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Putting People First

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Search results for 'makkuni'
4 September 2007

People regularly featured on this blog

In alphabetical order:

A
Marko Ahtisaari
Ken Anderson

B
Nik Baerten
Genevieve Bell
Chris Bernard
Tim Berners-Lee
Ralf Beuker
Nina Boesch
Danah Boyd
Stefana Broadbent
Tyler Brûlé
Bill Buxton

C
Jan Chipchase
Hilary Cottam
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Alistair Curtis

D
Uday Dandavate
Liz Danzico
Regine Debatty
Paul Dourish

E
Jyri Engeström
Richard Eisermann

G
Jesse James Garrett
Fabien Girardin
Anand Giridharadas
Bruno Giussani
Adam Greenfield

H
Laurent Haug

I
Mizuko Ito

J
Bob Jacobson
Matt Jones

K
Jonathan Kestenbaum
Anne Kirah
Dirk Knemeyer
Jon Kolko
Mike Kuniavsky

L
Loïc Lemeur
Dan Lockton
Victor Lombardi

M
Nico Macdonald
John Maeda
Ranjit Makkuni
Ezio Manzini
Roger Martin
Stefano Marzano
Simona Maschi
Bruce Mau
Grant McCracken
Jess McMullin
Peter Merholz
Crysta Metcalf
Bill Moggridge
Peter Morville
Ulla-Maaria Mutanen

N
Jakob Nielsen
Donald Norman
Nicolas Nova
Bruce Nussbaum

P
Steve Portigal

R
Carlo Ratti
Howard Rheingold
Louis Rosenfeld
Stephen Rustow

S
Dan Saffer
Nathan Shedroff
Jared Spool
Yaniv Steiner
Bruce Sterling

T
John Thackara

V
Marco van Hout
Rob van Kranenburg
Mark Vanderbeeken
Joannes Vandermeulen
Jeffrey Veen
Timo Veikkola
Michele Visciola
Eric von Hippel

W
Tricia Wang
Luke Wroblewski

Z
Paola Zini
Jan-Christoph Zoels

2 July 2007

Recent stories on the Turin 2008 World Design Capital website

Torino 2008 World Design Capital
A few months ago Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken started doing some writing for the Turin 2008 World Design Capital website, and will continue to do so until the end of 2008.

The site has just been refreshed with an interview with Marie-Josée Lacroix, design commissioner of the City of Montreal; an essay on design and sustainability by Niti Bhan; a short overview of the history of the UK Design Council; and some stories from the international press.

For the first edition of the online magazine, Mark interviewed Ranjit Makkuni, wrote an essay on people-centred design, profiled the Nagoya Design Center, and zoomed in on the thinking of Mike Kuniavsky.

Feel free to contact us (mark followed by experientia dot com) with comments, suggestions, criticisms and proposals.

19 April 2007

Experientia contributes to Torino 2008

Torino 2008
The new website of Torino 2008 World Design Capital contains an editorial section, managed by Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken, with interviews, profiles of design centres, essays and some commented articles from the international press that together provide an international window on Torino 2008.

The monthly interview series features a number of thought-provoking conversations with leading designers or people who have major impact on the design world. The first interview is with Ranjit Makkuni, who is the director of the Sacred World Foundation and the project director of the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum.

Monthly essays explore issues in further depth. The first essay is on people-centred design as a means to affect cultural and social change, and is also written by Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken.

The monthly focus on design centres is a contribution to Torino 2008’s theme of design policy, which has the the aim of informing the activities of the Torino Design Centre but also of provoking a debate on what could become a national design policy in Italy. The first featured design centre is the one from Nagoya.

Finally, each month the site will feature an article from the international press. The first one discusses magic as a new metaphor for mobile devices.

19 April 2007

Torino 2008 World Design Capital launches Torino GEODESIGN

Torino 2008 World Design Capital
Yesterday I went to a press conference by Torino 2008 World Design Capital at the Milan Design Fair which presented TORINO GEODESIGN.

TORINO GEODESIGN (described in more detail in this Core77 article) is an international competition which will bring designers from all over the world to collaborate with communities and businesses in Piedmont. It will be one of the major events of the Torino 2008 programme.

It is based on the concept of “self-organised” design, that is energetic and highly experimental. The project is generated by a community of consumers, living in large metropolises undergoing change and in cosmopolitan European cities, who transform themselves into suppliers of services.

Speakers were Sergio Chiamparino (Mayor of Torino), Stefano Boeri (project leader of Geodesign competition), Fernando and Humberto Campana (designers), Guta Moura Guedes (President ExperimentaDesign Biennial, Lisbon), and John Thackara (director of Doors of Perception and Dott07). Zaha Hadid was caught ill in New York but contributed via a written statement.

After Stefano Boeri’s presentation of the project, Guta Moura Guedes underlined how design is more and more an issue of people, and therefore increasingly democratic. Cities, she said, are becoming places for bottom-up experimentation in the design field aimed at improving the quality of life for and by those who live within those cities. Design is becoming flexible, hence the overall theme of Torino 2008 (“flexibility”), adapting to different circumstances and issues such as social change, political change and climate change.

Torino’s Mayor Sergio Chiamparino said that three elements in the project were important to him: the in-depth creation of knowledge about the city, the concrete collaboration with citizens and with the topics that matter to them, and the development of a future vision for the city.

Working with local communities is something that the Campana brothers have been doing for quite some time now and they presented several examples of how they work with the rich tradition of handicraft in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

John Thackara finally endorsed the GEODESIGN idea but connected it with the topic of sustainability. We would need, he said, 100 design cities to make a fundamental impact and the radical transformation that is needed. 80% of the environmental impact of the products in our world are the result of design decisions. A large part of the answers can come from other cultures or from other times, where people learned to live sustainability. How can we learn from them?

As described on the new website (and previously illustrated in my interview with Torino 2008 director Paola Zini), the year has been divided into four phases — Public Design, Economy and Design, Education and Design, and Design Policies — each aimed at four specific target groups: the citizens, businesses, the world of education and the institutions.

“Each of these groups represents a cardinal point in the life cycle of contemporary design. Each phase studies, develops and promotes the relationship between design and the urban fabric. This cross section involves the various actors who interrelate within the city and help delineate its aspect.”

Experientia contributes to Torino 2008 website

The editorial section of the new Torino 2008 website, i.e. the part that changes all the time, is curated by me (Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken).

Every month the site will feature an interview, an essay, a profile of a foreign design centre, and a short reflection on the international press. The first interview is with Ranjit Makkuni of the Sacred World Foundation and the first essay is by myself on people-centred design as a means to affect cultural and social change.

24 February 2007

Sacred tech [Business Week]

A group of children hold hands around the Harijan Pillar in the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum
When I met Ranjit Makkuni now over five years ago at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, I became immediately mesmerised by his approach to technology and culture and the work he has been doing. This has only grown since.

Makkuni is not only building bridges between technology and traditional, spiritual cultures, but also creating new paradigms for modern computing (based on the aesthetics of developing nations) and making new links between technological interfaces and the body, by an emphasis on the sense of touch, texture, gesture and craft.

So I am very delighted that David Womack featured Makkuni’s thinking and work in the latest issue of Business Week:

Former senior researcher at Xerox PARC, Ranjit Makkuni is using sophisticated technology to change how we interact with computers. In the process, he’s taking traditional Indian beliefs back to the future.

Makkuni spent nearly two decades as a senior researcher at the legendary Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, California, where he was part of a team widely credited with developing the first GUI, or graphical user interface; he then went on to break new ground in tactile interfaces. Now, Makkuni has returned to his native India and founded the Sacred World Foundation, an organization whose mission is to revolutionize interaction between humans and computers by bringing together the ancient traditions of India and the innovations of Silicon Valley. [...]

Much of Makkuni’s research is focused on freeing us from what might be called the modern posture: slumped with belly sagging, eyes restlessly scanning the screen, fingers twitching on computer keys. This posture is a result of the western paradigm in which data comes in through the eyes, makes a loop through the head, and exits through the mouth or fingers. We might as well be brains in jars, at least for the duration of the workday. In many eastern traditions, however, it is believed that intelligence is distributed throughout the body, and that thinking and moving are inextricably connected. [...]

Makkuni’s largest project to date is the Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum, which opened in March 2005 at Birla House in New Delhi, the site where Mahatma Gandhi spent the last few months of his life and where he was assassinated in 1948. The goal of the exhibition is to bring Gandhi’s message to a new generation by engaging them both intellectually and physically. [...]

By showing that traditional practices can help to inform modern technology, Makkuni is challenging the conventional wisdom of the country’s elite, who often see traditional beliefs as a barrier to modernization.

- Read full story
Visit the Sacred World Foundation
Visit The Crossing Project
Visit the Ethernal Gandhi Multimedia Museum

2 December 2006

Interaction-Ivrea legacy is getting lost

Interaction Design Institute Ivrea
Interaction Design Institute Ivrea ceased to exist nearly five months ago. It survived for a while in Milan (hosted by the Domus Academy), but that is now also finished.

I am not going to analyse the politics of the decline here (a blog post is not enough!) nor the financial intricacies of it all (although a full account of it wouldn’t be bad). Suffice it to say that many Interaction-Ivrea graduates are working for major international companies and that also two of the four Experientia founders are former Interaction-Ivrea staff members (Jan-Christoph Zoels and myself).

That said, the website of Interaction-Ivrea used to be an access point to rich content on projects and on people. I worked on it a lot to help assure that. No longer so.

Although all the content is technically still there (including interviews with people like John Maeda, Ranjit Makkuni and Nathan Shedroff), most of it is not accessible anymore from the home page. The same thing applies to the personal student sites (which former students can no longer update or correct) or staff bio pages. The “people” and “news” menu buttons are no longer even active.

It has become a dead site, which is not managed anymore and with most of the content hardly accessible.

This is not the place now to point fingers. The decline of Interaction-Ivrea was in my mind a process of immense value destruction. It is quite disheartening to see that this now seems to continue.

The main comfort is that good people went through the place and are now changing the fields of interaction design, experience design, and people-centred design all over the world, including here in Italy itself.

9 September 2005

Sacred World Foundation

Sacredworld
The Sacred World Foundation was founded several years ago by Ranjit Makkuni, a visionary and designer and a former leading researcher at Xerox PARC.

It is a state of the art research and design think tank, located in New Delhi, India, whose projects are exploring innovation created by building bridges between techno and traditional cultures.

The site, which I highly recommend, features a rich portfolio of entirely original projects, including The Crossing, an interactive exhibition exploring traditional crafts and culture, and the recently inaugurated Eternal Gandhi Multimedia Museum.