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Posts in category 'Italy'

3 May 2010

Open positions at Experientia

Experientia
Experientia is an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first. Our dynamic and enthusiastic team, based in Torino, Italy, includes experts in strategy, design, usability, communications, cognitive and social psychology, ethnographic and user research, information architecture, interaction design and information visualization, prototyping and programming, and with skills in over 16 languages.

Experientia is currently looking for people to fill the following positions:
 

Project Manager

This position has been filled.
 

Web prototyper

This position has been filled.
 

Visual interaction designer

We are looking for a visual interaction designer with outstanding visual design skills, methodical thinking, fascination with typography or information visualization, and interest in design for mobile applications or social software.

Required

  • 3-5 years experience in visual interaction design
  • University and/or advanced degree(s) in Interaction Design, Visual Communication Design, or similar.
  • An available portfolio of visual interaction design solutions.
  • Advanced English language skills, with ability in Italian or German also an advantage, strong visual and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficiency in a variety of layout/UI and time based design tools including Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.
  • Understanding of how and why an interface succeeds or fails and ability to spot likely problems in flow, layout, copy or presentation before they go into production.
  • Demonstrated ability to adhere to critical project timelines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Legally entitled to work in the EU

The Visual Interaction Designer will:

  • Excel in design thinking, participate in design research, ideate concepts and truly enjoy design.
  • Understand the parameters of a design problem, and be able to create appropriate visual interaction deliverables.
  • Follow a user-centred methodology and approach.
  • Translate user research and usability findings into tangible designs.
  • Brainstorm on innovative concept solutions around given project themes.
  • Identify tools, resources, methods, and techniques that evolve existing approaches for the larger Experientia community.
  • Work independently, or in teams and in close conjunction with the Design Director, to produce elegant, sophisticated concept designs.

How to apply
Interested applicants should send a motivational cover letter in English, an English or Italian CV, and possible other supporting materials to info at experientia dot com. Your application should be accompanied by a pdf or portfolio or link to an online portfolio. We would like to see a range of final deliverables and interim deliverables created during the course a project. Please indicate your role and contribution for each project submitted.
 

Usability Expert

This position has been filled.

13 March 2010

Torino tags its monuments for tourists

Torino tags
The Italian city of Torino just launched “The Colors of Torino“, helping tourists through Microsoft’s Color Tags at monuments and tourist attractions.

If you want to know more about a certain attraction (currently only 10 key destinations are tagged), you just download a free mobile app, scan the associated Microsoft Color Tag with your mobile phone, and you’re automatically connected to relevant online resources (as described on a Microsoft blog).

Unfortunately, very little thinking and design has gone into the design of the resources and information one finally gets access to: not mobile specific, not very relevant, and not very much in depth.

The project seems gimmicky and remains at the level of a technical or marketing experiment. The user experience is poor and disappointing. Clearly no experience designer or service designer was involved here.

How is it possible that Microsoft still launches projects that are portrayed as providing value for real people, but in fact do not provide any meaningful value for them at all? Unless Microsoft Italia urgently does some drastic work on the user experience, the value here is only one of public relations for the entities involved.

- Download press release
- View video

24 February 2010

Google’s bad day

Google
Luca De Biase, the journalist I translated this morning, continues to add interesting commentary:

Excerpts from this post (translated into English):

“The Italian sentence on Google says fundamentally that the judges do not consider the [YouTube] platform to be an editor (Google was not sentenced for defamation) but they consider it responsible when there are violations of privacy legislation, in particular with regards to the sharing of sensitive data related to a person’s health. It might be that the problem that could simply be resolved by adding a button to the platform, so that the user, when about to publish something, has to declare that the uploaded contents are not in violation of the privacy legislation. We shall see. [...]

One cannot ignore the fact that the motivations for the ruling are currently lacking. Once the judge will publish them, it will become obvious whether he did indeed take all this correctly into account, pointing out simply that in Google’s terms and conditions at the time, not all precautions were taken to avoid that users would upload materials that damages privacy – in which case the whole thing would be a lot less worrisome and platforms, in order to comply with the law, would just need to be more clear in asking users to pay attention to privacy matters.”

A second post provides some further reflection:

“The right to freedom of information and the right to privacy are increasingly in conflict. And all those who want to reduce the first can appeal to the second. [...]

And even if it all leads to the fact that the platform needs to ensure that those who publish contents have all the rights to do so, even by asking first third parties before going on to publication, all this will generate enormous complications for any platform that deals with user-generated content. If it is just a matter of a better description of the terms and conditions, then it could be resolved rather easily.”

24 February 2010

Google Video: Italian law is complicating the world

Google
This Italian reflection on the Italian Google sentence, written by journalist Luca De Biase (in charge of the Nòva24 insert of “Sole 24 Ore” business newspaper), is highly pertinent and therefore worth to be translated:

Google Video: Italian law is complicating the world

“So now those platforms that allows users to publish online content have become responsible for possible violations by those same users? That’s what an Italian judge just decided. And this will have global legal consequences.

Judge Oscar Magi – the same one [who dealt with the CIA kidnapping] of Abu Omar – has condemned several
Google Italy executives for violating Italian privacy law, because they allowed the publication of a video showing a teenager with Down’s Syndrome being bullied. The judge absolved the three of a defamation accusation.

In practice it seems to state that Google would have had to obtain obtain a consent of all the parties involved – directly or indirectly – to the publication of these images.

This lower court decision is not final [and can be appealed]. But it opens a very complicated future scenario for all internet access providers and most of all for platforms that allow informational and other video content to be published by users directly.

Taken to its logical consequence, this sentence means that before publishing anything whatsoever about third parties on Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, or Facebook, users need to first obtain a consent from those third parties, and if not, also the platforms themselves are responsible. The platforms therefore need to supervise everything their users are publishing.

That could be a very serious blow to the world of user-generated content. This sentence should be carefully looked at by all those people and entities who care about the web as a place for freedom of information – with all its good and bad, its risks and opportunities.”

In fact, according to the BBC, Google’s lawyer “questioned how many internet platforms would be able to continue if the decision held.”

I wonder if judge Magi has written consent from his 47 friends, listed with full names and photos on the judge’s entirely public Facebook page

In any case, here is Google’s answer. And yes, they are going to appeal.

Further analysis:
- Guardian
- Guardian editorial
- Fast Company
- ReadWriteWeb
- Spiked

16 January 2010

Good: the Slow Issue

The Slow Issue
Good, the collaborative magazine, has published its “Slow Issue” with perspectives on a smarter, better and slower future:

“At its simplest, slow stands for a focus on quality, authenticity, and longevity rather than a mindless adherence to the faster and cheaper ethos.

This issue is about planning not only for tomorrow, but for the next year, and the next generation. Because if progress isn’t permanent, can it even be called progress at all?”

Here are the longer articles:

Hurry up and wait
We asked some of the world’s most prominent futurists — Julian Bleecker (Nokia/Near Future Laboratory), Esther Dyson, Jamais Cascio (Worldchanging), Bruce Sterling, John Maeda (RISD), and Alexander Rose (Long Now Foundation) — to explain why slowness might be as important to the future as speed.

Slow burn
Money—not the paper stuff in your wallet, but the bits of data that whip around the world in billions of instantaneous transactions each day—moves too fast.

Built to last
Designer/inventor Saul Griffith argues that we need to stop buying things and then throwing them away so quickly. In short, we need more “heirloom design.”

Mass reduction
Welcome to slowLab, a collective of designers applying a cradle-to-cradle philosophy to consumer goods.

Turning the tables
Tracing the slow-food movement back to its feisty Italian roots.

Pushing the limits
In Oregon, radical antisprawl laws aim to save the state’s bucolic paradises. But with land-hungry suburbs on the prowl, can these goats be saved?

8 January 2010

A Creative Commons inspired barter market in Turin, Italy

Senza Moneta
Two articles from today’s La Stampa newspaper (translation by Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia):

Bargains without money
Luca Indemni – Fabrizio Vespa

“Leave your wallet at home” – that could be the slogan of the Gifts Without Money (“Regali Senza Moneta”) initiative organised by the ManaMana’ association in collaboration with the local San Salvario development agency and about fifteen other local associations. It will all take place this Sunday from 10am to 6pm in Piazza Madama Cristina, Turin, Italy.

Even though there are now a huge number of ideas on how to best face the economic crisis, this initiative is of another level altogether, as the event goes beyond the narrow idea of barter and promotes the concept of a real exchange. Scheduled immediately after the Christmas holidays, the initiative provides people with an opportunity to free themselves of less wanted gifts, bringing them to the market and putting them back in circulation. “Our market is not a real market,” explains Filippo Dionisio, President of ManaMana’ – in the sense that money is banned. We want to go beyond the commercial concept of barter, which is often seen as a precursor to money, and to affirm instead the value of exchange, where such exchange can also be immaterial and cover connections and relationships between people.” That’s why the “SenzaMoneta” event should be seen first of all as a meeting between people, where goods, products and also knowledge can be exchanged without any money passing hands, thereby also limiting any possible waste.

How does it work – Those wanting to particpate in the event have to bring something that can be exchanged, which can also include a skill or a knowledge service. Stalls are available and these can be booked by sending a mail to senzamoneta(at)manamana.it. “During recent SenzaMoneta events that we organised in the city,” continues Donisie, “we have seen some really fun things: dinner invitations in exchange for objects, or a live one-hour long music performance in exchange for a one hour plumber intervention. The whole idea is to go beyond the idea of the financial value of things, but rather exchange them with whatever our free immagination can come up with.”

Objects and services – On the covered Madama Cristina market, you can also find a range of services, such as the Bicycle Office, where you can get small bike repairs done, an initiative devoted to the recycling and reuse of PC’s, a special exchange zone for children, a Creative Commons based music exchange, as well as stalls with zero-kilometre food such as polenta and hot wine. “Our objective,” concludes the event organiser, “is to provide more space to people’s time and to demonstrate that one can do many things without adhering to a logic of ‘consumption at all costs’ and without thinking about money.” More information on www.manamana.it

A show room to recycle unwanted gifts

Exchange, barter and ‘do-it-yourself’ make you save money, but not just that. “When you are in a situation where you can’t use money,” explains Daniela Calisi of the ManaMana’ association, “you have to put yourself at stake, relate to the other and create a connection with him or her.” Therefore, the exchange is both an invitation to more enlightened consumption, but also a social opportunity to create connections with other city inhabitants. That’s at least the idea behind the SenzaMoneta markets that ManaMana organises every 3-4 months in the city.

During the remainder of the year, the no-cost supporters can also find tools online for exchange and barter.

Interesting proposals and offers can be found on www.bakeca.it, in the section “varie-regali-baratto” (“various gifts and barter”), or one can become a member of the group Freecycle, a platform dedicated to all those who prefer to recycle an object, rather than throw it away. These sites cover everything, from a piano seat to an old door, as long as they are in good condition. Be aware though that all things on offer on the Freecycle site are available for free.

Other interesting solutions, mostly connected to clothing exchange, are the so-called “swapping parties”, which are not just about meeting people and having fun, but also about exchanging and bartering clothes and accessories, events that often taken place when the seasons are about to change. So if you want to completely redo your wardrobe without spending money, the only thing you have to do is organise such a party, as Anna and Genny Colombotto Rosso have been doing for some time now in Turin. You can find valuable suggestions on the greenMe site under “consumare” and “riciclo e riuso”.

The swapping parties tend to be organised by and for women, without garments for men, even though these could provide some interesing gift ideas. Often the parties come with a small buffet that – always in the same spirit – are based on people bringing some food from their homes. What is crucial is that participants bring along some cleanly washed clothing in good condition. Also important is to have a space in the party home where the clothing can be shown, possibly organised by size, so that active participation is guaranteed. Finally, to create a smooth process, it is good to have some kind of rule on who can start. Once the garment has been fitted and chosen, it is removed from the “show room”. Whatever is not exchanged at the end of the party, is donated to a used clothing outlet or a non profit organisation, such as the San Vincenzo of Via Nizza, where they can make good use of such garments and assure their longer life.

And for those who can’t wait for the next swapping party, there is always the Internet. Check swapstyle and barattopoli.

25 December 2009

Designing for social innovation: an interview with Ezio Manzini

Ezio Manzini
User experience strategist Steve Baty interviewed Ezio Manzini, Professor of Design at the Politecnico di Milano and one of the keynote speakers at Interaction 10, about designing for social innovation and his work with the DESIS network.

“Social innovation is a process of change where new ideas emerge from a variety of actors directly involved in the problem to be solved: final users, grass roots technicians and entrepreneurs, local institutions and civil society organizations. The main way in which it differs from traditional “garage” innovation is that here the “inventors” are groups of people (the “creative communities”) and the results are forms of organization (the “collaborative services”).

Looking attentively to the complexity of the contemporary society shows many cases of these worldwide (for more, see the Sustainable Everyday project). While the stories are diverse, they have one clear (and expected) common denominator: they resulted from the initiatives of people who collaboratively invented new ways of living and producing and who have been able to enhance them, solving specific problems and, at the same time, making concrete steps towards sustainability happen.”

Read interview

7 December 2009

Adopt a kW

Adotta un kW
This contribution is by Camilla Masala, an Experientia collaborator, and is part of our background research for the Low2No project on creating an urban development with no CO2 impact through affecting behavioural change:

The energy market liberalization has created new opportunities, also for average citizens, and not only because there is now more choice on the market. We are moving from an energy production monopoly to distributed production: every site can now become a potential energy source. While in the past energy production and management were based on delegation and transfer, now citizens themselves become energy producers, and their contribution is particularly significant with respect to alternative energy sources.

Organic farmer Marco Mariano started the “Adopt a kW” initiative — a cooperative photovoltaic system — in his home region Piedmont, and his very active blog helped spread the idea also to other Italian regions.

The basic concept that underlies “Adopt a kW” — that all citizens can purchase a share of the photovoltaic system — has proven to be successful: many people have joined the project and founded a co-op to run the initiative (called Solare Collettivo). The photovoltaic system is currently hosted in a building owned by a social cooperative in the small Piedmont town of Mondovì. It provides electricity at discount rates and guarantees Solare Collettivo members guaranteed annual savings, the size of which depend on the system’s productivity. Coming from all over Italy, not all Solare Collettivo members can obtain their energy from the Mondovì-based system, yet they are committed to investing in the renewable energy market.

The documentary of the same name was directed by Elena Micheloni and was selected for the 12th edition of the CinemAmbiente Festival in Turin. It shows the process involved in founding and implementing the cooperative photovoltaic system.

29 October 2009

Migropolis: Venice /Atlas of a Global Situation

Migropolis
In winter 2006, under the aegis of philosopher Wolfgang Scheppe, a collective of students from theIUAV University in Venice (including Experientia collaborator Miguel Cabanzo) fanned out to subject the city of Venice, Italy to a process of forensic structural mapping.

Out of this field work, conducted in the Situationist tradition, there developed a three-year urban project that produced an enormous archive comprising tens of thousands of photographs, case studies, movement profiles, and statistic data.

In this archive, Venice, the place of longing at the junction of three migration corridors, emerges as a front-line European city and an exemplary prototype of the increasingly globalized city in which a decimated inner-city population meets armies of tourists and a parallel economy supported by illegal immigrants.

In a map cleverly branching out into essays, visual arguments, data visualizations, and interviews, the globalized territory of Venice is microscopically dissected and defined as an urban metaphor: the city becomes an “atlas of a global situation.”

Migropolis is two things in one: A survey on the global city using the urban territory of Venice as an exemplary paradigm that makes it possible to anticipate urban escalations to come. And: An experimental investigation of the means and measures of the spectacle to find out if visual media allow an understanding of society.

Migropolis is a book consisting of two volumes, a series of exhibitions and this webpage as a tool that will continuously be updated.

The book

Migropolis
Venice / Atlas of a Global Situation

Wolfgang Scheppe & the IUAV Class on Politics of Representation

Essays by Giorgio Agamben, Valeria Burgio and Wolfgang Scheppe
Foreword by Angela Vettese

1,344 pp., 2078 ills., 17 x 24 cm, hardcover, 2 volumes in slipcase
2009, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern

Buy the book: from the publisher / on Amazon

The exhibition

Migropolis
Venice / Atlas of a Global Situation

Wolfgang Scheppe & the IUAV Class on Politics of Representation

Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa
Comune di Venezia

Galleria di Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
October 8 – December 6, 2009
10:30 – 17:30
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

25 September 2009

Max Mara launches new website, designed by Experientia

Max Mara
Experientia, the Turin-based user experience design company, has created a new and innovative international website for the Max Mara brand.

It’s online. www.maxmara.com is the address of the new Max Mara website, historical Made in Italy fashion brand, based in Reggio Emilia, and with over 2,000 stores worldwide.

The site has been realised by Experientia, in collaboration with the IT and Communication division of the Max Mara group. Experientia is a User Experience Design consultancy agency, whose international client roster includes Vodafone, Samsung, Nokia, Condé Nast, Ferrero, Microsoft and Kodak, and recently won a contract from the Finnish government to design an ecological urban district in Helsinki using human-centred design principles.

“The website concept that we have desiged for Max Mara,” says Pierpaolo Perotto, Experientia CEO, “is inspired by offering the visitor the possibility to discover the richness of the brand through engaging and original navigation techniques. Experientia’s novel editorial approach has resulted in a site that showcases the entire universe of Max Mara, and offers people a high level of interaction with the content, for example, saving favourite looks in a private space, or sharing them with friends.”

Perotto continues, “Some of the new, engaging features of the site include: the possibility to navigate the Max Mara collections through an interactive game that invites visitors to express their mood, and see related looks; a fashion blog where Max Mara insiders give people a behind-the-scenes look at fashion; a community with personalised services; video maker remixes of runways and backstage; travel diaries and advice on some of the world’s coolest places. Particular attention has been paid to the usability of the site, offering simple and intuitive navigation.”

Experientia developed the concept, the architecture of the site, the navigation experience (interaction design) and the visual design (in collaboration with Caudio dell’Olio, Art Director of the Max Mara Magazine). Finsa Consulting (Experientia partner, with headquarters in Genoa, specialised in software, web and mobile application development, with clients such as Autorità Portuale di Genova, Banca Carige, Costa Crociere, Saint Gobain, RINA, TSF, Selex Communication, Elsag Datamat, Engineering) oversaw the technological implementation and the development of all the templates.

2 September 2009

Experientia’s senior designer Luca Troisi on experience design and yachting

Yachting
One of our staff members, senior designer Luca Troisi, worked previously in the yachting industry and has not forgotten those roots when he joined Experientia. Luca’s extensive and excellently written article explores what experience design could mean for the yachting industry:

“In design terms there are a few obvious analogies between depression of the 1930s and today. Consider two product groups that symbolise both ages: the car then and the mobile phone now. The yachting industry during the past few years has taken the automotive industry as its reference point.

But in order to attract the customers of the future, it will most likely have to take a lead from other industries, even those that may seem very distant from a product standpoint; in a number of ways the mobile phone industry points the way that designers should view the future…”

Read full story

24 July 2009

An Experientia celebration in style

IBM
(Article contributed by Experientia editor Erin O’Loughlin:)

On the 23rd July 2009, Experientia celebrated its fourth anniversary in style, at the stunning Villa Tiboldi in the lush Piemontese wine country.

There was a lot to celebrate, in four years of challenges, successes and growth. Starting from Piazza Castello, in the heart of historical Turin, the Experientia team boarded a bus for a drive through some of Italy’s most lovely scenery – countryside villas, terraced vineyards and rolling hills.

The warm summer evening and the candle-lit villa were the perfect backdrop to a night of congratulations and surprises, starting with the team’s thank-you gift to the partners, of an original-design notebook, bound in Experientia orange. (Now we can reveal to the partners that the bus was late because we hid this surprise gift so well that even we couldn’t find it when it was time to depart!) A further surprise gift was in store later in the evening, as our wonderful office manager was presented with a thank-you for all the hard work she does organising and informing those of us who are new to Italy and to Turin.

The partners each took the opportunity to thank the team and to tell their version of the Experientia history and the birth of the company, to much applause and raising of glasses, as we enjoyed a first-class, five-course meal.

In four years, Experientia has grown from four men with a vision to a thriving company of over 20 team members, with an excellent mix of skills and a great feeling of camaraderie. Congratulations Experientia. Happy Birthday!

Check the Flickr photo set of the evening

21 July 2009

Happy birthday Experientia

Experientia
On 21 July 2009, Experientia turns four years old. From four friends and business partners to an office of over twenty staff and collaborators, Experientia has grown quickly. It’s a far cry from the early days of meeting in partners’ homes, but it has been an interesting journey.

From idea to experience – the founding of a company
We begin the story at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, where both Mark Vanderbeeken and Jan-Christoph Zoels were working, Mark as Communications Manager and Jan-Christoph as Senior Associate Professor. Based in Italy, the two friends were busy strategising about building an experience design consultancy, which could compete with leading design agencies in Europe.

At that time Michele Visciola was working as an international usability expert, teaching at Milan Polytechnic and collaborating with Pierpaolo Perotto of Finsa Consulting. He had previously founded an Italian usability company that was bought by a major software company, and now wanted to start an international company.

In April 2003, Michele co-organised a conference on the semantic web at the Interaction Design Institute. Speaking with Mark, he talked about his ambition to found a company; the story began to take on a shape of its own. Before long, Mark had introduced Michele to Jan-Christoph, and they had met up with Pierpaolo. With a gestation period of two years, including meetings in Rome, Milan, Turin and the Ivrea countryside, the idea of an experience design company was developed. In the spring of 2005 the four met for a one and a half day conference, and brainstormed on the philosophy, concepts and strategies that would underlie the business. Michele came up with the name, with inspiration striking him in the train station of Milano Centrale on the way back from a business meeting!

After finding the name, the next important step was securing the right website address. Experientia.com was owned by BuyDomains, a domain name trader, and was for sale at a cost of US $2800. Pierpaolo dictated his personal credit card details over the phone to Mark, in order to quickly buy the domain name – the first official Experientia transaction!

On the 21st July 2005, at the offices of their notary, Experientia was officially born.

The early days
The first challenge was to find a home for the company. The partners soon moved into the fourth floor of Via Cesare Battisti 15, overlooking the charming piazza Carlo Alberto in the heart of historical Turin. Within a year, they found that they had outgrown the space, and began looking for new, more spacious offices. The search took them all over Turin, including an eerie 17th-century building which housed the ex-offices of the Inquisition! Finally the search led them in a full circle, when the partners noticed a sign for the current office space on the second floor of the same building. In March 2007 they moved into the new offices, without even needing to change the business cards!

All over the world
The Experientia staff have always had an international flavour, with current team members coming from as far away as Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea and the USA just to name a few. The staff, just like the clients, were originally sourced from the partners’ wide networks, built over twenty years of professional experience each.

The atmosphere at Experientia is open and collaborative, with a horizontal structure, and a hands-on approach from the partners, who choose to be strongly involved in the projects. The partners each bring a different area of expertise to the mix, as do the staff, with experts in strategy, design, usability and communications.

The client roster now boasts an impressive list of new and past clients, including some of the biggest names in telecommunications, technology and fashion, from all over the world. The Experientia reputation has grown over the years through word of mouth, based on innovative processes, creative solutions and high quality deliverables This is also due to the active communications and outreach strategy of the partners, which includes the highly successful blog Putting People First, presentations at conferences and workshops, and articles in such well-known industry journals as Interactions Magazine.

To the next four years… and many more
As Experientia continues to grow, the team strives to bring user research and design together, and to communicate the message that companies and public services must start putting people first. The vision for the future includes continued growth, despite the economic slowdown, with the possible setting-up of business units that deal with specific areas, such as health care, or public governance, and regional offices. Part of this expansion will be a greater emphasis on service design, experience prototyping, the integration between international usability and design, and the development of design strategies.

The last four years have been an unforgettable experience for all involved, positioning Experientia for exciting opportunities in the years ahead.

Client roster
Adaptive Path (USA), Alcatel-Lucent (France, Spain), Area Association (Italy) with project site DiTo, Arits Consulting (Belgium), Arup (UK), AVIS (Italy), Barclays (Italy, UK), Blyk (Finland, UK), Casa.it (Italy), Cittadellarte (Italy), City of Genk (Belgium), Condé Nast (Italy) with project site Style.it, Conifer Research (USA), CSI-Piemonte (Italy), CVS-Pharmacy (USA), Dada.it (Italy), Design Flanders (Belgium), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Expedia (UK), Facem Tre Spade (Italy), Fidelity International (UK), Finmeccanica (Italy), Flanders in Shape (Belgium), Foviance (Italy), Fujitsu-Siemens (Germany), Haier (China), Hewlett Packard (India), Idean (Finland), IEDC-Bled School of Management (Slovenia), IKS-Core Consulting (Italy), Istud Foundation (Italy), Keep Sight (USA), Kodak (USA), LAit (Italy), Last Minute (UK), La Voce di Romagna (Italy), Max Mara (Italy), Media & Design Academy (Belgium), Microsoft (USA), Motorola (USA), MPG Ferrero (Italy), Nokia (Denmark, Finland, France), Red Hat (USA), Research in Motion (Canada), Samsung (Italy, Korea, UK), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Italy), Swisscom (Switzerland), Syneo (Italy), Tandem Seven (USA), Techno System S.p.A (Italy), Thomson CompuMark (USA), Torino 2008 World Design Capital (Italy), Usability Professionals’ Association (Italy), Vodafone (Germany, Italy, UK), and Whirlpool (UK).

10 July 2009

Augmenting Venice

Locast
The MIT Mobile Experience Laboratory has just published a recent project about location-based media, focusing on how the future of mobile contents are related to the physical environment. The project, Locast, was made in collaboration with RAI New Media in Italy.

Locast is an innovative platform for sharing and discovering location-based user-generated videos and production quality multimedia content provided by RAI New media. It consists of a combination of Mobile and Wearable Computing elements supported by a distributed Web application.

Locast seeks to shift the innovation from the wide-spread concept of Web 2.0 to the promising framework of Space 2.0 that keeps the physical and social characteristics of the Italian cities and augment them with the potential offered by pervasive computing.

MIT MEL ran a user test in Venice (Italy) during the days between July 2 and July 10, 2009.

9 July 2009

Service design tools

Service design tools
Service design tools – communication methods supporting design processes” is an open collection of communication tools used in design processes that deal with complex systems.

Compiled by Roberta Tassi for her thesis at the Politecnico di Milano, the 45 tools are displayed according to the design activity they are used for, the kind of representation they produce, the recipients they are addressed to, and the contents of the project they can convey.

“The thesis investigated the relation between communication design and service design, starting from the observation of the existing practices in the field of service design. The critical points and the opportunities concerning the use of communication tools during a service design process also emerged.

The aim of this website is to share with the (service) design community the results of the research and to build an open platform of knowledge: any comments and suggestions are appreciated.”

(via Design for Service, InfoDesign and Choosenick)

2 July 2009

From “cultivating diversity” to “embracing cultural diversity”

Upa_logo
A few months ago, we wrote with satisfaction how the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) got inspired by the theme of its first European regional conference (Turin, December 2008 – co-chaired by Experientia partner Michele Visciola), and chose for a major focus on design for its 2009 global conference (Portland, OR, June 2009).

The 2010 UPA conference (Munich, Germany, May 2010) takes this just a bit further: design is now ‘experience design’ and the European regional conference theme of “cultivating diversity” has turned into a global “embracing cultural diversity”.

It’s nice, and somewhat funny, to notice how ideas influence one another.

14 June 2009

Italians say goodbye to property

Dress sharing
Italy’s La Stampa newspaper reports today on the growing phenomenon of renting products rather than buying them:

“[...] But the real revolution is that renting is becoming a way of life which is changing consumption and society. Car sharing, bike sharing, i.e. quick rentals of cars and bikes, but also dress sharing, i.e. the rental of clothes and handbags. There is toy sharing: children toys, small machines, lego, and puzzles. Even tools for the disabled, wheelchairs, orthopaedic supports, computers, and whatever you might need in the gym, sports or vacation. You don’t need to buy, you can just rent.” [My translation]

The article provides many examples, with products both aimed at companies and at private individuals: from construction cranes to umbrellas, and from Ferraris to digital cameras. You can even rent vegetable gardens and land workers who will take care of a small patch of garden for a couple of euros a day, and deliver your vegetables at home.

No less than five websites are specialised in this new cultural phenomenon: NoleggioTutto, Noleggiando, Italnolo, ItaliaNoleggio and Noleggio.it (the word “noleggio” means rent or rental).

13 June 2009

Bill Thompson, BBC tech art critic at the Venice Biennale

Pixels and paintbrushes
Bill Thompson, back from the Venice Biennale, reflects on digital art and its relationship with technology.

“While there was a lot of interesting art, I saw little that attempted to explore our use of or reliance on technology itself, and the only two pieces I encountered that seemed to have any connection to digital technology for its own sake were rather disappointing as neither was working when I visited.”

Read full story

(via Bruce Sterling)

11 June 2009

“Singing the body electric” by Fabio Sergio and other talks at Frontiers of Interaction

Frontiers of Interaction
Fabio Sergio, a design and user experience strategist, creative director at frog design, and former associate professor at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, was one of the speakers at the Frontiers of Interaction conference that took place on Tuesday in Rome, Italy.

“Given the themes of the conference and who else was speaking I decided to steer clear of potential irrelevance, and had fun superficially exploring an area actually at the frontier of the day’s very themes.
When the smart city will come to be – if it has not already – what will it mean for its human inhabitants?
Even more vertically: what will living in such a techno-cultural milieu do to people’s first-life avatar – to their body – and to their very perception of it?
I briefly touched upon “the body as a terminal” and “the body as a node”, and left “the body as a conduit” for a longer timeframe.”

- View presentation notes and slides (alternate link)
- View presentation video (24:59)

You can also watch other Frontiers of Interaction resentations in English (skip the Italian introduction):

See also my earlier post on Matt Jones’ talk at the same conference.

11 April 2009

LIFT France and I Realize Italy

LIFT France
Last month I announced that the next LIFT conference would take place in Marseilles, France on 18-20 June this year.

Entrepreneurs, researchers, artists, designers, and activists who are inventing radically new ways to innovate, design, produce, trade, exchange and manage, will be coming to LIFT France to express their vision of a “hands-on future”, a future of do-it-yourself change:

Changing Things: Towards objects that are not just “smart” and connected, but also customizable, hackable, transformable, fully recyclable; Towards decentralized and multipurpose manufacturing, or even home fabrication.

Changing Innovation: Towards continuous and networked innovation, emerging from users as well as entrepreneurs, from researchers as well as activists.

Changing the Planet: Towards a “green design” that reconnects global environmental challenges with growth, but also with human desire, pleasure, beauty and fun.

The programme is now finished and so is a pdf with background information.

Speakers are Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (Tinker.it!), Bruce Sterling, Catherine Fieschi (Counterpoint), Daniel Kaplan (FING), Dennis Pamlin (WWF), Dominique Pestre (École des hautes études en sciences sociales), Douglas Repetto (Columbia University), Edith Ackermann (MIT), Elizabeth Goodman (UC Berkeley), Euan Semple, François Jégou (Solutioning), Frank Kresin (Waag Society), Gunter Pauli (ZERI), Jean-Michel Cornu (FING), John Thackara (Doors of Perception), Laurent Haug (LIFT conference), Marc Giget (Conservatoire National Des Arts et Métiers), Marcos García (Medialab-Prado), Martin Duval (Bluenove), Michael Shiloh (Teach Me To Make), Mike Kuniavsky (ThingM), Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (French Government), Philippe Lemoine (LaSe), Rémi Dury (Da Fact), Rob Van Kranenburg (Waag Society), Timo Arnall, and Usman Haque (haque :: design + research).

The week before the LIFT France conference, on 9 and 10 June to be precise, you can attend the first edition of I Realize – The art of disruption, a conference held in Turin, Italy, only 370 km from Marseilles.

The organisers describe the event as “Two days aimed at identifying unsolved problems, suggesting possible (technological?) solutions and stimulating the creation of new disruptive start-ups in different fields:

I Eat: eating is not only about taste and quality anymore, but concerns issues as genetically engineered organisms (GEO), slow and bio food, fare trade and sustainability… and what would happen if a global blackout switched the electricity off tomorrow?

I Move & Interact: our ability to communicate and interact both as users and producers of information is more and more «anywhere, anytime, anyway». New physical and virtual ways of moving (or not moving…) are being developed but… (how) will we move in the future?

I Grow: individual growth and development is subject to an increasing number of inputs both on the intellectual side (design/media) and the physical/psychological side (wellness) …but are we really growing?”

Also this programme is ready (although in draft) and the speakers are Andrea Branzi (architect and designer), Alberto Cottica (Kublai project), Antonio Pascale (writer), Bruce Sterling (writer), Carlo Antonelli (Rolling Stone (Italia), Davide Scabin (chef), Elio (artist), Geoff Manaugh (BLDBLOG), Gianluigi Ricuperati (Abitare magazine), Igor Sibaldi (writer), Jennifer Higgie (Frieze magazine), Leonardo Camiciotti (TOP-IX), Maurizio Cilli (architect and urban designer), Moshe Bar, Nicolas Nova (LIFT lab), Peter Saville (founder of Factory Record), and Vittorio Pasteris (Lastampa.it).