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Posts in category 'Turin'

1 June 2014

“Savages”, an exhibition by Marguerite Kahrl in Torino

KAHRL_aldo_and_mimmo_sm

Now and then we use this blog to announce activities that are dear to us and deserve some promotion. Today it is the exhibition of artist Marguerite Kahrl, who is the wife of Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels. The show opens on Thursday evening in the Alberto Peola Gallery in Turin.

Alberto Peola is pleased to present the second solo exhibition by the American artist Marguerite Kahrl with the gallery.

An unusual invention by any standard. The series Noble Savages by Marguerite Kahrl, inspired by Goya’s Los Caprichos (a series of eighty etchings published in 1799), are busts celebrating monstrous figures, not in marble as might be supposed, but in stuffed hemp fabric, a humble cloth made from a plant that until quite recently was grown in many areas of Italy. Ever monsters, but soft monsters whose ears can be affectionately tweaked, they are in a strange way comforting, rendered homely by the rough, handwoven material. These are domestic monsters, tamed and placed on pedestals a little too slender to suggest solidity, and they observe the world with a blind eye, squinting benignly with their lumpy features and lopsided grins.

Marguerite Kahrl is a neoconceptual artist from New York with a strong commitment to the environment and convictions anchored in the principles of permaculture, a design philosophy that seeks to incorporate ecologies based on observing natural patterns, taking responsibility for the Earth, caring for people, and practicing sustainable development. This holistic attitude allows her to keep together her concern about an ever more complex and overloaded world and artwork that never succumbs to pure activism.

Her soft cloth monsters are in fact the product of research on the properties of industrial hemp, which was once cultivated in many parts of Italy, including the Canavese valley in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, where Kahrl lives for part of the year. Kahrl was fascinated by this versatile traditional plant, which was once employed for all sorts of domestic purposes, from sheets to nightwear, and even for less well-known culinary uses such as oil and other foodstuffs. Its environmentally friendly properties are many and varied – hemp can even provide a petroleum substitute – and it is no coincidence that she chose it as a metaphor for sustainable living.

But all serious-minded intentions apart, I can only imagine the great time she must have had sewing up her monsters’ features, pulling the cloth this way and that to modify their grimaces. Who are these guys? In actual fact they are not as close to Goya’s Los Caprichos as you might think. His nightmarish creatures are a biting caricature of the moral and social abjection of his day. Kahrl’s Noble Savages are, I believe, closer in spirit to the kind of parody of human failings we find in the work of Honoré Daumier, although they retain the ghoulish appearance of Goya’s irrational and highly hermetic etchings.

As with Claes Oldenberg, hard objects turned soft make people smile; they have lost their edge, taking on the tactile properties of a soft toy, touchable, almost huggable. Vaguely zoomorphic, like Goya’s donkey-headed figures of authority, Kahrl’s savages remain nonetheless curiously aloof, powerful figures that might somehow help us mediate between our reasonable waking world on the one hand, and an invisible irrational world of fantasy and fear on the other.

Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that Kahrl takes her cue from a particular period in European history. Challenging the implicitly current postmodern thinking, the title Noble Savages she confers on her monsters is no mean claim, bringing to the fore all sorts of implications, most of which evoke the Enlightenment or, as the English prefer to call it, the Age of Reason. Not only a reference to Dryden, who first coined the phrase, the name has a very Rousseauesque ring to it. Rousseau was the first of the Philosophes to condemn in no uncertain terms the depravity of his era, asserting at the same time the moral superiority of the savage – she who has not yet been contaminated by the corrupting influence of society but maintains pristine innocence and nobility.

(From the text Soft Monsters in an Age of Unreason by Anna Detheridge)

We hope you can join us for the opening.

24 June 2013

Talking Design with Dan Hill

 

INV_Dan Hill_Final3

We are pleased to invite you to the second in the “Talking Design” lecture series with Dan Hill, CEO of Fabrica.

On Thursday July 4th, designer and urbanist Dan Hill will speak about smart citizens, in his talk “The not-so-smart city”.

Talking Design lecture series
The “Talking Design” guest speaker evenings are part of our drive to bring the design world to Turin, by hosting a series of talks from global experts in the industry, to share their experience and knowledge with our friends in Turin. Initiated by Experientia, the initiative is now supported by four forward-looking Turin entities who together select the speakers, organize the logistics, and promote the event to our network: Cluster, Deltatre, Experientia and GranStudio.

Following the success of the first lecture, with Todd Harple, anthropologist and experience engineer at Intel, we have planned this July lecture, and one for the beginning of September. All lectures are in English. They will be video recorded and posted online (where possible).

Dan Hill, CEO of Fabrica
Dan Hill is CEO of Fabrica, a communications research center and transdisciplinary studio based in Treviso, Italy. A designer and urbanist, he was previously strategic design lead for Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, exploring how design might enable positive systemic change throughout society. Prior to Sitra, Dan was Arup‘s Foresight and Innovation leader for the Australasian region, as well as their lead on urban informatics and urban strategy. Before that, he had leadership positions at Monocle and the BBC. Dan writes the well-known blog “City of Sound“, and contributes regularly to “Domus” Magazine, where he is also Strategic Design Advisor.

We hope you’ll join us in this exciting new initiative to bring the design world to Turin. We are looking forward to seeing you.
The Talking Design Team

Date: Thursday, July 4, 2013
Time: 6pm
Location: Cluster, Via della Basilica 13, 10122 Torino
RSVP: Silvana Rosso, +39 011 812 9687

1 May 2013

Talking Design With Intel’s Todd Harple

 

toddharple

We cordially invite you to Experientia’s inaugural “Talking Design” evening.

On Wednesday May 8th, at 18.00, we are excited to have Intel’s Todd Harple speaking at the Experientia offices, followed by a light aperitivo.

The “Talking Design” guest speaker evenings are part of our drive to bring the design world to Turin, by hosting a series of talks from global experts in the industry, to share their experiences and knowledge with the staff and friends of Experientia.

Todd Harple is an Experience Engineer and Strategist at Intel Corporation, and is currently on sabbatical at the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin. He will talk about his experiences in mobile-related research all over the world.

Todd Harple, Experience engineer & strategist, Intel
Todd Harple is an expert anthropologist and ethnographer, with global experience in developing and driving actionable results from ethnographic and context-based research. His work leverages ethnographic and design research techniques to uncover innovative solutions to real-world problems and to identify new market opportunities. Prior to joining Intel, Todd was a social and cultural consultant with work experience in the financial services and natural resource industries as well as in museums, community development and teaching. Todd earned a PhD in cultural anthropology from The Australian National University in 2001.

We are looking forward to seeing you!
The Experientia Team

Where
Experientia
Via Cesare Battisti 15, 10123 Torino, Italy

RSVP
Silvana Rosso – +39 011 812 9687

2 April 2013

Michele Visciola speaking on ‘Town_Re-coding’

trec

On 11 April, Experientia president Michele Visciola will be a guest speaker at the Town Re-coding seminar (pdf), a Turin event to discuss perceptions, tensions and actions for change in the physical and social spaces of cities.

The Italian-language seminar involves the Polytechnic of Turin, the University of Turin, the Alma Mater Studiorum, and the University of Bologna.

The Turin initiative is part of a wider series that started with an inaugural event in Ravenna ten days ago, and will conclude in a conference – again in Ravenna – on 28-30 June 2013.

Guest speakers at the Turin seminar will explore new models for economy and consumption, and ways to reimagine urban spaces.

Michele will speak on “Ethnographic Research and the Evolution of Culture,” looking at ways to positively design and shape changes in the urban arena, so that they will be easily and sustainably adopted by people.

Michele has published multiple articles on behavioural change and participatory design in urban environments, and on natural selection in cultural innovation.

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.

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).”

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

17 July 2011

Izmo Summer School 2011 – Public Spaces in the City – Torino, Italy

Public spaces
Izmo, the Italian association focused on participatory process, local development, architecture, design and ICT, organizes an International Summer School in Torino from September 5th to 14th 2011 that proposes the public space as its theme.

The course is aimed at students, graduates, professionals and anyone interested in the issue of public space and urban regeneration.

The lectures (entirely in English language) will be held by professors of the Politecnico di Torino, University of Eastern Piedmont and St. John International University, as well as members of Izmo, and will face issues related to public space with the aim of providing insights in a broad and multidisciplinary manner.

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to directly experience several methods of field research (urban drift, urban missions, interviews) that will allow them to observe and make contact with the territory and its inhabitants.

Finally, the training will be enriched by a series of meetings with experts and professionals: informal moments during which students will have the opportunity to interact and engage with those who work in the public space, such as members of Izmo.

At the end of the lecture series, participants will intervene effectively in the public space, designing and implementing a series of installations, parts of an overall project for the redevelopment of District 7 in Turin.

Read more

26 January 2011

Experientia congratulates Italy on Esperienza Italia

Italia 150
2011 marks the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, and it is fitting that the celebrations are kicking off in Turin, which (in addition to being Experientia’s home base) was the first capital of the unified country.

The nine months of exhibitions and events, under the overarching theme of “Esperienza Italia” (“The Italian Experience”), will look back at the history of unification and the creation of the Italian identity, and also forward to the future of Italian designers and artists.

Two exhibitions in particular explore the future: Stazione futuro (future station) and Il futuro nelle mani (the future in our hands).

The first of these is curated by Riccardo Luna, currently director of WIRED Italia, and explores an an ideal City of Ideas, displaying the ideas, prototypes, products and processes that best express Italian creativity and innovation.

The futuro nelle mani exhibition focuses on the idea of “Artisans Tomorrow”, and outlines the positive prospects for new “metropolitan artisan” work, featuring work from renowned and up-and-coming artists.

Experientia is pleased to be playing our own role in building Turin’s future of creativity and innovation, and wishes the city an excellent esperienza in 2011 and beyond.

For more information on the events planned, see eng.italia150.it.

21 July 2010

Happy birthday Experientia – 5 years old

Experientia
Experientia turns five years old today, 21 July! We’ve been busy in the last year. Apart from the great projects and fruitful collaborations with old and new clients, we’ve also completely redesigned our website, expanded our offices to include a new wing, and we keep on finding talented and exciting people to work with.

We’ve extended our expertise areas this year, with major new projects on sustainable development, e-learning, public transportation, business software visualisation tools, and mobility solutions for people with disabilities. Check out the description of our Low2No Living project on the Experientia website: we’re very excited to be working on this great sustainable development project in Helsinki, with a fantastic international team.

We love to spot new talent, and this year, we’re happy to welcome five new full-time staff members, who bring their in-depth knowledge and high quality work to our projects. We’re joined by Mariateresa Dell’Aquila as Project Manager, Gabriele Santinelli as Web Prototyper and Josef Bercovich as Senior Interaction Designer. In addition, two previous short-term collaborators, Adriana Rivas and Jennifer Murphy are back as full-time designers, bringing us to around 30 people in the office.

Our international vibe is stronger than ever at the moment, giving us the diversity we value, as well as fresh ideas and new perspectives. Right now, we have people from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Panama, Portugal, and the USA.

Experientia has a philosophy of investing in internships, and we’ve traditionally always hired interns from acclaimed design schools to spend time with us over the summer. This year we’re joined by people from Domus Academy, Milan; Aalto University, Helsinki; Strate Collège, Paris; IUAV, Venice; University of Madeiras, Funchal; and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.

Five years in business is a milestone by any standard, and we’re proud that for Experientia, they’ve been five years of success. We’ve got lots of plans for the next five years, and we look forward to continued growth and many more anniversaries.

15 July 2010

University and Cyberspace conference videos online

Communia
A few weeks ago the Communia conference University and Cyberspace took place here in Torino, Italy, with a focus on “reshaping knowledge institutions for the networked age”. Speakers included Massimo Banzi, Joy Ito, David Orban, Bruce Sterling, and many others.

The international conference, which is the conclusion and culmination of the Communia Thematic Network project (the European Thematic Network on the Digital Public Domain), was organised by the Politecnico of Torino’s NEXA Research Center for Internet and Society (that also coordinated the network) and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and aimed at defining a shared vision of the future of universities as knowledge institutions and identifying the main steps leading from vision to reality.

The event addressed questions such as: How is the role of universities as knowledge creating, sharing, and applying institutions going to change due to the Internet? How should universities use cyberspace to best implement their mission with respect to society? Taking into account the characteristics of the new generations of students, faculty and staff, how should the informational and the spatial (both physical and virtual) infrastructures of universities be shaped to improve learning, discovery, and engagement? What about the new opportunities to enhance the civic role of universities – who prepare people for citizenship and contribute to the public sphere – in our democratic societies?

Videos of all sessions are now online, although in a still somewhat rough format (they are now working at processing the videos further):

Monday 28 June
The first day of the conference covered the relevant history and traditions of universities, moved through the current state of play, and focused on the emerging landscape of universities, articulating both their changing role in society, the significant challenges these institutions are facing for the future and, more specifically, their role vis a vis the increasing commons of knowledge facilitated by the Internet.

Morning session (video link)

  • Kick-off [00:12:56]: Juan Carlos de Martin, NEXA Center for Internet & Society, in conversation with Charles Nesson, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • Keynote [00:53:20]: “Universities in the Age of the Internet” by Stefano Rodotà, University of Rome
  • High Order Bit [01:46:00]: “Arduino, Open Source Hardware and Learning by Doing” by Massimo Banzi, tinker.it, arduino.cc
  • Plenary [02:03:45]: “Digital Natives” with John Palfrey, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Marco de Rossi, Oilproject.org, and Urs Gasser, Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Afternoon session (video link)

  • Plenary [00:01:19]: “Information Infrastructure” with Alma Swan, Key Perspectives Ltd., Stuart Shieber, Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Office of Scholarly Communication at Harvard University, and Martin Hall, Salford University, UK
  • High Order Bit [01:27:13]: “African Universities as Knowledge Centers: Challenges and Opportunities” by Boubakar Barry, African Association of Universities
  • Plenary [01:41:45]: Physical/Virtual Spatial Infrastructure” with Antoine Picon, Harvard University and Jef Huang, EPFL

Tuesday 29 June
The second day attempted cross-sectional reorientation, by examining universities’ emerging responsibilities as ‘horizontal’ themes, especially as they intersect with future challenges described in the first day’s ‘vertical’ tracks.

Morning session (video link)

  • High Order Bit [00:01:12]: “Individual and social evolution: through digital gaming, out of the box” by Carlo Fabricatore, Initium Studios & University of Worcester
  • Plenary [00:14:52]: “Universities as Civic Actors or Institutions” with Marco Santambrogio, University of Parma, Italy, Colin Maclay, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Maarten Simons, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Jan Masschelein, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and Juan Carlos De Martin, NEXA Center for Internet & Society

Afternoon session (video link)

  • Plenary [00:01:00]: “Universities as Platforms for Learning” with Catharina Maracke, Keio University, Japan, Marco De Rossi, Oilproject.org, Carlo Fabricatore, Initium Studios & University of Worcester, Delia Browne, Peer-2-Peer University, Stephan Vincent-Lancrin, OECD, and Jean Claude Guedon, University of Montreal
  • High Order Bit [01:15:46] by Joy Ito, Creative Commons
  • Plenary [01:33:11]: “Universities as Knowledge Creators” with Carlo Olmo, Politecnico di Torino, Phillippe Aigrain, Sopinspace, Janneke Adema, Coventry University, Mary Lee Kennedy, Harvard Business School, and Terry Fisher, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
  • Plenary [02:49:56]: “In Search of the Public Domain” with Lucie Guibault, Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Patrick Peiffer, Luxcommons, Jonathan Gray, Open Knowledge Foundation, Sirin Tekinay, Ozyegin University, Istanbul, Turkey, Ignasi Labastida, University of Barcelona, Philippe Aigrain, Sopinspace, and Paolo Lanteri, WIPO

Wednesday 30 June
The third day combined the three tracks and the cross-sectional issues with an orientation towards solutions and next steps.

Morning session (video link)

  • High Order Bit [00:01:08]: “Why Academia Needs to Rediscover the Commons” by Jean Claude Guedon, University of Montreal
  • High Level Keynote [00:28:00]: “Digital Culture, Network Culture, and What Comes Afterward” by Bruce Sterling
  • High Order Bit [01:35:44]: “From Elites, To Masses: Drivers of Excellence in Communication, And Participation” by David Orban, Humanity+ & Singularity University
  • Student session [01:49:58]: “Public universities, public education: From the Bologna Process to Cyberspace”, chaired by Chiara Basile, Politecnico di Torino

Afternoon session (video link)

  • Final Session: “Synthesis and Proposals” with Stephan Vincent-Lancrin, OECD, Francesco Profumo, Rector Politecnico di Torino, Mario Calabresi, La Stampa, Herbert Burkert, University of St. Gallen, Jafar Javan, UN Staff College, Charles Nesson, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Chiara Basile, Politecnico di Torino, Sirin Tekinay, Ozyegin University, Istanbul, Turkey, Juan Carlos De Martin, NEXA Center for Internet & Society, and Urs Gasser, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
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

13 November 2009

Irene Cassarino: The social dimension of environmental sustainability

Environment Park
Experientia collaborator Irene Cassarino went yesterday to the international “The social dimension of environmental sustainability” conference, organised at Turin’s Environment Park with the support of the City of Turin. The event, which focused on the importance of social aspects in achieving environmental sustainability, took place in the context of the CAT-MED European Project (Change Mediterranean Metropolis Around Time).

Here is her short report:

Our shoulders feel heavier today: we just learned from Gian Vincenzo Fracastoro, expert in green energy policies and solutions from the Polytechnic of Turin, and vice-director of its Department of Energy, that the average C02 emission of a Turin citizen is 9 tons per year.

The objective of the Turin municipality is to reduce this by 18-20% by 2010. Solutions, Prof. Fracastoro said, range from a larger district heating (“teleriscaldamento”) network — a method that reuses surplus heat generated from the production of electricity — to the development of renewable sources.

Yet his long-term experience studying, researching and teaching renewable energy matters convinced him that “the major source of renewable energy lies in energy saving”.

In other words, more sustainable lifestyles, together with state-of-the-art eco-constructions (like the building-lab that hosts the events of the Environment Park) will be essential in making us both happier and richer.

Massimo Bricocoli from the Polytechnic of Milan and the University of Hamburg, underlined the importance of the social dimension to enhance environmental sustainability: five case studies from all across Europe highlighted the various roles that city administrations can play in leading housing projects.

In the first case, two elderly educated couples (the so called ‘empty nesters’) decided to move from their big family house to a smaller flat in Berlin within a eco-multigenerational project, where a particular amount of square meters were allotted to people of their age. While they have been very happy with their choice, Mrs Millo, in Trieste, Italy, had a worse experience when she moved into a social eco-house building: the house was said to be very advanced with respect to infrastructure, but since she was not taught how to use it properly, she ended up with very high energy bills and eventually had to switch off all the heating and electrical equipment.

Public administrations — summed up Giovanni Magnano, Manager of the Social Housing Department of the City of Turin –- have a crucial role in making the best of social housing projects. How? By focusing on introduction/learning paths, leveraging virtuoso community dynamics and concentrating on cost reduction potential, not only for the developer, but especially for the residents.

CAT-MED, represented and introduced by the general coordinator Pedro Marin Cots, from the City of Malaga, aims at preventing the natural risk related to climate change by leveraging the convergence of metropolitan strategies and actions. The City of Turin is a member of this project, together with the cities of Malaga, Marseilles, Seville, Valencia, Barcelona, Aix, Genova, Rome, Athens and Thessaloniki, all from the Mediterranean region.

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 helps Helsinki reduce carbon emissions

Low2No
Helsinki, Finland — Yesterday, Turin-based company Experientia was announced as part of the winning team for a project in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki, which aims to construct an urban zone with low or no carbon emissions.

Sitra, the Finnish innovation agency, revealed that the winning team of the Low2No development design competition was made up of Arup, Sauerbruch Hutton , Experientia and Galley Eco Capital — selected out of 74 initial entries — for their C_life – City as living factory of ecology project.

Experientia bring their unique perspective as an innovative experience design company to the project. With a focus on people-centred design, and people’s real needs, behaviours and experiences, Experientia provides a balance to the architectural and financial parts of the project, and considers the impact of sustainability on people’s day-to-day lifestyles.

The competition jury stated that the multinational team leveraged a particularly promising consumer/behavioural framework to empower citizens in meeting the goal of sustainability.

Marco Steinberg, director of strategic design at Sitra and chairman of the competition jury said “A well developed holistic proposal, the strategy highlighted two important insights: the creation of a carbon neutral district dovetailed with consumer oriented planning, thus supporting Sitra’s objective of empowering citizens.”

While other team members devised the architectural and financial strategies for the project, Experientia’s responsibility was to address the delicate theme of how to initiate behavioural change to support a sustainable style of living in this completely renewed urban district. Starting with the concept that people, their contexts, social networks, habits and beliefs are crucial tools for creating sustainable change in behaviour, Experientia explored ways to offer people control over their consumption and to see the effects of their actions on the environment.

Using their expertise in designing valuable user experiences, Experientia’s strategies to empower people’s change include: developing engagement and awareness programs, through services aimed at creating social actions based on green values; using technology to assist people in making decisions, such as energy metres and dynamic pricing systems; producing positive reinforcement loops (with incentives and benefits) for people who live, work and visit Jätkäsaari; and using the community as a knowledge network to share best practices.

Over the next 6 years, the Jätkäsaari district will be designed, constructed and opened to people. From there, the sustainable ideals that govern its day-to-day life will act as a model and example for the rest of Helsinki, Finland and the world. Through Experientia, Turin will be a vital part of this journey.

See also this earlier post on Putting People First.

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.

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).

22 March 2009

Experientia office on Google Street View

Experientia
We are blessed with having our offices on a very nice square in a very nice city.

Many have come by already, but many more not yet. Now we can give you a flavour thanks to Google Street View. Our offices are on the second floor of the light orange building with the wooden door. The historic palace was actually the first Parliament of Italy.


View Larger Map

17 March 2009

A participatory website supporting families with disabled children

Di.To
The Turin-based non-profit organisation Area, which supports families with disabled children, just launched its new website, developed with the intensive support of Experientia.

The site, named Di.To (Disabilità a Torino), offers information and orientation to families of children with disabilities aged from 0-10 years.

Experientia played a key role in the project, investigating key values and researching information needs of all stakeholders (families of children with disabilities, social services, etc.), developing the information architecture, guiding the design process and supporting the implementation.

Area is a regional volunteer association that has been active in the Piedmont region in the field of disability for more than twenty-five years. The DiTo website is based on the successful printed guide of the same name, by Che Fare ["What to do?"], Area’s counselling service.

The website offers access to realistic information with no costs or queues, and is interactive, visually attractive and simple to use, with a Turin focus. As well as filling informational and support roles, the website has a participatory nature. In the Sogni segni e disegni ["Dreams, signs and designs"] section, collaborations with famous authors and artists offer families a creative space to read and design with their children. The Community section offers a mediated and facilitated space for families to exchange ideas, experiences and objects.