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Posts in category 'Urban development'

17 September 2011

Book: In Studio – Recipes for Systemic Change

Recipes for Systemic Change
In Studio: Recipes for Systemic Change
by Bryan Boyer, Justin W. Cook, Marco Steinberg
Helsinki Design Lab (HDL) / Sitra
2011, 337 pages
> Free download
> Blog post

This book explores the HDL Studio Model, a unique way of bringing together the right people, a carefully framed problem, a supportive place, and an open-ended process to craft an integrated vision and sketch the pathway towards strategic improvement. It’s particularly geared towards problems that have no single owner.

It includes an introduction to Strategic Design, a “how-to” manual for organizing Studios, and three practical examples of what an HDL Studio looks like in action. Geoff Mulgan, CEO of NESTA, has written the foreword and Mikko Kosonen, President of Sitra, contributed the afterword.

About The Authors

Bryan Boyer
At Sitra, Bryan is a part of the Strategic Design Unit where he focuses on building the Helsinki Design Lab initia- tive to foster strategic design as a way of working in Finland and abroad. This includes the Studio Model, as well as the HDL Global event and website. In his spare time Bryan searches for innovative uses of walnuts, a fascination that stems from growing up on a walnut farm in California. Previously Bryan has worked as an independent architect, software programmer, and technology entrepreneur. He received his BFA with Honors from the Rhode Island School of Design, and his M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Justin W. Cook
As Sitra’s Sustainable Design Lead, Justin is working at the intersection of climate change and the built environment. He led content development for the Low2No competition and is focusing on Low2No as a development model that aims to balance economy, ecology and society through strategic investments and interventions in existing cities. He has previously worked in the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Genova, Italy; as a design researcher on the Harvard Stroke Pathways project; and was the principal of a design-build firm in Seattle. Justin received his BA from the University of Washington and his M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Marco Steinberg
Marco directs Sitra’s internal strategic design efforts, charting new forward-oriented opportunities to help Sitra meet its mission of enhancing Finland’s national innovation ability and well being. In addition to Helsinki Design Lab he is responsible for the concept and design-development of Low2No, a transitional strategy to create sustainable urban development models in Finland through the implementation of a large scale development project in downtown Helsinki.
His previously experiences include: Professor at the Harvard Design School (1999-2009); advising governments on SME & design funding strategies; and running his own design & architecture practice. He received his BFA and BArch from Rhode Island School of Design and his MArch with Distinction from the Harvard Design School.

13 September 2011

Dan Lockton on how architecture and urbanism can be used to influence behaviour

Underground
Dan Lockton is continuing publishing extracts from his Brunel University Ph.D thesis ‘Design with Intent: A design pattern toolkit for environmental & social behaviour change’ as blog posts.

While the first post dealt with the importance of behaviourism in design for behavioural change, the second one focuses on how architecture can be used to influence behaviour.

Read thesis extract

20 July 2011

Detroit copies Torino’s public markets to support its regeneration

Porta Palazzo
(English translation of article published yesterday in La Stampa newspaper – author Andrea Rossi):

Michigan delegation between the cabbages and the red peppers

Who would have thought that the regeneration of a city can start from a market stand that sells fruits and vegetables, or clothes? But it’s true: one of the pillars that Detroit has chosen to structure its very difficult relaunch around, is the development of a network of local public markets, based on the “Torino model”.

Facing an uncertain industrial future, having lost nearly half of its inhabitants in fifty years, and with a fragile urban fabric that needs to be rethought, Detroit is looking in the mirror and discovers it has much in common with the situation facing Torino fifteen years ago. So now, building on the newborn Fiat-Chrysler connection between the cities, Detroit is retracing the steps of Torino’s regeneration. The city’s urban and (particularly its) social fabric needs to be knitted back together, and the Michigan heart has decided where to start from.

It may seem bizarre to us, but for the Americans it isn’t. Yesterday morning a delegation landed in Torino led by Kathryn Lynch Underwood, the City Planner of the City of Detroit. And with her came a group of about ten managers, experts and market operators. The first thing they did was taking a plunge in the heart of the Porta Palazzo market. Then they gathered in an office, to be briefed in detail on Torino’s 45 local markets by the city’s administrators in charge of local commerce and public spaces.

As of today they will visit them one by one, trying to understand how they can export their DNA and adapt them to the Detroit context. “They are interested in understanding the social, economic and cultural functioning of the markets and of the nearby businesses, which in Torino constitute one of the more distinctive aspects of urban life,” explain deputy mayors Ilda Curti and Giuliana Tedesco.

It took the American delegation only one day to understand that the replication – even in a reduced version – of the “Torino model” could be the engine of the urban regeneration process that the Michigan capital will have to undertake if it wants to rise up again. “Ours is a feeble system, made up of only six markets,” explains Pam Weintestein, who is in charge of one. “In Turin, however, everyone does their shopping at the market stands irrespective of their social background or their income level.” Dan Carmody is in charge of the Eastern Market, Detroit’s largest. He is surprised: “What makes the difference here is the sense of community that transpires from your markets. It is obvious that they add value to the urban context.”

Detroit is in desperate need of revitalizing its urban spaces. Kathryn Lynch Underwood, who works for Detroit’s City Planning Commission, knows it all too well: “Our challenge is to bring about density in a depopulated city center. Detroit is a dispersive city. Markets can help in creating new densities, to repopulate the heart of the city, and to rebuild the sense of community.”

It is a cultural challenge first of all, more so than an economic one, even though money is not of secondary importance. Detroit is a metropolis in crisis, held in the vice of poverty: thousands of inhabitants do not own a car, many not even a functioning refrigerator. “Developing a network of nearby markets,” explains Sarah Fleming, director of Detroit’s Economic Development Department, “would allow us to reach a double goal. Our citizens wouldn’t be forced anymore to drive to the big suburban supermarkets for their daily shopping, allowing even those who do not have a car could to obtain quality food. Also, the possibility of doing your small shopping on a daily basis at the market stands would solve many food conservation problems.”

It is not just about the rediscovery of “local” food culture that America has lost out on. What really drives this is the idea that the urban generation of a metropolis can start from its food.

Further links:
- Kathryn Lynch Underwood
- Detroit Food Policy Council
- Detroit Food Justice

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

17 July 2011

New RSA Journal out

RSA Journal
The Summer 2011 edition of the RSA Journal explores the relationship between business and social change.

Brand values
As the social, political and commercial spheres become more intertwined, firms are increasingly finding incentives to look beyond the bottom line. Colin Crouch explores the strong moral and commercial case for corporations to contribute to social good.

The cooperative renaissance
Values-based business models offer a viable alternative to the traditional capitalist approach, argues Peter Marks. What can the public and private sectors learn from these business models in today’s post-recession landscape?

Urban ingenuity
Too often accused of being a breeding ground for poverty and inequality, cities are actually a catalyst for innovation, entrepreneurialism and social mobility. It is no coincidence that many of the world’s most successful businesses had their genesis in cities, says Edward Glaeser

The new frontier?
While most social enterprises have yet to become household names, they are well positioned for steady growth, as they have a role to play in public-service provision, believes Geoff Mulgan.

The 21st century prison
Rachel O’Brien outlines the RSA’s plans to build a social enterprise prison that makes it easier for ex-offenders to transition into society and return to work.

The power of proximity
In an age when digital technology connects us on a global scale, entrepreneurial success still depends largely on the networks, resources and demand found in local communities, says Barry Quirk.

Self-made in China
Linda Yueh asks what we can learn from the generation of Chinese entrepreneurs who are driving the country’s rapid economic growth.

Best behaviours
Monique and Sam Sternin discuss how the Positive Deviance approach uses people’s hidden talents to tackle widespread and complex social problems.

David Hume: 300 years on
David Hume is remembered as a thinker who has influenced the way we address social, political and economic challenges. James Harris explains why, three centuries after his birth, David Hume continues to intrigue and inspire his diverse readership.

16 June 2011

Open Source Architecture (OSArc)

Domus
Domus Magazine has published an op-ed advocating a different approach to designing space – to succeed the single-author model – that includes tools from disparate sources to create new paradigms for thinking and building

The contributors included Paola Antonelli (MoMA), Adam Bly (Seed Media Group), Lucas Dietrich, Joseph Grima (Domus Magazine), Dan Hill (Sitra), John Habraken, Alex Haw (Atmos Studio), John Maeda (RISD), Nicholas Negroponte, Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Gallery), Carlo Ratti (MIT), Casey Reas (UCLA), Marco Santambrogio (MIT), Mark Shepard (Sentient City), Chiara Somajni (Il Sole 24 Ore) and Bruce Sterling.

“Open Source Architecture (OSArc) is an emerging paradigm describing new procedures for the design, construction and operation of buildings, infrastructure and spaces. Drawing from references as diverse as open-source culture, avant-garde architectural theory, science fiction, language theory, and others, it describes an inclusive approach to spatial design, a collaborative use of design software and the transparent operation throughout the course of a building and city’s life cycle.”

Read article

14 June 2011

Experientia wins Italian National Prize for Innovation in Services

Stemma Italia
Experientia wins Italian National Prize for Innovation in Services, sponsored by the Italian government and Confcommercio.
The President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, awards the prize.
 

Rome, Tuesday 14 June 2011

Today, the president of the Italian republic, Giorgio Napolitano, awarded Experientia srl with the prestigious National Prize for Innovation in Services, for their project Low2No, for having “planned a residential area in Finland with low CO2 emissions, using innovative methodologies devised in Italy.”

Experientia is an international experience design consultancy based in Turin, Italy, which helps international companies and organizations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

The winning project, Low2No (also known as C-Life), details Experientia’s role in the development and implementation of service offers for a low-to-no carbon emissions building development in Helsinki, involving user-centred service and participatory design methods. The entire construction project will be completed in 2013.

At the award ceremony at the Quirinale (the Italian presidential palace), Michele Visciola, the president of Experientia, accompanied by the CEO Pierpaolo Perotto, received the prize from President Napolitano.

“It is an honour for us to receive this prize from the hands of the President of the Republic,” Visciola declared, “It demonstrates that in Italy, we have young, quality businesses that can compete on an international level in terms of excellence.”

Jan-Christoph Zoels, the director of the service design project, highlighted the importance of the project by stating, “Beautiful and well-engineered, sustainable houses are not enough. Half of the contribution to a community’s carbon footprint is based on people’s lifestyles. We aim to support sustainable lifestyles and services during a building’s entire lifetime.”

Experientia has worked on the planning and design of services, to create, within the Low2No project, a “Food Hub” (offering services related to the purchase, consumption and sharing of regional, organic food, an ethical and sustainable alternative to the products commonly offered in the Finnish market); an “Eco-laundry” (using highly efficient practices and detergents with a low environmental impact); and a communal, wood-fuelled sauna (an eco-friendly response to the presence of a private electric sauna in most Finnish homes).

During the day, at a separate event organised by the ConfCommercio and hosted by ConfCommerico president Carlo Sangalli, the representatives from Experientia, including senior partners Jan-Christoph Zoels and Mark Vanderbeeken, and project team member Camilla Masala, met with the press and public.
 

WHO IS EXPERIENTIA?

Experientia is an international experience design consultancy based in Turin, Italy, which helps international companies and organizations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first. Experientia puts people and their experiences, past and future, at the centre of strategic innovation, guiding the company’s processes of research, strategy development, solution creation, prototype design and testing.
 

THE PRIZE

The National Prize for Innovation was founded by the Italian government as a key initiative of the National Day of Innovation, an annual event to raise citizens’ awareness of the theme of innovation. It is also an opportunity for the principle public and private actors to take stock of the state of innovation in the country and share identified strategic objectives within the European framework and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Through this prize, the government honours the best examples of creativity and innovation in the sectors of industry, design, university and public research, public administration and services, including financial services.

ConfCommercio, the Italian “Confederation of business, professional activities and autonomous work”, was responsible for the selection for the design section of the National Prize for Innovation in Services, which included “Innovation in Business”; “Innovation in Tourism”, “ICT and Service Design”. Experientia has won the prize for the ICT and Service Design category.

This year, the National Day of Innovation holds particular significance, not only because of the presence of the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, and the Minister for public administration and innovation Renato Brunetta, but because it coincides with the celebrations of 150 years of Italian Unity.
 

THE PROJECT

The winning project, Low2No (also known as C-Life), aims to facilitate behavioural change for more sustainable lifestyles. Experientia has designed a service platform for the low-to-no carbon emissions building development in Helsinki, involving user-centred service and participatory design methods.

The Low2No service platform represents one of the principle points of contact with the soul and mission of the zone. It will contribute to making sustainability an integral part of the daily activities and lives of the residents and workers of the area. It will support locals in adopting the change and transformation of their usual habits, and give them the possibility to communicate and compare themselves with their peers, through the project’s elements of participation and socialisation.

The project is a collaborative effort between international engineering and planning firm Arup (London), architectural firm Sauerbruch Hutton (Berlin), and user experience design consultancy Experientia, on behalf of Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the developer SRV and the housing agency VVO. Experientia’s dual role on the team involves the design of an advanced smart metering system (a digital energy-consumption metre) for residential households, and the design and implementation of a service platform for the entire zone.

Low2No is a mixed-use block. It comprises 14,000 square metres of mixed residential space (both rental and privately owned) with 6,500 square metres of office space and a business incubator and 1,800 square metres of commercial space.

The involvement of future residents and entrepreneurs in identifying their needs and generating shared ideas and solutions has a created a user-centric service platform, within which the client represents more than a simple final element of the chain, but becomes a key actor in the implementation and supply of the services themselves.
 

CONTACT
Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia srl, +39 011 812 9687, info at experientia dot com
 

14 June 2011

Experientia vince il Premio Nazionale per l’Innovazione nei Servizi

Stemma Italia
Experientia vince la terza edizione del Premio Nazionale per l’Innovazione nei Servizi, istituito dal Governo Italiano e Confcommercio-Imprese per l’Italia.
Il Presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano consegna il premio.
 

Roma, martedì 14 giugno 2011

Oggi il Presidente della Repubblica Italiana Giorgio Napolitano ha insignito Experientia Srl del prestigioso Premio Nazionale per l’Innovazione nei Servizi per il suo progetto C-Life/Low2No, “per aver progettato in Finlandia un quartiere cittadino a bassa emissione di CO2 con metodologie innovative elaborate in Italia.

Experientia Srl è una società di consulenza internazionale con sede a Torino, fondata per aiutare aziende e organizzazioni ad innovare i propri prodotti, servizi e processi attraverso una piena valorizzazione dell’esperienza degli utenti.

Low2No è un progetto che mira alla realizzazione entro il 2013 di un quartiere a impatto zero in un’area della città di Helsinki. Il nome Low2No fa riferimento alla caratteristica del progetto di ridurre progressivamente le emissioni di anidride carbonica generate, partendo da un basso (“low”) impatto delle stesse fino a (‘‘to’’ oppure “2”) raggiungere zero emissioni (“no”).

Alla cerimonia di premiazione al Quirinale era presente Michele Visciòla, Presidente di Experientia Srl, che accompagnato dall’Amministratore Delegato Pierpaolo Perotto, ha ricevuto il premio dal Presidente Napolitano.

“Per noi è un onore ricevere questo premio dalle mani del Presidente della Repubblica – ha dichiarato Visciòla – ed è la dimostrazione che in Italia esistono qualità ed imprese giovani in grado di competere nello scenario internazionale su piani di eccellenza”.

Per Jan-Christoph Zoels, direttore del progetto, “Case belle e ben progettate con i criteri della sostenibilità non bastano. Un buon 50% del contributo all’impatto di CO2 di una comunità dipende dai comportamenti di consumo di energia e dallo stile di vita delle persone. Dobbiamo progettare le condizioni affinché si affermino stili di vita sostenibili e servizi adeguati per tutto il ciclo di vita degli edifici.”

Experientia sta progettando alcuni servizi che permetteranno di creare, all’interno del quartiere, nuove imprese: ci sarà un centro denominato Food Hub (una complessa offerta di servizi legati all’acquisto, consumo e condivisione del cibo, un’alternativa etica e sostenibile ai prodotti abitualmente reperibili sul mercato finlandese); un centro “Eco-laundry” (un servizio di lavanderia altamente efficiente, basato sull’utilizzo di prodotti detergenti a basso impatto ambientale), e un centro di Sauna tradizionale comune (alimentata a legna e all’interno del quale saranno a disposizione differenti servizi).

Nel corso della giornata, in un evento congiunto organizzato da Confcommercio e presieduto dal Presidente Carlo Sangalli, i soci fondatori di Experientia, Pierpaolo Perotto, Mark Vanderbeeken, Michele Visciòla, Jan-Christoph Zoels e una delle collaboratrici al progetto Low2No Camilla Masala hanno preso parte agli incontri con la stampa ed il pubblico.
 

CHI E’ EXPERIENTIA

Experientia Srl è una società di consulenza internazionale con sede a Torino, fondata per aiutare aziende e organizzazioni ad innovare i propri prodotti, servizi e processi attraverso una piena valorizzazione dell’esperienza degli utenti. L’obiettivo di Experientia è mettere le persone e le loro esperienze, future e passate, al centro delle strategie di innovazione realizzando ricerche, creando soluzioni, progettando prototipi e testandone i risultati.

Experientia, oltre che dai 4 soci fondatori, è partecipata con una quota del 20% da Finsa Consulting Srl technology for people, che si occupa di consulenza, sviluppo ed integrazione di soluzioni ICT e di Business Intelligence, con headquarter a Genova e uffici a Roma, Torino e Milano.
 

IL PREMIO

Il Premio Nazionale per l’innovazione è stato istituito nel 2008 dal Governo italiano (presieduto da Romano Prodi) come iniziativa chiave della Giornata Nazionale dell’Innovazione, un’occasione annuale di sensibilizzazione dei cittadini sui temi dell’innovazione e di coordinamento tra tutti i principali attori pubblici e privati per fare il punto sullo stato dell’innovazione nel Paese e condividere gli obiettivi strategici da raggiungere, anche nel quadro europeo e OCSE.

Attraverso questo premio il Governo vuole valorizzare le migliori esperienze d’innovazione nei settori dell’industria, del design, dell’università e della ricerca pubblica, della pubblica amministrazione e dei servizi, inclusi quelli bancari.

Confcommercio, la “Confederazione Generale Italiana delle Imprese, delle Attività Professionali e del Lavoro Autonomo”, è stata responsabile per la selezione della sezione del design dei servizi del Premio Nazionale dell’Innovazione, che comprende le seguenti categorie: “Innovazione nel Commercio”; “Innovazione nel Turismo”; “ICT & Service Design nei Servizi”. Experientia ha ricevuto il premio appartenente a quest’ultima categoria, che è relativa ai due migliori progetti di innovazione tecnologica o di applicazione di metodologie di Service Design o di Service Science Management and Engineering (SSME).

Quest’anno la Giornata Nazionale dell’Innovazione riveste particolare importanza non solo per la presenza del Presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano e del Ministro per la pubblica amministrazione e l’innovazione Renato Brunetta, ma anche per la coincidenza con i festeggiamenti dei 150 anni dell’Unità d’Italia.
 

IL PROGETTO

Il progetto vincitore, denominato originariamente “C-life” ma attualmente conosciuto al pubblico con il nome “Low2No”, rafforza l’impegno di Experientia nello sviluppo ed implementazione di offerte di design dei servizi e della progettazione partecipata e utente-centrica, in grado di facilitare il cambiamento di comportamenti del singolo nell’ottica della sostenibilità.

I servizi Low2No contribuiscono a rendere la sostenibilità parte integrante delle attività quotidiane e della vita di tutti i giorni. Incoraggia le persone a prendere parte e sentirsi parte all’interno del progetto di cambiamento e trasformazione delle abitudini consolidate, dando altresì la possibilità, attraverso elementi di partecipazione e socializzazione, di dialogare e confrontarsi con propri pari.

Il progetto è frutto della collaborazione tra Experientia, lo studio di architettura Sauerbruch Hutton di Berlino e la società di ingegneria ARUP di Londra. Il progetto è stato realizzato per conto del fondo governativo finlandese per l’innovazione SITRA, in collaborazione con l’agenzia per l’edilizia residenziale pubblica VVO e la società di sviluppo immobiliare SRV. Experientia è responsabile sia della progettazione di sistemi evoluti di smart metering (contatori digitali) per ambienti domestici sia della pianificazione e implementazione dell’offerta di servizi per l’intero quartiere.

Low2No rappresenta un’area ad insediamento misto, all’interno della quale ad una componente di edilizia residenziale mista (edilizia agevolata – vendita – affitto) di 14.000 mq si affiancano attività lavorative (6.500 mq di uffici e un incubatore d’impresa) e una complessa offerta di servizi (1.800 mq di spazi commerciali).

Il coinvolgimento degli utenti nell’identificazione dei bisogni e nella generazione di idee e soluzioni condivise creerà una piattaforma di servizi utente-centrici, all’interno della quale il cliente non rappresenta semplicemente un elemento finale della filiera, ma diventa un attore chiave nell’implementazione ed erogazione dei servizi stessi.
 

CONTATTO
Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia srl, +39 011 812 9687, info at experientia dot com
 

9 June 2011

Pamphlet: The Internet of People for a Post-Oil World

Pamphlet 8
The Internet of People for a Post-Oil World
Christian Nold and Rob van Kranenburg
Paperback, 67 pages
The Architectural League of New York

In Situated Technologies Pamphlets 8, Christian Nold and Rob van Kranenburg articulate the foundations of a future manifesto for an Internet of Things in the public interest. Nold and Kranenburg propose tangible design interventions that challenge an internet dominated by commercial tools and systems, emphasizing that people from all walks of life have to be at the table when we talk about alternate possibilities for ubiquitous computing. Through horizontally scaling grass roots efforts along with establishing social standards for governments and companies to allow cooperation, Nold and Kranenberg argue for transforming the Internet of Things into an Internet of People.

Download pamphlet (pdf)

26 May 2011

City as a platform

PSFK
Two talks from the 2011 PSFK conference caught my attention:

City as a platform (video)
In her role as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, Rachel Sterne is tasked with strengthening the City’s digital media presence and streamlining internal digital communications.
In her talk Sterne demonstrated recent innovations that are shaping the city’s future. Mentioning how city resident participation is crucial with a real-time approach, attendees were shown “The Daily Pothole,” a Tumblr that tracks the D.O.T.’s progress in filling potholes in the five boroughs and its companion app, the roll-out of QR code technology on building permits, the NYC 311 app, as well as fielding service requests via Twitter.

Industrial Design: ID For The City (alternate) (video)
Duncan Jackson and Eoin Billings (interview), are both partners at Billings Jackson, a design firm specializing in public spaces. They spoke about their work, history and how they bridge the gap between architecture and manufacturing. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, they appreciate and embrace the the urban landscape for what it is. Crafting solutions that interpret design vision in city environments is their forté and the duo explained the value in understanding the intricacies of each place, culture, and its residents before beginning a new project. Their approach is exemplified through their architectural work, with city life exuding from each structure rather then being blurred by it.

> Check also the video and PSFK report on the Microsoft Home of the Future.

24 May 2011

Low2No Camp

Low2No
Low2No Camp is a strategic design workshop curated by think tank Demos Helsinki. In Low2No Camp thirty carefully chosen urbanists come together to create groundbreaking projects. The key players of Helsinki’s people-driven urban culture are here to take our thinking on what good life in cities can be to a new level and document it on this blog.

Urban culture – doing things together, trying out and evaluating later, joining in – is key to building those better places to live. Low2No is Finland´s flagship project on low-carbon happiness. Through designing differently and doing things together we show how the future can be brighter and smarter. Low2No is an initiative of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, and Experientia is actively working there on the behavioural change for sustainability strategy.

Low2No Camp happens in two parts. The first part takes place in DMY Berlin International Design Festival (1-5 June 2011), where the group is an exhibitor in the Maker Lab-section. On the way to Berlin and back to Helsinki they workshop and take their ideas to the next level. In the second part that happens in Helsinki we will make the ideas in to reality.

24 May 2011

Designing Connectivity notebook available

Designing Connectivity
On 15 March 2011 the DeST Research Unit of the INDACO Department of the Milan Politechnic together with the British Consulate General organised Designing Connectivity (pdf), a seminar on building and activating collaborative networks towards sustainability.

The seminar discussed projects that work with a variety of social and economical actors, including companies, territories and individuals, and the facilitating role that service design can play in this context.

“Connectivity is a key element in the current behavioural change approach, that started through the development of ICT technologies, and is nowadays branching out to underpin new ways to work, produce, socialise, be creative and live. Behavioural change for sustainability is the output of novel social mechanisms that are interesting to be looked at on many levels: people, companies, organisations, institutions. They are all coming together to exchange knowledge, to share experiences, to find solutions, to discuss and confront. Collaboration and connectivity are keywords that feed visions and scenarios of sustainable and collaborative futures.This theme has been explored during the seminar in relation to Creative Industries and Sustainability in order to learn by discussing, by debating, by sharing experiences and insights, and by identifying hot-spots and synergies.”

Two of Experientia’s key staff members – Irene Cassarino and Camilla Massala – presented and discussed our experience in creating a behavioural change for sustainability strategy at the Low2No project in Helsinki, Finland.

Other participants included Alessandro Belgiojoso (Project Leader, 100 cascine); Clare Brass (Director, SEED Foundation); Emily Campbell (Director of Design, RSA); Alberto Cottica (Project Leader, Kublai): Jeremy Davenport (Co-founder and Deputy Director of the Creative Industries KTN); Rosie Farrer (Development Manager, Public Services Lab, NESTA); Cristina Favini (Strategist & Manager of Design, Logotel; Project & Content Manager, Weconomy); Mark Leaver (Global Markets Advisor, Creative Industries KTN); Katie Mills (Knowledge Transfer Consultant at the University of the Arts London); Alison Prendiville (Deputy Director of C4D (Centre for Competitive Creative Design) and Course Director MDes Innovation and Creativity in Industry at London College of Communication, University of the Arts); Ben Reason (Director and Founder, Live|Work); Roberto Santolamazza (Director, Treviso Tecnologia); Adam Thorpe (Reader, Design Against Crime Research Centre (DAC), Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design); in addition to the INDACO Department team (Venanzio Arquilla, Stefano Maffei, Anna Meroni, Marzia Mortati, Giuliano Simonelli, and Beatrice Villari).

The seminar notebook is now available. A seminar blog provides even more inspiration.

23 May 2011

Growing Fredericia

FredericiaC
Arup, Effekt and Experientia win second price in parallel urban renewal competition in Fredericia, Denmark

The FredriciaC jury announced the results of an ambitious urban renewal project in Fredericia, Denmark, as the city seeks to transform itself from an industrialised port town into a high-quality urban environment.

Experientia was part of Team Arup, which took second place in the proceedings, having been short-listed from many entrants to be in the final four. First prize was awarded to Team KCAP, for their innovative canal structure and focus on urbanism.

In awarding second place, the jury highlighted “Team Arup’s urban strategy and process-oriented recommendations for how to form the Fredericia of the future through active participation and co-ownership [through] specific action-oriented means … such as local food production and sustainable energy solutions”.

The team was composed of Arup Engineering, London/Milan, Effekt architects, Copenhagen and experience design consultancy Experientia, Turin, as well as various local consultants.
 

Experientia’s contribution

Experientia’s contribution concentrated on creating sustainable life and activities in the new centre, within five public “living rooms” or gravity points.

The jury stated that “the analyses of the future residents and users form strong elements of the proposal … successively increase[ing] value and attractiveness”. The process-oriented proposal was praised for being “extremely involving” and “inspiring”, and for strongly reflecting “the vision that urban life quality and development potential go hand in hand”.

Experientia focused on stakeholder engagement, participatory design processes, temporary events and sustainable quality of life initiatives. We are therefore very proud with the jury announcement stating:

“The jury finds the team’s proposal extremely involving, not only in the traditional urban development debates, but with respect to the involvement of relevant stakeholders and interest groups, which are deeply integrated into the entire described process: in its activities, organisation and financial structures. This way of thinking, where participation and co-ownership create identity in and close connection with the new town-district, provokes the thought how it can be turned into a lifestyle for selected communities of interest to live in FredericiaC. The process descriptions explain how citizens and businesses can act out and realise their views and values.”

 

Preparing temporary activities

Previewing the process, the area of the former Shipyard is being prepared to host temporary activities by the end of Summer 2011, with a participatory approach that Experientia is currently already supporting with the Fredericia City Government.
 

An innovative competition process

The extremely innovative parallel competition project leaves Fredericia with the possibility and the right to compose, between now and early 2012, the final development plan – as well as the final team of consultants – with input and inspirations from each of the four short-listed competition proposals.

The development of the new urban area will most likely cover a 25-year horizon, within which the site will be progressively occupied and become home to temporary to permanent urban development solutions.

Experientia has enjoyed being part of the innovative competition process. We are looking forward to contributing to the development of the sustainable future of Fredericia, and hope that many more opportunities for collaboration arise, as Fredericia realises its dream to become a vibrant, sustainable city of the future.

7 April 2011

Book: Sentient City

Sentient City
Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space
Edited by Mark Shepard
Paperback, 200 pages, 2011
MIT Press in copublication with the Architectural League of New York
(Amazon link)

Abstract
Our cities are “smart” and getting smarter as information processing capability is embedded throughout more and more of our urban infrastructure. Few of us object to traffic light control systems that respond to the ebbs and flows of city traffic; but we might be taken aback when discount coupons for our favorite espresso drink are beamed to our mobile phones as we walk past a Starbucks. Sentient City explores the experience of living in a city that can remember, correlate, and anticipate. Five teams of architects, artists, and technologists imagine a variety of future interactions that take place as computing leaves the desktop and spills out onto the sidewalks, streets, and public spaces of the city.

“Too Smart City” employs city furniture as enforcers: a bench ejects a sitter who sits too long, a sign displays the latest legal codes and warns passersby against transgression, and a trashcan throws back the wrong kind of trash. “Amphibious Architecture” uses underwater sensors and lights to create a human-fish-environment feedback loop; “Natural Fuse” uses a network of “electronically assisted” plants to encourage energy conservation; “Trash Track” follows smart-tagged garbage on its journey through the city’s waste-management system; and “Breakout” uses wireless technology and portable infrastructure to make the entire city a collaborative workplace.

These projects are described, documented, and illustrated by 100 images, most in color. Essays by prominent thinkers put the idea of the sentient city in theoretical context.

Case studies by David Benjamin, Soo-in Yang, and Natalie Jeremijenko; Haque Design + Research; SENSEable City Lab; David Jimison and JooYoun Paek; and Anthony Townsend, Antonina Simeti, Dana Spiegel, Laura Forlano, and Tony Bacigalupo

Essays by Martijn de Waal, Keller Easterling, Matthew Fuller, Anne Galloway, Dan Hill, Omar Khan, Saskia Sassen, Trebor Scholz, Hadas Steiner, Kazys Varnelis, and Mimi Zeiger

Mark Shepard is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Media Study at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and an editor of the Situated Technologies pamphlet series, published by the Architecture League of New York.

(via Stowe Boyd)

7 April 2011

Experientia presentation at Fuorisalone, Milan

Designing Innovation
Irene Cassarino, Experientia’s senior open innovation expert, will be speaking on Designing for Sustainable Change at the Hub Milan on Friday, as part of the Hub’s Inspirational Conversations series at this year’s Fuorisalone in Milan.

The conversations are part of a wider event, entitled Designing Innovation: Ideas, works and story tales, that involves workshops, exhibitions, and inspirational conversations with the protagonists of Italian social innovation.

Irene will speak together with Eva Teruzzi, director of business R&D at Fiera Milano. Together they will address how to develop awareness of sustainability and conduct business regarding our future technologies.

“When we plan a new urban environment, we need to think of a 100-year-plus horizon,” says Irene Cassarino. “The main challenge is to create an environment that responds to the needs and ambitions of different communities of inhabitants (different also across time), in terms of long-term sustainability objectives, which are themselves uncertain and constantly evolving. This, in our experience in Helsinki (Low2No) and Denmark (FredericiaC), means ‘planning for sustainable change’. When planning technology applications that are people’s future, how can we work with companies and public administrations to develop sustainable change solutions?”

The Hub Milan is the Italian node in an international network of social, creative and professional entrepreneurs. It provides space and resources for people to be inspired, get innovative, develop networks and identify market opportunities, while building up an arsenal of experiences that will help them to truly change Milan and the world. The Hub Milan focuses exclusively on social and innovation and the people that promote it.

The Hub is located in via Paolo Sarpi 8, Milan. Irene will speak at midday on Friday April 15th and (free) registration is required.

24 March 2011

Open cities empower citizens

Philadelphia
A recent Knight Foundation/Pew Research study shows how important, demonstrating that if citizens believe their city governments behave in a transparent manner and make information easily accessible, they tend to think more highly about their town and its civic institutions.

The study, “How the Public Perceives Community Information Systems” found that citizens who believe their local institutions share information well are more likely to think positively about the effectiveness of those institutions, and feel confident that the city can and will provide them with relevant information. In doing so, an open government empowers residents, making them feel that they can effect change.

Read article

8 February 2011

Latest developments on Low2No – the low carbon block in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki

Low2No
A team of international and Finnish designers, including Experientia, announced the current status and latest developments of the Low2No project today, at a sustainable urban development conference organised by Sitra, the Finnish innovation fund.

In particular, the block’s innovative retail strategy and new district heating agreement were showcased. The retail strategy offers a unique mixed use solution, and embodies the soft-side of the innovation process aimed at more sustainable lifestyles. The heating strategy, worked out together with Helsingin Energia will provide coal-free, renewable district heating.

Experientia has been particularly involved in developing participatory processes and coordinating stakeholder input for the retail strategy, while our involvement in the energy strategy focuses on demand management, including developing behavioural change strategies for more sustainable energy use and advanced smart meter design.

Read press release

7 February 2011

Experientia selected for second stage FredericiaC competition in Denmark

FredericiaC
A consortium made up of Arup, EFFEKT, Experientia, and consultants from NCC Management Group, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KA), Conceptura, and Ars Electronica Linz GmbH (AEC),* has been announced as one of four finalists in the FredericiaC competition, to design a new sustainable urban space for the Danish city of Fredericia, which will then become home to 25,000 people.

Fredericia was once a strategic defence point of the Danish kings in the 1600s, and has been left with a legacy of historical ramparts surrounding the inner part of the lovely seaside city, with a view as far as the island of Fyn. The new part of the city, which will be located on an old brownfield site by the sea, must fit in character, tone and liveability with the rest of this historical city, while at the same time being daring and compelling in its own right.

It should also concentrate on great quality of life, active participation from the citizens, commerce and culture in Fredericia, and incorporate state of the art in economy, climate and health solutions.

Experientia’s role in the team is to focus on participatory design process, behavioural change strategies, sustainable demand management, service design and mixed use, to create high quality urban lifestyles.

The consortium is currently involved in phase 2 of the competition, making the bid more specific in terms of process and project descriptions, particularly on how to implement the project sustainably.

Experientia is working on refining personas and scenarios for the district, a comprehensive behavioural change strategy for more sustainable lifestyles, a participatory process of citizen engagement and decision making, and temporary use ideas for the site while construction is in process.

The teams will submit their refined proposal by April 2011, and the final decision will be made in June.

* The full consortium is made up of Arup, EFFEKT, Experientia, and Karl-Gustav Jensen from NCC Management Group, Bo Grunlund from he Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KA), Anders Christian Ulrich from Conceptura, and Gerfried Stocker from Ars Electronica Linz GmbH (AEC).

20 December 2010

Vodafone foresight on the world in 2020

Future Agenda
Vodafone has launched its new futureagenda website that presents the results of a 12 month insight and foresight programme on the world in 2020.

The project, which was presented last week in Istanbul, Turkey (and only got covered, it seems, by the Turkish press), also includes a book and downloadable pdf (315 pages).

The Future Agenda programme brought together informed people from around the world to analyse the crucial themes of the next ten years. Fifty workshops in twenty-five locations took place and resulted in a unique view of the next ten years. The website reports on the key conclusions.

In the opening section, Vodafone details what it sees as the four macro-scale certainties for the next decade – the things that, unless there is an unexpected, massive and fundamental global shift, will most definitely occur and so are the certitudes upon which everything else is built. These certainties are 1) a continued imbalance in population growth, 2) more key resource constraints, 3) an accelerating eastward shift of economic power to Asia, and 4) pervasive global connectivity.

The second section explores some of the key insights gained into how the world and our lives will probably change over the next decade. These are the key changes that will occur in many different areas, some influenced by just one of the four certainties, others by two or more. These changes are detailed by providing both the signals from today that give evidence to support the direction of change and the future implications over the next ten years. They are grouped into six clusters – health, wealth, happiness, mobility, security and locality – which seem to encompass all the issues highlighted. Each change that is depicted in this section is variously linked to a number of others.

The Future Agenda team invited students of the the Innovation Design Engineering Department (IDE) of the Royal College of Arts to create some solutions to the challenges we face. IDE focuses on using cutting edge product design experimentation and systems thinking to tackle important real world issues with advanced technical design (and) within social parameters. Short videos show the results of this RCA project.

2 December 2010

Report calls for radical redesign of cities to cope with population growth

Istanbul
The Megacities on the Move report says authorities must start planning their transport infrastructure now for a future when two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities.

The Forum for the Future report devotes a lot of attention to new types of user-centred mobility solutions, as reported by The Guardian:

“Moving away from car ownership, using real-time traffic information to help plan journeys and having more virtual meetings will be vital to prevent the megacities of the future from becoming dysfunctional and unpleasant places to live, according to a study by the environmental think tank Forum for the Future. [...]

One issue is to integrate different modes of transport: citizens will want to walk, cycle, access public transport, drive personal vehicles or a mixture of all modes in one journey. “Information technology is going to be incredibly important in all of this, in terms of better integrating and connecting physical modes of transport,” said [Ivana] Gazibara [, senior strategic adviser at Forum for the Future and an author of the report]. “But we’re also going to see lots more user-centred ICT [information and communication technology] so it makes it easier for us to access things virtually.”

Of particular interest too are the four scenarios for urban mobility in 2040, which paint vivid pictures of four possible worlds in 2040. Scenario animations bring each world to life, as they follow a day in the life of an ordinary woman, examining the mobility challenges and solutions in each world:

Planned-opolis
In a world of fossil fuels and expensive energy, the only solution is tightly planned and controlled urban transport.

Sprawl-ville
The city is dominated by fossil fuel-powered cars.The elite still gets around, but most urban dwellers face poor transport infrastructure.

Renew-abad
The world has turned to alternative energy and high-tech, clean, well-planned transport helps everyone get around.

Communi-city
The world has turned to alternative energy, and transport is highly personalised with a huge variety of transport modes competing for road space.