Meanwhile you can also see videos and read extensive synopses of the talks by Lavrans Løvlie (co-founder of the London-based service design consultancy live|work), Ezio Manzini (Milan Polytechnic), and Mikkel Rasmussen (ReD Associates).
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.
The symposium featured speakers who are pioneers in service design thinking and practice from several countries, including Andrea Koerselman (IDEO), Andrew Mcgrath (Orange Global), Bill Hollins (Direction Consultants), Bill Moggridge (IDEO), Ezio Manzini (Milan Polytechnic), Jørgen Rosted (FORA), Lavrans Løvlie (Live|Work), Magnus Christensson (Social Square), Mikkel Rasmussen (ReD Associates), Oliver King (Engine), Shelley Evenson (Carnegie Mellon) and Toke Barter (Radarstation).
With topics ranging from understanding service design, academic explorations & industry case studies, to younger, more experimental practices, the symposium was meant to act as a platform for deeper understanding of how to harness design thinking as a strategy and adopting best practices in the public sector.
The videos of three of the presentations are now online:
- Designing Services: Past, Present and Future (by Bill Hollins)
- Designing Services (by Bill Moggridge)
- Concept Design (by Jørgen Rosted)
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).
In alphabetical order:
In the article “Beyond Food Design to a Sustainable Sensoriality” (Italian version), Giacomo Mojoli, vice-president of Slow Food International, contemplates what it means to mutually contaminate the sphere of food sensoriality with the wider one of material, manufacturing and creative sensoriality:
“Slow Food is one of these paradigms, a sort of strategic design project, a network prototype, applied to the world of food, agriculture and food education. Slow Food proposed a vision, a way of thinking and acting which by now has gone beyond food to inspire a new and eco-compatible way of conceiving development and economy, on a local as much as a global scale.”
Mojoli sees the objectives of Slow Food’s new slow+design initiative as to “reunite the quality of products with that of the environment and the social forms which generate them” and to “cross the experience of Slow Food with that of those who study and promote the new economy of social networks, the so-called distributed economy, and those who, in the practical and cultural ambit of design, are concerned with the quality of products, services and communications.”
“The Slow Model: A Strategic Design Approach” (Italian version) is the title of the second article on the topic by Ezio Manzini (blog) and Anna Meroni of the Milan Polytechnic. They provide a more in-depth analysis of the relation between strategic design and the slow approach. They argue that a new sustainability can arise out of this innovative union, with a rigorous sensibility towards the environment, the quality of life and daily rhythms which can be integrated into the planning of spaces and objects.
“A slow approach means first of all the simple (but in these times revolutionary) affirmation that it is not possible to produce and appreciate quality without taking the time needed to do so, i.e. if we do not slow down in one way or another.
But slow today doesn’t mean just that; it also means a concrete and practicable way of putting this idea into action. It means cultivating quality by connecting products with producers, with the production sites and with the end users who participate in diverse ways in their definition and thus become co-producers.
The slow approach therefore outlines a model of production and alternative consumption which is both subversive and feasible, a model which confronts head on the ideas and practices of today’s globalization. Nevertheless it can be immediately realized on a local level and, as Slow Food has proven, with success.”
In their long essay, they suggest three strategic directions for the slow+design initiative: localisation and experience, phenomenological quality and sustainability, and skill and self-determination.
To find out more about the slow+design initiative, see this earlier post on Putting People First. In 2004 the New York Times also published a nice feature on the launch of the University of Gastronomic Sciences.