Founder/ Principal Architect UNStudio
Jurgen Bey – Director/ designer Studio Makkink & Bey and director PROOFFLab
Leo Schouten – Founder / director PROOFF

MATERIAL ATTAINABILITY
FRIDAY, 12 APRIL – 15.00 – 16.00
Panelists:
Gabi Böhm – Senior Architect/Project Manager, Premier Composite Technologies
Micol Costi – Director of Materials Research Material Connexion Italia
Giammichele Melis – Associate Director Buro Happold
James O’Callaghan – Director Eckersley O’Callaghan Structural + Facade Engineers
Federica Sem – Managing Director Permasteelisa Interiors

29 March 2013

Debate in Milan: The Long View of Interaction Design

ixd14

The people behind the upcoming Interaction14 conference invite you to attend a panel discussion in Milan on the “Long View of Interaction Design”.

On Monday 8 April at 6pm (on the eve of the Salone del Mobile), Claudio Moderini, Fabio Sergio, Jan-Christoph Zoels and Todd S. Harple will debate with Alok Nandi on how to design for those interaction design challenges that go beyond the immediate consumer product/service launch cycle.

What if your interaction design has to be integrated in a hospital or a building or a city? How do you design if your creation has to last 10, 20 or even more years into the future? What tools can you use as an interaction designer? How do you make it adaptive and resilient? How to avoid obsolescence?

Speakers

Attendance: free and open to the public

Location: Domus Academy, via Carlo Darwin 20, Milan (Navigli area)

Live streaming: Yes! The event will be available in streaming live (and recorded for viewing afterwards). Join us on Monday at 6pm Italy time by clicking here.

Hashtag: #ixda

Sponsor in kind: Domus Academy (thank you!)

Disclosure: I am the behind the scenes organizer of it all.

24 March 2013

Big Data and personal data for behavioral analysis and behavioral change

logoMTL2

In a broader article on Big Data and privacy, the New York Times writes about the work of Alex Pentland, a computational social scientist, director of the Human Dynamics Lab at the M.I.T., and academic adviser to the World Economic Forum’s initiatives on Big Data and personal data.

His M.I.T. team, writes the New York Times, is also working on living lab projects. One that began recently, the Mobile Territorial Lab, is in the region around Trento, Italy, in cooperation with Telecom Italia and Telefónica, the Spanish mobile carrier. About 100 young families with young children are participating. The goal is to study how much and what kind of information they share on smartphones with one another, and with social and medical services — and their privacy concerns.

The Mobile Territorial Lab (MTL) aims at creating an experimental environment to push forward the research on human-behavior analysis and interaction studies of people while in mobility. MTL has been created by Telecom Italia SKIL Lab, in cooperation with Telefonica I+D, the Human Dynamics group at MIT Media Lab, the Institute for Data Driven Design (ID³) and Fondazione Bruno Kessler, and with contributions from Telecom Italia Future Center.

The data presents a valuable and unique source for investigating personal needs, community roles, phone usage patterns, etc. and for providing benefits to people in terms of personal, economic and social benefits.

MTL aims at exploiting smartphones’ sensing capabilities to unobtrusively and cost-effectively access to previously inaccessible sources of data related to daily social behavior (location, physical proximity of other devices; communication data (phone calls and SMS), movement patterns, and so on. The Mobile Territorial Lab (MTL) in Trentino aims at fostering mobile phone related research activities with real people on a very responsive territory. This include the involvement of a significant number of committed users with the goal of having a continuous and active user base to interact with and cutting down the experimentation setup costs. Not only.
A continued and active user base equipped with smartphones, enabling users to access (from everywhere) online services and to collect personal or contextual information from the integrated sensors, represents a valuable and unique sample for investigating new paradigms in the management of personal data.

3 October 2012

How to create a cutting edge Smart City visitor experience

logo-EN

A four step guide from the Milan Expo 2015:

Step 1
Ask your main sponsors (in this case Cisco, Enel and Telecom Italia) to indicate the relevant “Smart City” technologies that they already have, are currently working on, or are generally trendy.
In the Milan case these are push technology services, QR codes, smart phone apps, mapping services, RFID tags, biometric identification, security services, electronic walls, gestural interfaces, augmented reality (and eyewear), immersive virtual reality, 3D avatars, health tracking services, and foldable tablets.

Step 2
Agree with these sponsors to hire an advertising agency to develop a short video scenario of the Expo 2015 visitor experience, using all these technologies, and obviously adhering to the general vision and principles of the Expo.

Step 3 (VERY IMPORTANT):

  • DO NOT make it realistic by introducing context, such as the City of Milan, traffic, other digital services people might use, other people, or anyone who may not be familiar with smartphones, gestural interfaces, QR codes
  • DO NOT base your ideas on the actual behaviour of people – since it will be impossible to say how people might behave in 2015, any user research is distracting
  • DO NOT show any use that goes beyond what you can already do on a smartphone or website in 2012 – like navigating, browsing and communicating – and emphasize passive media consumption
  • DO NOT indicate that people (and small companies) can create their own bottom up services – as this might be a security risk

Inadvertently doing any of the above, will diminish the power of the perfect visitor experience you aim to create.

Step 4
Use this video in key presentations on your Smart City credentials and highlight how these services will resolve the key visitor experience problem that came to the fore during the recent Beijing expo: queues.

The result: Expo 2015 Smart City video (Italian version)

(I hope you capture my irony.)

2 September 2012

Focus on service design – in UK and in Italy

 

Earlier this year, the UK Design Council and the Arts & Humanities Research Council conducted a wide ranging review of the place of design research in UK universities, and its connection with businesses and policymakers. The aim was to identify future areas for research funding, and new and innovative ways of bringing research and industry together to contribute their ideas.

The findings from the initial scoping study indicated that a focus on service design is of the utmost importance, as it is an interesting field both in the design profession and in academic research, and one in which there is considerable opportunity for engagement with business:

“In relation to the UK design industry and the disciplines that we reviewed, we think it would be fair to say that the area that is perhaps most neglected is the developing sector and discipline of service design. It was certainly the area most regularly cited as in need of attention across all of the stakeholder research that we have conducted, but also has the potential to make major contributions to innovation and to major challenges such as health and sustainability.”

We believe that it is bringing together economists, design businesses and design researchers in multidisciplinary teams that will generate evidence that can fill some of the gaps currently seen in the literature.”

The Design Council will now conduct a study of service design that will conclude in November.

Italy

In Italy, there is a strong tradition of service design at academic level, with high-level English language Masters programmes at Domus Academy (directed by Elena Pacenti) and at the Milan Polytechnic (directed by Anna Meroni).

But too few of the students end up working as service designers in Italy, and despite good initiatives such as Feeding Milano (LIFT conference video), the impact of these programmes on public services is still scarce.

We at Experientia contribute to making that change happen, having hired former students from both programmes and also recruited their interns. They work with Italian and global players in multi-disciplinary and evidence-based projects, as recommended by the Design Council scoping study. Experientia partners Jan-Christoph Zoels and Mark Vanderbeeken also taught service design this Spring at resp. Domus and the Polytechnic, eager to inspire future positive change in the Italian context.

24 May 2012

“Beautiful things that matter” – Experientia’s new website for granstudio

granstudio

Site works also as a full-screen swipeable tablet web app

Today granstudio, the international design studio based in Turin, launches its new website, created by Experientia®.

Founded by internationally-renowned designer Lowie Vermeersch, granstudio is a creative, multidisciplinary consultancy that combines automotive design expertise with a strategic vision on performance, beauty and functionality.

The site features granstudio’s first concept car and will be constantly refreshed with new projects including Interieur, the acclaimed design fair and event in Belgium that Vermeersch will be curating later this year.

Experientia® created the granstudio site to be highly usable and attractive on both computers and tablets, using the gesture of swiping from screen to screen as a key navigation element. The HTML5 site can also run as a web app on tablets. Simply by creating a home screen shortcut to the site, the shortcut icon opens the website in full screen mode, offering the feel of a native app without having to download it through an app store.

The granstudio team create “beautiful things that matter”, and Experientia’s very visual website is the ideal showcase for their projects, inspirations and design talent.

Experientia® and granstudio are currently exploring further collaborations on mobility interface, interaction and service design.

> A personal note: Lowie and his team are good friends and we are really excited about this new studio in Torino. All of us at Experientia wish the team the very best with this exciting venture.

13 April 2012

Prisma kitchen at Eurocucina 2012

 

A high-tech kitchen and an instant classic, designed by Experientia®, for Toncelli kitchens

PRISMA01.jpgMinimalist design in a high-tech kitchen

Experientia® is taking part in the Salone del Mobile in Milan this year, with its brand new kitchen design, the Prisma, designed for Tuscan company Toncelli Kitchens.

Introduced by Toncelli as the “futuristic jewel” in its Eurocucina 2012 collection, the Prisma is a stylistic departure from Toncelli’s other kitchens, where the emphasis is on prestigious materials and traditional workmanship.

The Prisma is conceived as an entry-level luxury kitchen, which combines elegant prismatic shapes, gleaming surfaces, and minimalist styling with the latest in touch-screen technology.

Interactive workbench with internet connection and touch-screen technology by Samsung Electronics

While the Prisma also sports a stand for a personal tablet computer, the more high-tech element is the Samsung-driven touch screen table, integrated right into the black glass bench. Cooks will be able to use the internet connection to update chosen contents from a programmed menu. Designed for tech savvy home chefs, the Prisma kitchen picks up on the trend of tablet computers migrating to the kitchen, and then takes that idea to the next level.

PRISMA03.jpgThe prismatic compositions of the drawers and sink are illuminated from below, and give a dynamic, light feel to the kitchen

The minimalist design fits well with the high tech elements of the kitchen – red and white lacquered surfaces, anodized aluminium and black glass create a contemporary and dynamic feel. The prismatic composition, from the drawers in the island bench, to the sink which supports the bench top, gives the kitchen a feeling of weightlessness and light. The red, raised chopping board can actually slide along the island bench to any desired position, and provides an accent of colour in the otherwise black and white kitchen.

The minimalist feel is heightened by the use of easy-open, invisible handles on the drawers, cupboards and refrigerator. These were created by Experientia designers, working together with Toncelli’s engineers, and are so far exclusive to the Prisma.

PRISMA08.jpgThe red chopping board slides along the island, and has a stand for a tablet computer

The Prisma kitchen will be on display at Eurocucina 2012, as part of the Salone Milan, along with five other Toncelli kitchens. While a display of the Prisma will be visible to all the Salone visitors, guests must register on the Toncelli website for a guided tour of all the kitchens, tracing a linear time-line from the kitchens inspired by the past through to Prisma, a futuristic jewel, and, Toncelli hopes, an instant classic.

5 March 2012

Life 2.0 supporting elderly people’s independent life

life-2-0-logo-cm-ver_2

The Life 2.0 project is a EU funded project that aims at supporting elderly people’s independent life through a platform of geographical positioning and social networking services.

The project, which involves 13 core partners in 5 European member states, started in November 2010 and is now starting a pilot phase in which such applications will be tested in 4 pilot locations in Denmark, Italy, Spain and Finland.

The project is also involving elderly people in training centers (such as Kastanjegaarden in Aalborg, Denmark) community centers (such as Agora in Barcelona) and local libraries (as in Joensuu, Finland and Milano, Italy).

On his blog Nicola Morelli extracted a synthesis of the first results of the ethnographic analysis, the scenarios and the use cases.

The full deliverables and more information about the project are available at www.life2project.eu.

21 November 2011

Announcement: Dataviz workshop in Torino, Italy

Dataviz
On 12 to 17 December, the people of Better Nouveau plan Dataviz, an in-depth workshop on the visual representation of large datasets.

Better Nouveau is an independent design label and an innovation project initiated in June 2011 by ToDo, an Italian interaction design studio with a knack for setting up play dates between craft and code.

The six-day workshop, taking place in Torino, Italy, focuses on the visual representation of complex phenomena and large datasets.

“Over six days, you’ll learn to use the visual, node-based approach of NodeBox – an open-source data visualization tool – to create interesting and unique visualizations that evolve and react to varying inputs.

You’ll study how to capture, prepare, visualize and refine data, gaining insight in dataviz theories to the point you’ll start looking at data in a different way. By learning about the history of data visualization, you’ll discover how to create your own new and interesting designs for the future.

The final project will consist in a poster visualizing the data relating to a specified subject (we are currently selecting interesting datasets to be used during the week).”

20 November 2011

Sketchnotes of Ezio Manzini at School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Ezio Manzini sketchnotes
This past Monday evening, on an unseasonably warm night in Chicago, sustainability expert Ezio Manzini gave a thought-provoking lecture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Mr Manzini is a Professor of Industrial Design at the Politecnico di Milano, and is a renowned expert in the application of strategic design for sustainability. His perspectives on systems and service design relate nicely to his core message of sustainability, yielding a compelling framework for a vision of the future city.

Craighton Berman, self-styled “resident sketchnote correspondent”, was there to cover his lecture in drawing-form.

Read article

17 September 2011

Low2No project wins Holcim acknowledgement prize

Holcim
Medium rise timber office building in low-to-no carbon emissions district, Helsinki, Finland, wins Holcim acknowledgement award for sustainable construction.

The Low2No design team led by Sauerbruch-Hutton, Arup and Experientia® were recognized for the multi-story timber construction headquarter for Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.

The office and incubator building “is part of an inner-city building complex that augments the urban redevelopment of the former Jätkäsaari docklands in Helsinki. The aim for the entire building complex is to establish a “sustainable living” and “low-to-no carbon emission” performance through participatory planning and design methods.

The SITRA Headquarters at Low2No combines a variety of technical features that enhance user awareness and reduces weighted energy use to 45kWh/sq m per year, less than half the average Finnish requirement for heating and cooling. Civic amenities, including an auditorium, library and café, create a welcoming atmosphere for the public.”

Comment of the Holcim Awards jury Europe:
In terms of its construction and program, the office building is commended by the jury for achieving the aspired principles of transferability, transparency and inventiveness. All of the construction, even the cores and the prefab façade panels will be entirely in Finnish timber – globally an innovation for a 26m high 6-storey office building. Beyond these measures, the project has a successful holistic approach towards its design, connecting social, ecological, aesthetic and economical demands on a high level and it is thus an outstanding example of how sustainable architecture can be achieved on a larger scale.

 
The three winning projects in the European region stand out through a high degree of visionary place making and provoke our rethinking of the public spaces and existing buildings.

Gold prize went to Realities United from Berlin, Germany for an urban Flussbad on the Museumsinsel in the centre of Berlin.
“The Flussbad urban plan will remediate an area rich in cultural heritage by transforming an under-utilized arm of the River Spree into a natural 745m-long “swimming pool”. The project will form a swimming zone equivalent to 17 Olympic-sized pools – and directly improve the quality of urban life and the ecology of the waterway.” A 1.8ha reed bed water filtration system with sub-surface sand bed filters located before the swimming area purifies the river water. The beauty of this project lies not only in the reuse of public waterways for relaxation but also adding a sense of social placemaking into a historic and status laden city center.

Holcim Awards Silver went to a project that converts a former factory into a new City Hall and Civic Center for the city of Oostkamp in Belgium by not only recycling the main structure and materials but also re-using the space itself and its technical infrastructure. Holcim Awards Bronze was presented to a smart transformation plan for a viaduct on a bypassed section of an expressway into vertical homes, using an existing structure for a completely different use that brings new economic potency to Southern Italy.

The Holcim Awards Bronze was awarded to a collaborative project by Philippe Rizzotti Architects, Samuel Nageotte Architecture and Off Architecture, all based in France, which plans the conversion of one of the viaducts on a recently bypassed section of an expressway into vertical homes.

Four Acknowledgement prizes were given to highly innovative, but more pragmatic build solutions and material research. [Aside from the Low2No project (see above),] they “were allocated […] to German firms Barkow Leibinger Architects, Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, and TRANSSOLAR Energietechnik for their collaboration on low-cost apartments in Hamburg that use innovative techniques and materials including pre-fabricated lightweight-concrete elements with recycled foamed glass as an internal aggregate.

Acknowledgement prizes also went to Dutch architectural offices De Stuurlui Stedenbouw, and Atelier Gras for their cottage garden structure that creates green recreation spaces in dense urban areas, and to a production technology project for fabricating non-repetitive free-form cast-on-site concrete structures using re-usable and digitally-produced wax formwork by Gramazio & Kohler, Architecktur und Digitale Fabrikation – ETH Zurich in Switzerland.”

24 August 2011

Interview on Experientia’s strategy on sustainable living in Helsinki

e-Periscope
This month’s e-Periscope review has a brief interview with Experientia® partner Mark Vanderbeeken, talking about Experientia’s strategy on sustainable living in Helsinki and how its work on the Low2No project won the Italian National Prize for Service Innovation.

e-Periscope is the online economic review of the Italian Piedmont Region, and has featured Mark before, as one of the first businessmen they interviewed, back in 2008.

The quarterly regional bulletin of economic news about Italy and its regions examines international, Italian and regional economic data and statistics, accompanied by a regional marketing section with news for business.

Read article

3 August 2011

Ezio Manzini on the economics of design for social innovation

Ezio Manzini
Sarah Brooks of Shareable has just published the second part of her interview with the Italian design strategist Ezio Manzini, who is one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable design, author of numerous design books, professor of Industrial Design at Milan Polytechnic, and founder of the DESIS (Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability) network of university-based design labs.

Manzini speaks particularly about a community-supported agriculture project in Milan, that I like very much:

“At present, the most relevant project we have in this field is Nutrire Milano (Feeding Milan). It is an initiative promoted and developed in Milano by Slow Food, Politecnico di Milano, Facoltà di Scienze Gastronomiche and several other local partners. This project aims at regenerating the Milanese peri-urban agriculture (that is the agriculture near the city) and, at the same time, at offering organic and local food opportunities to the citizens. To do that implies to promote radically new relationships between the countryside and the city. That is, to create brand-new networks of farmers and citizens based on direct relationships and mutual support.

The project’s first step had been recognizing the existing (social, cultural and economic) resources and best practices. Moving from here, a strategy has been developed considering the emerging trends towards a new possible synergy between cities and their countryside (as the ones towards zero-mile food and proximity tourism). On this basis, a shared and socially recognized vision has been built: the vision of a rural-urban area where agriculture flourishes, feeding the city and, at the same time, offering citizens opportunities for a multiplicity of farming and nature related activities.

To enhance this vision, the program is articulated in local projects (which are several self-standing projects, each on of them supporting, in different ways, a farmer’s activity) and framework actions (including context analysis, scenario co-creation and communication, promotion and coordination of the different individual local projects).

It is remarkable that, in a large project like this (a five-year project involving a very wide regional area), thanks to its adaptability and scalability, a first concrete result (a very successful Farmers’ Market) has been obtained in less than one year since starting-up, that two other initiatives will be realized in the next years and that several others are underway and will be implemented in the near future (keeping in account the very concrete experiences of the first three ones).”

Read full interview

2 August 2011

Book: Design for Services

Design for Services
Design for Services
Series: Design for Social Responsibility
Authors: Anna Meroni and Daniela Sangiorgi
Gower Publishing, August 2011, 298 pages

In Design for Services, Anna Meroni and Daniela Sangiorgi articulate what Design is doing and can do for services, and how this connects to existing fields of knowledge and practice. Designers previously saw their task as the conceptualisation, development and production of tangible objects. In the twenty-first century, a designer rarely ‘designs something’ but rather ‘designs for something': in the case of this publication, for change, better experiences and better services.

The authors reflect on this recent transformation in the practice, role and skills of designers, by organising their book into three main sections. The first section links Design for Services to existing models and studies on services and service innovation. Section two presents multiple service design projects to illustrate and clarify the issues, practices and theories that characterise the discipline today; using these case studies the authors propose a conceptual framework that maps and describes the role of designers in the service economy. The final section projects the discipline into the emerging paradigms of a new economy to initiate a reflection on its future development.

Contents:

Preface, Rachel Cooper

Introduction, Ezio Manzini

Section 1 Introduction to Design for Services: A new discipline

Section 2 Design for Services: from Theory to Practice and Vice Versa

Designing interactions, relations and experiences
CASE STUDY 1: Co-designing Services in The Public Sector
CASE STUDY 2: Developing Collaborative Tools in International Projects: Polidaido Project.
CASE STUDY 3: Designing Empathic Conversations about Future User Experiences
CASE STUDY 4: Driving Service Design by Directed Storytelling
CASE STUDY 5: Exploring Mobile Needs and Behaviours in Emerging Markets

Designing interactions to shape systems and organisations
CASE STUDY 6: There is More to Service than Interactions
CASE STUDY 7: How Service Design can Support Innovation in the Public Sector
CASE STUDY 8: From Novelty to Routine: Services in Science and Technology-based Enterprises
CASE STUDY 9: Enabling Excellence in Service with Expressive Service Blueprinting

Exploring new collaborative service models
CASE STUDY 19: Service Design, New Media and Community Development
CASE STUDY 11: Designing the next generation of public services
CASE STUDY 12: A Service Design Inquiry into Learning and Personalisation
CASE STUDY 13: Mobile and Collaborative. Mobile-Phones, Digital Services and Socio-Cultural Activation.

Imagining future directions for service systems
CASE STUDY 14: Using Scenarios to Explore System Change: VEIL, Local Food Depot
CASE STUDY 15: Designing a collaborative projection of the ‘Cité du Design’
CASE STUDY 16: Enabling Sustainable Behaviours in Mobility through Service Design
CASE STUDY 17: Supporting Social Innovation in Food Networks

A map of design for services
What is design for services?
What job profiles for a service designer?

Section 3 Future Developments: An emerging economy

Appendices

Index

Authors

Dr Anna Meroni is assistant professor at the INDACO (Industrial Design, Arts, Communication and Fashion) Department of the Politecnico di Milano University, Italy, a Training and Research Centre in Design. She investigates service from the perspective of strategic social innovation, with a specific emphasis on community centred design. Her main research areas are food systems and innovative housing for sustainable lifestyles. Dr Meroni is co-director of the international Master in Strategic Design and a visiting professor and scholar in schools and universities around the world. She is active in the launch and promotion of the international network DESIS, Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability.

Dr Daniela Sangiorgi is a lecturer at ImaginationLancaster, the creative research laboratory at the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts (Lancaster University, UK). As one of the early scholars looking into Service Design, she has gained international recognition. Her work has been mapping and supporting this emerging field of study and research since its outset. Her doctorate has investigated services as complex social systems, proposing holistic and participatory approaches to Service Design. Recent work has been exploring the role of Design and participation within public services reform, with a focus on commissioning for healthcare. She has been one of the founders of the Service Design Network and Service Design Research initiatives.

Contributors

Sara Bury, Computing Department, Lancaster University, UK
Keith Cheverst, Computing Department, Lancaster University, UK
Carla Cipolla, Department INDACO, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Shelley Evenson, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Luca Maria Francesco Fabris, Centro Metid and Dept. BEST, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Giordana Ferri, Department INDACO, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Julia Gillen, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, UK
Valerie Hickey, IBM Research USA and IBM Corporation, Canada
Stefan Holmlid, Linkoping University, Sweden
Johnathan Ishmael, Computing Department, Lancaster University, UK
François Jégou, Strategic Design Scenarios, Belgium
Sabine Junginger, ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University, UK
Lucy Kimbell, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK
Keith Mitchell, Computing Department, Lancaster University, UK
Dianne Moy, Melbourne University, Australia
Elena Pacenti, Domus Academy Research Centre, Italy
Margherita Pillan, Department INDACO, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Nicholas J. P. Race, Computing Department, Lancaster University, UK
Bas Raijmakers, STBY, The Netherlands and UK
Mark Rouncefield, Computing Department, Lancaster University, UK
Chris Ryan, Melbourne University, Australia
Susanna Sancassani, Managing Director Centro METID, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Giulia Simeone, Department INDACO, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Paul Smith, Computing Department, Lancaster University, UK
Susan L. Spraragen, IBM Research USA and IBM Corporation, Canada
Deborah Szebeko, Think Public, UK
Nick Taylor, Computing Department, Lancaster University, UK
Paola Trapani, Department INDACO, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia, Italy
Roger Whitham, ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University, UK
Jennie Winhall, Participle, UK

17 July 2011

European museums and libraries in/of the age of migration

MeLa
MeLa – European Museums and Libraries in/of the Age of Migrations – is a brand new four-year research project, funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme, which aims to delineate new approaches for museums and libraries in a context characterized by the continuous migration of people and ideas.

Its main objectives are to advance knowledge in the field and to support museum and library communities, practitioners, experts and policymakers in developing new missions and forms of museums and libraries “in the age of migration”.

During the upcoming four years the team will reflect on the role of museums and libraries, dealing with several complex and crucial issues such as history, socio-cultural and national identity, the use of new technologies and, last but not least, exhibition design and museography.

MeLa intends to define new strategies for the multi/inter/transcultural organization, conservation, exhibition and transmission of knowledge in ways and forms which reflect the conditions posed by the migrations of people, cultures, ideas, information and knowledge in the global world. It aims to evaluate how much these changes can interfere with the physical structures and the architecture of the exhibition places.

The project is coordinated by the Politecnico di Milano, and also involves the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (Denmark), the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy), the University of Glasgow (UK), the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Spain), the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle (France), the Royal College of Art (UK), Newcastle University (UK), and L’ “Orientale”, University of Naples (Italy).

Check also the MeLa project blog and their first newsletter.