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Posts in category 'Turin'

1 March 2009

Two upcoming European conferences

IRealize
IRealize
Turin, Italy
9-10 June 2009

It’s still early days for this conference that presents itself as “two days aimed at identifying unsolved problems, suggesting possible (technological?) solutions and stimulating the creation of new disruptive start-ups”. The website needs some TLC and not much is yet announced.

A call for participation is currently open.

LIFT France 09

LIFT France 09
Marseille, France
18-19 June 2009

On June 18 and 19, entrepreneurs, researchers, artists, designers, and activists will be at 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…

Confirmed speakers are (for now) Usman Haque, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, Philippe Lemoine, Euan Semple, John Thackara, Edith Akerman, Dennis Pamlin, and Jean-Michel Cornu.

15 January 2009

Experientia and European research projects

FET
Experientia is currently planning to participate in a number of European research projects, and is looking for interesting collaboration opportunities where we can bring in our human-centred research and design methodology.

Next week Experientia partners Michele Visciola and Mark Vanderbeeken will be attending the ICT Proposers’ Day in Budapest, Hungary, where we will also present a project idea (TWINKLE). Let us know if you will be there as well.

Here is some good reading meanwhile:
Future and Emerging Technologies brochure
ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling leaflet

15 December 2008

European usability and design conference presentations online

UPA Europe thank you
The first European conference of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA), which was dedicated to Usability and Design, is more than a week away but the high quality of the event still lingers.

The conference, which took place in Turin, Italy, was inspired by the designation of the city as the first World Design Capital and by the locally grown international movement of Slow Food, to focus on design and the importance of cultural diversity.

Conference participants were enthusiastic about the quality of the presenters and the presentations, the impeccable organisation, the general atmosphere of collaboration, and the many opportunities for informal networking. And let’s not forget the (slow) food.

Many presenters emphasised the need to go beyond usability analysis and to take those insights further into initial design concepts. Also the need for cultural sensitivity was strongly on people’s minds: usability is no longer about localisation of interfaces, but about understanding cultural diversity, which goes far beyond linguistic translations.

Unusually, this conference was paperless. A dedicated and easy-to-use mobile device, called SpotMe, allowed participants to check the schedule, view presentations, find out who is sitting around them, message other conference goers, exchange address information, and be informed about everything else the city has on offer.

Meanwhile nearly all the presentations are available online and they are worthwhile exploring. Indulge yourself on the talks by Elizabeth Churchill of Yahoo! Research, Chan-il Kim of the Institute of Design, IIT, Mike Glaser of SpankDesign, Michele Visciola of Experientia, Anxo Cereijo Roibàs of Vodafone Global, Giorgio Venturi, Daria Loi of Intel (not yet online), and much, much more.

While you are at it, you may also want to browse the photo gallery, and sniff up the atmosphere.

The conference was chaired by Silvia Zimmerman of the Swiss Usability Learning Center and Michele Visciola of Experientia. The impeccable organisation was in the sure hands of Cristina Lobnik.

The idea of a European UPA conference definitely took hold. The question is now who will volunteer for the UPA Europe 2009 conference. But book your calendars for 2010 when Munich, Germany will be the host city for the global UPA 2010 conference, the regional UPA Europe 2010 conference and the UPA Germany 2010 conference!

25 November 2008

The best design policies are local

Shaping the Global Design Agenda
A review of the Shaping the Global Design Agenda conference by Mark Vanderbeeken (Experientia) and Marcia Caines (Cluster)

The days after the American presidential election are clearly a period of reflection. Newspapers and magazines are full of thoughtful articles, and conferences seek to define the new agendas and directions for our world to move towards.

The World Economic Forum gathered about 700 global thought leaders in Dubai for a summit on some of the key issues on the global agenda.

An international conference in Turin, Italy, last week had a much narrower focus, and tried to outline what constitutes good design policy.

The event, which was organised by Torino 2008 World Design Capital in collaboration with Michael Thomson, director of Design Connect (London), comes at a time when a major discussion is emerging internationally on design policy and innovation.

Read full story

24 November 2008

Turin, Italy to host first UPA European Regional Conference

UPA European Regional Conference
Over 250 participants are expected to attend the first European regional conference of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) next month.

From December 4-6, 2008, the beautiful baroque city of Turin, 2008 World Design Capital, will host the conference, themed “Usability and Design: Cultivating Diversity“, with important contributions being made by companies such as Google, IBM, Oracle and many others.

The conference will concentrate on overcoming the traditional professional divide between the concepts of usability and design, with a particular focus on uniting the diverse cultures and practices within Europe: “The UPA Europe conference provides a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of usability and user-centred design in Europe, and will underline the central role of the UPA in advocating these ideas,” says Michele Visciola, President of the UPA Italy, and conference chair.

Highlights of the conference will include four keynote speakers. Elizabeth Churchill, principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research; Anxo Cereijo-Roibás, user experience research manager at Vodafone Global; acclaimed designer Isao Hosoe; and Daria Loi, design researcher at Intel Corporation will speak on topics related to five macro-themes: industrial design and usability, cross-cultural design, designing mobile usability, usability and creativity, and managing design in organisations. Downloadable versions of the speakers’ presentations will be available online after the conference from www.upaeurope2008.org.

On the final day of the conference, open discussions on the outlook to the future will be held by special interest groups for UPA and UXnet. Inspired by the Slow Food cultural movement, which aims to protect and defend our world’s heritage of agricultural biodiversity and gastronomic traditions, European UPA members are invited to bring their own original contributions to the growth of the usability culture and practice.

The Usability Professionals’ Association supports usability specialists, people from all aspects of human-centred design, and the broad family of disciplines that create the user experience in promoting the design and development of usable products. The conference is open to both UPA and non UPA members. A detailed program of events and speakers can currently be found online at www.upaeurope2008.org.

The UPA Europe 2008 conference is sponsored by Adage, Amberlight, Apogee, dnx Group, Design for Lucy, Experientia, IUP and UID. Exhibition sponsors are Axure, SR Labs/Tobii, SMI and Noldus.

Late registration is now open: to register, contact conference program manager Cristina Lobnik, email: cristina dot lobnik at upaeurope2008.org, tel. +39 011 8129687.

14 November 2008

Experientia, Diana and the Canavese Connexion

BedPost
Experientia is often involved in supporting and promoting the Piedmont, Italy territory where it is located.

Our latest initiative is Diana, a machine designed to satisfy existing and future needs of the beauty industry, based on an analysis of current trends, which was a winning entry at the Canavese Connexion a project to promote design by regenerating the Piedmont Canavese industrial area.

Experientia partner Jan-Cristoph Zoels worked as Design Director on Diana, with TECNO SYSTEM S.p.A, and the design team of Enrico Bergese (senior designer), Lorenzo Modarelli (junior designer, Industrial design), and past Experientia intern Ana Rink, (junior designer, Interaction Design).

Press release:

The Canavese Connexion is a project to promote design by regenerating the Piedmont Canavese industrial area. Based on an idea of the Design Gang Network, together with the Community of Ivrea, the project is a part of the year of Turin 2008 World Design Capital.

The project exhibition presents innovative designs from ten teams, all strictly “Made in Italy”. Teams comprising professional designers, a student designer and a Canavese company worked to design and develop prototypes of products that could alter the company’s core business, based on technology that the company already had in its possession.

The design team of Enrico Bergese (senior designer), Lorenzo Modarelli (junior designer, industrial design), and past Experientia intern Ana Rink (junior designer, interaction design) worked together with Experientia design director Jan-Christoph Zoels on Diana, an intense pulse light treatment machine for TECNO SYSTEM S.p.A.

Diana is a pulsating laser machine machine designed to satisfy existing and future needs of the beauty industry, based on an analysis of current wellness trends. It incorporates three “visions” for the future of the industry:

  • Holistic vision: physical and mental well-being, uniting pleasure and health in a vision of personal growth and harmony;
  • Green Vision: sustainability as an integral part of human ethics and values;
  • Emotional vision: balancing the stress and commitments of everyday life by answering emotional needs through personal healthcare.

The prototype works to satisfy a part of the needs of the beauty and medical industries: ergonomics and a simple graphic interface combine in a pleasing user experience, which helps to bring calm and tranquility to the patient.

Canavese Connexion will present the prototypes in a twin exhibition in Ivrea and Turin.

16-23 November 2008
LA SERRA
Centro Congressi
corso Botta, 30
IVREA
Opening 15th November, 18.30

29 November-14 December 2008
PALAZZO BIRAGO
Via Carlo Alberto, 16
TURIN
Opening 28th November, 18.30

5 August 2008

A choice for language as a key to understanding cultural context

globe
Today we made a little survey of the languages spoken at our office and we came to a quite remarkable seventeen: Arabic, Armenian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Kashmiri, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Urdu.

This is not just a trivial statistic about our office. It is a choice.

When we founded Experientia three years ago, we wanted to be an international agency with a global awareness and a Mediterranean sensitivity (after all, we are based in Italy).

We didn’t want to be literally copying the American approach to people-centred design (although all four of the founding partners have lived in the US at some point in their lives), nor did we want to be identified as just an Italian consultancy.

We believe that people-centred design implies and requires a deep understanding of cultural context. Since people’s experiences are both defined and expressed through culture and language, we put a lot of emphasis on the linguistic and cultural skills of our staff.

Therefore seventeen languages spoken is equivalent to seventeen in-depth viewpoints onto rich, local cultural contexts.

We are therefore quite pleased that the upcoming UPA Europe conference (Turin, 4-6 December) carries the subtitle “Usability and Design: Cultivating Diversity”, a byline which came about thanks to the very active involvement of our partner Michele Visciola.

13 July 2008

Changing the Change – a call to action

Changing the Change
I just wrote a long article on Core77 on the international three-day Changing the Change conference “on the role and potential of design research in the transition towards sustainability”, which just ended here in Turin, Italy.
5 June 2008

One month to go to the World Congress of Architecture

UIA World Congress of Architecture
In a month’s time Turin, Italy will host the XXIII edition of the World Congress of Architecture, promoted by the UIA (International Union of Architects).

More than 4000 participants have registered already. There are over 70 sessions with more than 360 speakers.

The topic chosen for the 2008 congress is “Transmitting Architecture“, or as the organisers say “the strength and ability architecture has of expressing and communicating values, feelings and diverse cultures through time.”

For Leopoldo Freyrie, General Speaker of the Torino 2008 UIA congress, this also indicates the desire and will to bring architecture out of a sort of isolation in which buildings and even gorgeous solutions are designed without any real connection to surrounding reality.

In fact during the press conference today Freyrie was quite adamant about the social and ethical role of the congress, which according to him had a duty to confront the major environmental, social, demographic, economic and migration challenges our planet is facing and that are often so concentrated in its urban environments.

We concur.

The three days dedicated to the congress themes are planned to include the following contents:

  • June 30th 2008, CULTURE, the project’s culture, talent and training, history and the Past, the transmission and protection of the architectural heritage, restoration.
  • July 1st 2008, DEMOCRACY, the construction of an urban democracy in the Present, participation, the decision-making process, the territory’s transformation, communication and mediation.
  • July 2nd 2008, HOPE, environmental sustainability and safeguard as ethical duty of architects, the search for a Future with a still inhabitable world, technological innovation.

One session will be of particular interest to readers of this blog: on 2 July Nicolas Nova (LIFT lab) will be moderator of a session entitled “From ubiquitous technology to human context – Technology applied to architecture and design: does it solve problems or create needs?”. Invited speakers are Adam Greenfield (Nokia), Jeffrey Huang (Media and Design Laboratory, EPFL, Switzerland) and Younghee Jung (Nokia).

A very nice gesture is the low-cost registration: 100 euros for professionals and 50 for students.

- Read today’s press release (Word document)
Consult the programme

4 June 2008

Off Congress, an impressive series of events on design and architecture in Turin, Italy

Off Congress
If you are considering coming to Turin, Italy this year, you may want to come at the end of June and/or the beginning of July.

Not only is that the time when two important conferences — the World Congress of Architecture and the Changing the Change conference — will take place, but there is also an impressive series of events planned, organised by the local Order of Architects under the banner “Off Congress“.

Nearly 40 exhibitions are bound to open in the weeks to come. Many of those are organised by Turin based institutions, including a series of blockbuster shows on Guarini, Juvarra, Antonelli, the architects who were responsible for the Baroque Turin; a preview of the Carlo Mollino mountain refuge project; an exhibition with more than 200 objects from the private collection of Alexander von Vegesack, founder and director of the Vitra Design Museum; several pavillions that are thematically linked to the World Congress; an exhibition in a spectacular 19th Century location about the physical, social and economic changes Turin has undergone from the 1980s to date; and a VR installation permitting renewed enjoyment of the Poème électronique, a unique experience conceived by Le Corbusier for the Philips pavilion at the International Exhibition in Brussels in 1958.

Also foreign institutions have grasped the opportunity offered by the World Congress of Architecture to organise exhibitions in Turin, such as the Tsinghua University Architecture School in China, the BDA Galerie Berlin, the Japan Institute of Architects, the Moscow Contemporary Architecture Center, the Bundesarchitektenkammer (BAK) of Germany, the Slovak Architects Association, the World Architecture Community (with a focus on Turkey), the Union of Mediterranean Architects, the Association pour la Recherche sur la Ville et l’Habitat, and the Empresa Municipal Vivienda y suelo of Madrid, Spain.

Turin’s contemporary art galleries (and there are many) have planned special shows, featuring artists such as Michael Beutler, Peter Halley, Donna Conlon, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Karim Rashid.

And there are a great number of events, from theatre to parties, from book presentations, to mini-conferences, and of course there is also The Starchitecture Night.

13 May 2008

Changing the Change conference looks very promising

Changing the Change
The three-day Changing the Change conference, which is about the role of design research in sustainable change and scheduled for 10-12 July in Turin, Italy, looks to become very interesting indeed.

The list of invited speakers and discussants features Bill Moggridge (IDEO); Geetha Narayanan (Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, India); Lou Yongqi (Tongji University, China); Mugendi M. Rithaa (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa); Aguinaldo dos Santos (Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil); Fumi Masuda (designer, Japan), Chris Ryan (University of Melbourne, Australia); Luisa Collina (Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy); Josephine Green (Philips Design); Roberto Bartholo (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Anna Meroni (Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy), Luigi Bistagnino (Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy); Nigel Cross (The Open University, UK); Victor Margolin (University of Illinois at Chicago, USA); and Ken Friedman (Danmarks Designskole, Denmark)

No less than 163 abstracts have been accepted, including our own. Take a look at the titles and the presenters to get an idea of the variety on offer, all within the wider theme of design for sustainability, or read a reflection on the selection by conference chair Ezio Manzini.

The topics sound great and I will enjoy attending, but I have to point out that the large majority of the papers come from academic institutions. In fact, there are only a handful of major companies (Intel and Philips) and design consultancies (such as Experientia) involved.

This is something bound to be different at another major international conference scheduled in Turin, Italy, the UPA Europe 2008 conference, taking place in December. Conference co-chair (and my business partner) Michele Visciola told me that many major international companies have submitted papers for this conference with the theme “usability and design: cultivating diversity”. More is to follow soon.

13 April 2008

Videos online of Share Festival 2008 conferences

Share Festival
All videos of the conferences at the Bruce Sterling curated Share Festival that recently took place in Turin, Italy, are now online.

Aside from Bruce Sterling, exhilarating discussants were Massimo Banzi, Julian Bleecker, Donald Norman and Marcos Novak, to name just a few.

Manufacturing: From Digital to Digifab
– Bruce Sterling, Share Festival guest curator, writer
– Stefano Boeri, architect, publishing director of Abitare magazine
Share Festival conferences start – Sterling and Boeri discuss about digital manufacturing. As Bruce Sterling says “on the map there’s more than on the territory”, but it is certainly true that “in materiality i feel confortable as never before”.

Manufacturing Cultural Projects
– Montse Arbelo and Joseba Franco, artists
– Katina Sostmann, researcher
– Kees de Groot and Viola van Alphen, GogBot Festival direction
The development of digital technologies have led to new themes for art and design. Three different European projects present their production processes concerning digital art and design: ArtTechMedia, project to promote digital art, digifab activity of university department of design at Akademie der Kunste Berlin, GogBot Festival, Ducth event focused on creative applications on Robots.

Manufacturing the Streets
– Gianni Corino, researcher at Plymouth University
– Hugo Derijke, artist
– Chiara Boeri, artist
How can artists contribute to design public space and re-define the social sphere? Being part of the shared social network system, art and digital communication are the driving forces behind urban transformation, especially in public areas as museum, galleries, squares and shopping centres.

Dramatic Manufacturing
– Motor, artist
– Mauro Lupone, sound designer
– Andrea Balzola, media theorist and play writer
– Anne Nigten, managing director V2_Lab
Presentation of theatre and research projects concerning the post dramatic patterns of digital storytelling. The theatre is conceived as stage machinery where the actor is the performer and technologies play as characters.
Patching Zone: Manufacturing Interdisciplinary Collaborations
The researcher from V2, Rotterdam, shows us the way electronic art is integrating electronic art studio as a meeting table to enter into new agreements among different subjects.

Manufacturing Intelligence
– Luigi Pagliarini, artist and neuropsychologist
– Franco Torriani, critic
– Pier Luigi Capucci, university professor Università di Bologna
– Gordana Novakovic, artist
– Video by Stelarc, artist
Which is the physical, intellective and emotional relationship between man and machine? A new definition of “mind” that is finally able to be free from the prejudice that intelligence is exclusively belonging to human being, or more generally biological beings, thus assessing that artefacts can take part in this new procedure.

Manufacturing Robots
– Stefano Carabelli, university professor Politecnico di Torino
– Pietro Terna, university professor Università di Torino
– Owen Holland, university professor University of Essex
– Giampiero Masera, Turin Chamber of Commerce
The synthesis is in the title of panel, with “manufacturing robots”, looking at robots, from industrial intelligent machines to androids and to mobile applications of artificial intelligence techniques, as expression of industry, creativity, innovation and art. A perspective perfectly represented by the creative idea of the “Marinetti’s Orchestra“, as a key visiting card for the future of our area.

Manufacturing FIAT 500
– Roberto Giolito (Advanced Design Fiat)
Roberto Giolito, designer of the FIAT 500, tells how is borned the design of this vehicle symbol of the italian industrial manifacture.

A Manifesto for Networked Objects
– Julian Bleecker, professor at University of Southern California
Now objects are on-line too – blogjects , blogging objects. Once “things” are connected to the Internet, they immediately become part of the relational system, thus improving and boosting the connections in the social network, and they finally define a new relationship between presence and mobility in the physical world. With a pervading Internet network objects are now “citizens” of our space, with the possibility to communicate and interact with them.

Manufacturing Digital Art
– Massimo Banzi, Arduino co-founder
– Fabio Franchino and Giorgio Olivero, artists
In the 90s digital art was referring to immateriality, now the society has a more natural relationship with technologies, thus letting what is immaterial to become real, and experimenting new interaction processes between man and machine, that has completely become part of everyday life in the meantime. Manufacturing is also referring to digital art, where such equipment as Arduino and the explosive advent of 3D printers and devices for digital manufacturing led to integrate what is digital into what is real.

Manufacturing Future Designs
– Donald Norman, Director of the Institute for Cognitive Science
– Bruce Sterling, writer
– Luca De Biase, publishing director of Nova24- Sole24Ore magazine
– Gino Bistagnino, university professor Politecnico di Torino
Donald Norman presents his latest book, “Design of Future Things”, where objects, agents of an operating macrosystem, are inter-connected within a pervasive network where relation is more important than function. Relation must be focused on sustainability as well, since a harmful element can infect the whole system.

Manufacturing Consent
– Janez Jansa, artist
– Paolo Cirio, artist
– Antonio Caronia, theorist
Recent facts in contemporary society, dazzled by consumer offers and information pollution – people can experience forms of collective hypnosis, created by a communication system whose cultural machines are turning alienation and difference into agreement, thanks to “emotional” strategies that can mould people’s consciousness: where does communication finish and propaganda start?

From Land Art to Bioart
– Ivana Mulatero, critic
– Gianluca Cosmacini, architect
– Franco Torriani, critic
Presentation of the book “From Land Art to Bioart”, edited by Hopefulmonster Press, by Ivana Mulatero.

Is Life Manufacturable?
– Franco Torriani, critic
– Luis Bec, artist
– Nicole C. Karafyllis, biologist and philosopher
Life is now part of the manufacturing process that may produce hybrid examples widely including the two different aspects: natural living entities and technical products. Biofacts, Zootechnosemiotics, Nanotechnology: a new “parallel biology” is rising, where artificial organisms can count on some living beings’ peculiarities?

Two Architectures: Atoms and Bits
– Marcos Novak, architect
– Bruce Sterling, writer
The architecture theorist Marcos Novak and Bruce Sterling discuss about Novak’s concepts such as “trans-vergence”, “trans-architecture”, “trans-modernity”, “liquid architecture”, “navigable music”, “habitable cinema”, “archimusic”. Architectonic explorations into expanded, mixed and alternative virtual reality.

Share Prize Ceremony
The jury:
– Bruce Sterling
– Anne Nigten
– Stefano Mirti
Winner: Delicate Boundaries by Christine Sugrue

7 March 2008

A conversation about Torino with Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterling
Today Torino World Design Capital published an interview Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken recently conducted with Bruce Sterling. This time not about spimes, ubiquitous computing or digital fabrication, but about his experience with the city where he lived for the last six months.

Bruce likes Torino and in this interview he gives quite a few reasons why. He goes into much detail about why “Turin is really a 21st Century” and how “it has somehow managed to deal with problems that many, many other cities, regions, cultures and nations have not yet faced up to.”

“Turin,” he says, “is one of those places that appeal to my temperament. If I were an Italian person, I would likely have been a Turinese.”

He also shares with us a content of a new story he has been writing:

“Yes, it’s a fantasy story set in Turin. The protagonist is a FIAT executive, but he’s also a necromancer. The story is set in an esoteric Turin where all the magical things that are said about Turin by New Agers are factually true.

There’s a chunk of the New Cross here and the Holy Grail is here. The Shroud of Turin really is drenched in the blood of Jesus Christ himself; there are all these ley-lines and axes of mystical power. Our hero who is an R&D investment guy at FIAT, is called into hell by Gianni Agnelli, who is dead, yet still upset about urban development issues in Torino. So he calls this former chairman down to hell to have a board meeting.

My hero, the necromancer, is accompanied by his spiritual advisor, an Egyptian mummy from the Museo Egizio whom he raised from the dead. This mummy accompanies him now and gives him good advice. It’s like the “Lone Ranger and Tonto” thing – him and his mummy. It’s a comical story, exaggerated and satirical, a fable about Turin and its issues. I could never have written it without being here.”

Bruce is now in the last days of preparation of the Share Festival that he has been curating. Come and see it if you can.

The interview is suffering a bit from poor layout and it is not so easy to see what my questions are, for instance. All the links have also magically disappeared.

Read interview

27 February 2008

Donald Norman in Torino, Italy on 15 March

Donald Norman
Donald Norman is probably one of the most prominent guests at the upcoming Piemonte Share Festival, curated by Bruce Sterling.

Norman will be part of a panel on Saturday afternoon 15 March entitled “Manufacturing Future Designs”.

The many conferences of the festival are delving into all kinds of variations of the overall “manufacturing” theme: Manufacturing Cultural Projects; Manufacturing the Streets; Dramatic Manufacturing; Manufacturing Intelligence; Manufacturing Robots; A Manifesto for Networked Objects; Manufacturing Digital Art; Manufacturing Future Designs; Manufacturing Consent; and Is Life Manufacturable?

Speakers and guests are many, including Montse Arbelo, Andrea Balzola, Massimo Banzi, Luis Bec, Gino Bistagnino, Julian Bleecker, Chiara Boeri, Stefano Boeri, PierLuigi Capucci, Stefano Carabelli, Antonio Caronia, Paolo Cirio, Gianni Corino, Lutz Dammbeck, Luca De Biase, Kees de Groot, Hugo Derijke, Giovanni Ferrero, Fabio Franchino, Joseba Franco, Piero Gilardi, Owen Holland, Janez Jansa, Nicole C. Karafyllis, Maurizo Lorenzati, Mauro Lupone, Giampiero Masera, Motor, Ivana Mulatero, Daniele Nale, Anne Nigten, Donald Norman, Marcos Novak, Gordana Novakovic, Giorgio Olivero, Claudio Paletto, Luigi Pagliarini, Katina Sostmann, Stelarc, Bruce Sterling, Pietro Terna, Franco Torriani, and Viola van Alphen.

16 January 2008

Changing the Change blog

Changing the Change
About a month ago I announced the conference Changing the Change about the role and results of design research in the transition towards sustainability (see PPF and Core77).

The conference will be held in Torino, Italy, 10 to 12 July 2008, in the framework of Torino World Design Capital, 2008.

The conference blog is becoming a rich platform for discussion on the topic and I recommend you to explore it.

8 January 2008

Eataly, the slow and experiential supermarket

Eataly
Last week I visited Eataly again, a fantastic “experiential” supermarket, right here in Torino. Associated with the Slow Food movement, you can dwell in it for hours and feel constantly stimulated, intellectually, sensually and visually.

But I had never written about in those terms. Mea culpa. I was reminded of this gap only when I read the Guinness Storehouse case study on the Design Council website.

The Atlantic Monthly [full article here] calls it the “supermarket of the future”:

“Eataly is an irresistible realization of every food-lover’s gluttonous fantasy, paired with guilt-cleansing social conscience—a new combination of grand food hall, farm stand, continuing- education university, and throbbing urban market. Much like Boqueria, in Barcelona, and Vucciria, in Palermo, two of the few thriving center-city markets left in Europe, Eataly draws all classes and ages at all times of day. The emphasis on local and artisanal producers, education, affordable prices, a lightened environmental footprint, and sheer fun makes Eataly a persuasive model for the supermarket of the future—one that is sure to be widely copied around the world. The question is whether Eataly will bite the hands of the people feeding it, the people it says it wants to help: Slow Food, which is the arbiter and moral center of today’s food culture, and the artisans themselves. “

Monocle carries an excellent video report:

“Housed in a former vermouth factory, Eataly offers the finest artisanal produce from Italian suppliers, all selected with the assistance of Slow Food Italia and accompanied by lovingly compiled details of its provenance and production.”

And also The New York Times featured it, using the opportunity to announce that a smaller version (one tenth the size of the Torino market) will open this spring in a two-level, 10,000-square-foot space in the new Centria building at 18 West 48th Street in New York:

“In January, in what had been a defunct vermouth factory in Turin, [Oscar Farinetti] opened a 30,000-square-foot megastore called Eataly that combines elements of a bustling European open market, a Whole-Foods-style supermarket, a high-end food court and a New Age learning center. [...]“

“Artisanal products from some 900 Italian producers fill the store’s shelves, and 12 suppliers (some of which Mr. Farinetti invested in or bought outright) were enlisted as partners. Many of the food items are accompanied by explanatory placards and nearly half of the three-level store is dedicated to educational activities: a computer center, a library, a vermouth museum and rooms for cooking classes and tasting seminars. [...]“

“According to management, more than 1.5 million people visited the store in its first six months and sales have exceeded projections.”

In short, for the real experience of fresh products from the Piedmont countryside you need to come to Torino.

27 December 2007

Torino heading towards 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011

I Love To
Torino, Italy officially opens the World Design Year next week with an extraordinary New Year’s Eve, organised specially to celebrate Torino 2008 World Design Capital.

The centre of events for 31 December 2007 is Piazza Castello [the "Castle Square"], the Baroque heart of the city, seen on TV screens worldwide as the “Medals Plaza” of the XX Olympic Winter Games of 2006.

The New Year Eve’s activities contain a lot of interaction design with Luminous LEDs, Shining microvideos, and Interactive balls, plus of course the live music and the DJ’s.

Aside from the many events planned during the first World Design Capital in 2008 — with quite a few requiring your participation — keep also an eye open for what’s coming up in the following years:

2008 – UIA World Congress of Architecture (29 June – 3 July)
For the first time an Italian city hosts a World Congress of the International Union of Architects. Torino will be the location of this prestigious event which every three years reunites thousands of professionals and students to cover a theme analysing the future prospects of the profession and its relationship with the social and cultural problems of the moment. The theme chosen for the event in 2008 is Transmitting Architecture.

2009 is dedicated to sports with the European Athletics Indoor Championships (6-8 March) and the World Air Games (7-13 June).

2010 – Euroscience City (2-7 July)
The EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) is Europe’s most important interdisciplinary forum for presentation and debate of leading scientific trends and key science policy issues. It brings Europe’s science community together to discuss the social and economic impact of science, technology, the social sciences and humanities. The event is promoted by Euroscience, an organisation that includes scientists from 40 European countries.

2011 – Italy 150 (17 March – 31 October)
In 2011 Italy will celebrate its 150th birthday as a united nation: an opportunity to look back of course but also to debate what future should Italy be aiming at (a hot topic also in the international press – see The New York Times and The Times). Many of the planned events will take place in Torino, Italy’s first capital. The slogan: “Experience Italy” !

2 December 2007

Changing the change

Mole
Changing the change. Design Visions, Proposals and Tools is an international conference, chaired by Ezio Manzini (blog) of the Politecnico di Milano, on the role and results of design research in the transition towards sustainability. The conference will be held in Torino, Italy, 10 to 12 July 2008, in the framework of Torino World Design Capital, 2008.

Changing the Change seeks to make a significant contribution to a necessary transformation toward a sustainable future. It specifically intends to outline state-of-the-art of design research in terms of visions, proposals and tools with which design can actively and positively take part in the wider social learning process that will have to take place.

“It’s a design research conference with a focus more on results than on methodology” Manzini tells John Thackara, “with an emphasis on what design research can do for sustainability”

At the heart of the conference design researchers will present concrete and documentable research results. This will be complemented by invited keynote speaker’s presentations that will help paint a clearer picture of the common ground from which the conference will take off.

Changing the Change is organised by the Co-ordination of Italian Design Research Doctorates and has a broad International Advisory Committee: Roberto Bartholo (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), Luigi Bistagnino (Politecnico di Torino), Luisa Collina (Politecnico di Milano), Rachel Cooper (University of Lancaster), Jorge Frascara (University of Alberta), Victor Margolin (University of Illinois at Chicago), Stefano Marzano (Philips Design), Fumi Masuda (Tokyo Zokei University), Bill Moggridge (IDEO), Mugendi M’Rithaa (Cape Peninsula University of Technology), Geetha Narayanan (Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology), Gunter Pauli (Zeri), Yrjö Sotamaa (University of Art and Design Helsinki), Lou Yongqi (Tongji University).

22 October 2007

Seoul Named ‘World Design Capital’ for 2010

World Design Capital
Seoul was designated as the “World Design Capital (WDC) 2010” by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) on the last day of its congress in San Francisco, Saturday, according to the city government Sunday, reports the Korea Times.

The capital designation was proposed by the council President Peter Zec to “promote and encourage the use of design to further the social, economic and cultural development of the world’s cities.”

Torino of Italy was named the WDC pilot city [2008], but Seoul was selected as the first official one. Seoul will play the role of the world’s capital of design for one year.

- Read full story
– Links: ICSID | World Design Capital | Torino 2008, World Design Capital

9 October 2007

Interview with Jonathan Kestenbaum of NESTA on innovation and design

Jonathan Kestenbaum
A few weeks ago Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken interviewed Jonathan Kestenbaum, the CEO of NESTA, the UK Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

The interview, which is now published on the website of Torino 2008 World Design Capital in both English and Italian, deals with innovation and design. Kestenbaum explains in great clarity how NESTA works to stimulate innovation, and how design, and in particular human-centred design, is a central part of that approach.

Some quotes:

“Much of our practical experimentation and much of our reflective research is suggesting that the next bounce of the ball, as far as innovation is concerned, will not necessarily take place within disciplines but between disciplines.”

“Design to NESTA is a tool for innovation. Basically it is a problem solving process, which is highly visual and very human-centred because it starts with the needs of people. Design is key to good innovation. For NESTA, design and its visual processes allow the early testing of ideas, leaving space for early and relatively cheap failure and reducing the risks and costs for innovation. This design approach also makes sure that the testing and the prototyping are very human-centred. If people do not want the product or do not know how to use the product, if they cannot understand the product, you will never get it to market. Design is the process through which all of this happens.”

“We sat down with the heads of the Royal College, Imperial College and Tanaka Business School who were planning to support interdisciplinary projects on a major scale and discussed the formation of an incubator for some of these projects – projects that would be the result of the integration of design, engineering, science and business. Across the organisations involved in what has been named ‘Design-London’, several million euros have now been invested and we have managed to get that matched by Government. This month the incubator and rest of Design-London will open and be the first of its type, bringing together artists, engineers and business graduates- to all work on new product development.”

Read full interview