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Search results for 'thackara'
12 November 2009

Designing for a sustainable world

WUD
To celebrate World Usability Day 2009, System Concepts has put together a video podcast exploring how different stakeholders can enhance the user experience of their designs by including sustainability as a key requirement.

The interviewees include:
- Professor Ben Shneiderman – User Interface guru from the University of Maryland
- John Thackara – Director, Doors of Perception and currently senior advisor on sustainability to the UK Design Council
- Nicolai Peitersen – Founder and CEO of Ethical Economy
- Daniel Liden, Senior Designer at Chris Lefteri Design Ltd, who specialise in materials
- Dina Guth – Director of British design and innovation company TECAtech
- Liz Edwards, Home Editor of the UK Consumer’s Association
- Tom Stewart, President of the UK Ergonomics Society

View podcast

7 July 2009

Innovative service design for all

A hole in the wall
Re-Public, an online journal focusing on innovative developments in contemporary political theory and practice, has just launched its latest special issue, entitled “Innovative Service Design for All“.

Applicable culture: Towards future services for the city of Milan
Walter Aprile, Henrik den Ouden Runshaug and Eyal Fried
This paper briefly introduces an Id-Lab project for the design of the future services for the city of Milan. It touches on the principles of the methodology formalized while realizing the project, proposing an adaptive system for need-prediction and design of future services based on cultural criteria, diverse human resources and innovation use of available technological platforms.

Reflections on how service experiences arise
Mikael Runonen, Sakari Tamminen, and Petri Mannonen
Services are all around us and we all use them. Some of them are of mundane, routine type and we don’t necessarily even consider ourselves as users of them, as it is with, for example, mail delivery. Some services, like services in a spa, we crave for and use with delight. There are also services that we don’t want to use unless it is absolutely necessary. Not many of us are pleased to visit the doctor or the police.

Mind the gap: Theories and practices in managing stakeholders in the service design process
Qin Han
This paper presents on-going PhD research that explores an emerging design field – Service Design, where designers with service organisations from public and private sectors develop service offerings that create value for both customers and providers at different levels.

Beyond the experience: In search of an operative paradigm for the industrialisation of services
Nicola Morelli
The contributions to the definition of a disciplinary corpus for service design come from two main directions: the first focuses on real cases, developing projects that are advancing the practice of service design and making service design visible to private business and public administrations (Cottam & Leadbeater, 2004; Parker & Heapy, 2006; Thackara, 2007). The second area concerns the definition of a methodological framework for service design. The main concern in those studies is on the development of methodological tools for analysing, designing and representing services. (Cottam & Leadbeater, 2004; Morelli, 2003, 2009; Sangiorgi, 2004)

Service design for India: The thinking behind the design of a local curriculum
Soumitri Varadarajan
I have been working on the design of a curriculum for service design for a university in India. What follows is a reflective account of my thinking through the design. I write in the first person to stay true to the thought process that resulted in this specific design. The text is in three parts; I set up the background as a dip into the development discourse in design practice, I then go on to construct a proposition for a university design program, and finally I sketch a program in service design in three steps.

Inclusive governance strategy for urban services delivery: A case analysis from a medium sized city in a low income developing country
Saleh Ahmed
The urban politics in low income developing countries is very much precarious in nature. Improper institutional capacity and insufficient resources usually result in bad management outputs and influence the quality of life. Poor people are the main victims of this situation. This paper highlights the effective role of peoples’ initiatives and their involvements for framing an innovative and locally adaptable service design in context of a medium sized city in a low income developing country.

Secondary education for all: The case of specific learning difficulties (dyslexia)
Gioulina Kokkalia and Aristotelis Skamagkis
Design has the potential to better the societies we live in. In this context, this article argues that design of educational services can improve the educational process. More specifically, we describe our study on secondary education private tutoring schools called “frontistiria” and the inclusion of children with Specific Learning Difficulties. As we are currently running the first phase of the design process we will try to present some specifications for the design of a dyslexia-friendly classroom.

Ceremonial Olympism: Towards an art of democratic dialogue?
Rodanthi Tzanelli
I remember the euphoria that swept round Greece when the Olympiad of 2004 was crowned with Jacques Rogge’s and other global players’ long-awaited congratulations. Recognition is always οn the cards for Olympic ‘hosts’, no matter how marginal the country they inhabit. But the devil hides in details, and once in the political limelight, the host becomes vulnerable to an all-embracing criticism. The organisers have to play their cards right to win the day: from public security, to entertaining global audiences and athletes alike, to forging artworks of beauty and educational value to collecting gold medals, the dream slowly turns into a political nightmare. Since their nineteenth-century inception, the Olympic Games operated as a platform on which nations articulate their own version of modernity, producing universally palatable masks and performing their public Selves for external and internal consumption.

Cohousing: A new form of urban community-based network services
Matthieu Lietaert
The last fifty years have witnessed a radical transformation of the urban contexts, influencing people’s daily lives. On the one hand, this has gone along with the rise of individual’s freedom; but on the other hand, it also went with a manifest collapse of the community. This double phenomenon is not only unprecedented in History; it is also connected to an important paradox: individuals are losing their ties with their community at a period when they might need them increasingly more than before. In fact, many enjoy the positive sides of their urban individual freedom, whereas they also feel increasingly more exhausted as they struggle to face, on their own, the daily soaring stress level, competitive working contexts, changes in family unit (especially single women with children), reduced mobility and social isolation of contemporary urban life.

(via Design for Service)

23 June 2009

First LIFT09 France videos are online

LIFT France
The first LIFT France conference took place last way in Marseilles. Being in Seoul, South Korea, myself, I missed it entirely, but luckily the videos are now becoming available.

Welcome to Lift!
Lift founder Laurent Haug and Lift France chair Daniel Kaplan will explain the theme and organization of the conference.

Initial and necessary challenge: “Technology & Society: Know your History!”
Is technology liberating us or enslaving us? Hardly a new question, says Dominique Pestre… He will thus challenge us to raise our level of thinking and, in searching for an answer, to embrace dissensus and complexity: How can we welcome techno-skeptics in order to produce more sustainable technologies? Can we really believe that green techs will allow us to avoid drastic (and collective) choices on how we live? How can the interaction between markets, democracy, usage, science, code, become more productive?
Keynote: Dominique Pestre, historian of Science, EHESS, Paris

Changing Things (1) – The Internet of Things is not what you think it is!
If the “Internet of things” was just about adding chips, antennas and interactivity to the things we own, it would be no big deal. Discover a wholly different perspective: Open, unfinished objects which can be transformed and reprogrammed by their users; Objects that document their own components, history, lifecycle; Sensitive and noisy objects that capture, process, mix and publish information. Discover an Internet of Things which intends to transform the industrial world as deeply as the current Internet transformed the world of communication and media.
Keynote: Bruce Sterling, writer, author of Shaping Things
They do it for real: Usman Haque (haque :: design + research / Pachube) and Timo Arnall (Elastic Space)

Video: Timo Arnall: “Making Things Visible” [22:13]
A designer and researcher at Oslo School of Architecture, Timo Arnall offers here his perspective about networked objects and ubiquitous computing. His presentation, and the intriguing design examples he takes, highlights two phenomena. On the one hand, he describes how sensors and RFIDs can enable to “make things visible” as the title of his presentation expresses. On the other hand, he shows the importance of going beyond screen-based interactions.

Changing Things (2) – Fab Labs, towards decentralized design and production of material products
Existing or unheard-of things, designed, modified, exchanged and manufactured by individuals or entrepreneurs anywhere in the world; Local workshops equipped with 3D printers and digital machine-tools, able to produce (almost) anything out of its 3D model; P2P object-sharing networks… Are “Fab Labs” heralding a new age of industrial production?
Keynote: Mike Kuniavsky, designer, ThingM
They do it for real: Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (Tinker.it) and Michael Shiloh (OpenMoko / MakingThings)

Changing Innovation (1)- The end of IT
Today, corporate information systems are innovation’s worst enemies. They set organizations and processes in stone. They restrict the enterprise’s horizons and its networks. They distort its view of the world. But ferments of change emerge. Meet those who breathe new air into current organizations, those who design tomorrow’s Innovation Systems.
Keynote: Marc Giget (Cnam)
They do it for real: Euan Semple (Social computing for the business world) and Martin Duval (Bluenove)

Changing Innovation (2) – Innovating with the non-innovators
Innovating used to be a job in itself. It has become a decentralized procès which includes, in no particular order, researchers, entrepreneurs, designers, artists, activists, and users who reinvent the products they were supposed to consume. Why is that important? What does it really change? And where will it stop? WILL it stop somewhere?
Keynote: Catherine Fieschi, Counterpoint/British Council
They do it for real: Marcos Garcia (Madrid’s Medialab-Prado) and Douglas Repetto, artist and founder of Dorkbot

Takeaways: Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet’s thoughts from Lift
NKM“, 35, is Minister of State to the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Forward Planning and Development of the Digital Economy. Known as an activist for sustainable development, she was minister in charge of Ecology between 2007 and 2009.

Video: Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet’s takeaways (FR) [43:52]

Changing the Planet (1)- Sustainable development, the Way of Desire
What if global warming and the exhaustion of natural resources were in fact, initially, design problems? How do we move from bad, unsustainable design to a design – of goods, services, systems – that is sensitive and sustainable, durable and beautiful, sensible and profitable? Could we build sustainable growth on desire as well as reason, on creativity as well as regulation? Short answer: Yes!
Keynote: Dennis Pamlin, WWF, author of “Sustainability @ the Speed of Light”
They do it for real: John Thackara (Doors of Perception) and Elizabeth Goodman (designer, confectious.net)

Video: Dennis Pamlin: Changing the Planet [23:50]
Dennis Pamlin, who is Global Policy Advisor for the WWF, introduces the ecological challenges we face and contrast them with most of the technological progresses. His talk delineates a set of filters to understand how to judge innovation on conjunction with the long-term consequences they might have on the planet.

Video: John Thackara: Changing the Planet [23:14]
John Thackara, who is director of Doors of Perception, gives a provocative talk about the role of design in finding solutions to the ecological crisis. After inviting us to avoid terms such as “future” or “sustainable” as they maintain a certain distance to the problem we face, he shows a rich set of projects he participated in. He makes the important point that the resources to be put in place already exist and that they might not necessitates complex technological developments.

Changing the Planet (2) – Co-producing and sharing environmental consciousness
Planetary climate change is too large a challenge for each individual. It can quickly become abstract, technical, remote. How can we reconnect individual aspirations, personal and daily choices, to global challenges? How can we all become part of environmental measurement, evaluate and compare the impact of our own activities, become parts of our collective environmental consciousness?
Keynote: Gunter Pauli, ZERI (Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives)
They do it for real: Frank Kresin (Waag Society) and François Jegou (SDS-Solutioning / Sustainable Everyday)

Video: Gunter Pauli: Changing the Planet [55:14]
Gunter Pauli, who founded and directs ZERI, the “Zero Emissions Research Initiative” of the United Nations University in Tokyo, spoke about redesigning manufacturing processes into non-polluting clusters of industries.

Conditional Future
“The best way to predict the future, is to invent it”, said Alan Kay (and Buckminster Fuller). That is only true if as many of us as possible are given the opportunity to discuss, build, experiment and reflect upon their present and their future. Three speakers describe the conditions required to make that possible.
Rob van Kranenburg (Fontys Ambient Intelligence, Council) and Jean-Michel Cornu (Fing)

More videos are being posted to LIFT’s Vimeo, DailyMotion, Blip, Metacafe, Revver and Viddler accounts, so you can choose the platform you like.

19 June 2009

Four new Dott07 case studies

Low Carb Lane
The UK Design Council just published — a little late — four short case studies based on the experience of Dott07, a year of community projects, events and exhibitions based in North East England and curated by John Thackara, that explored what life in a sustainable region could be like – and how design could help us get there.

New work
Work isn’t what it used to be. Across the UK, a significant portion of the workforce does not have a traditional nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday job. Around 13% of working people work for themselves and many more work in very small or micro businesses employing one to five people, where factors like location and working hours can be very different from working in a large corporation.
In the North East, 88% of working people are employed by micro businesses. Those who took part in the New Work project during Dott07 agreed that new ways of working offer new opportunities, but also bring new problems.

Our new school
In 2007 Walker Technology College in Newcastle received £13m funding from the government’s £70bn Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme to renovate its buildings. Headteacher Steve Gater knows how big an opportunity this is. ‘The last thing we want to have with our BSF project is a new old school,’ he says. He wants a school that helps the 1,200 pupils get the most out of learning and fits into the community. That’s where designers at Dott 07 came in.

Move me
Growing emphasis is being put on cutting pollution in the UK by reducing our use of transport. But millions of us still need to move by car, bus or train each day. In the village of Scremerston in Northumberland, getting around was problematic. Many villagers don’t own cars or faced a lack of regular and affordable public transport to get them to school, work or hospital appointments.

Low Carb Lane
As part of Dott 07 designers wanted to tackle domestic energy consumption. So a design team set themselves the aim of reducing the energy consumption of one house in Castle Terrace, Ashington, by 60%.

6 May 2009

Most Interaction09 conference videos now online

Francoise Bourdonnec
Most of the videos of the Interaction09 conference, that took place this February in Vancouver, Canada, are now available online (see also here). Here is a personal selection:

Kars Alfrink: Play in social and tangible interactions
Many of the interactions seen in tangible and social computing are essentially playful. Play can take on many forms, but they all involve people exploring a conceptual space of possibilities. When designing these “embodied” interactions, it is therefore helpful to have a good understanding of play – this session aims to do just that. We’ll compare the role of interaction designers to that of game designers, who concern themselves primarily with the creation of rule-sets.

Dave Malouf – Foundations of Interaction Design: Bringing design critique to interaction design
Foundation and critique are two core elements that separate design from other ways of thinking and practicing creation of ideas and solutions. Foundations are the core elements that we manipulate within our craft. Critique is the way we judge the results of that craft. For critique to be effective though it requires foundation. It is only through our understanding of what it is that makes up our craft, that we can bring consistency and consensus to design criticism. This 25min. presentation is meant to offer the beginnings of a discussion around what could be the foundations of interaction design, how they impact aesthetics of interaction and how they can be used for design critique within an interaction design practice.

Jon Kolko – Design synthesis
Interaction design research activities produce an enormous quantity of raw data, which must be systematically and rigorously analyzed in order to extract meaning and insight. Unfortunately, these methods of analysis are poorly documented and rarely taught. As a result, raw design research data is inappropriately positioned as insight, and the value of research activities is marginalized. Interaction design synthesis methods can be taught, and when selectively applied, visual, diagrammatic synthesis techniques can be completed relatively quickly. This talk will introduce various methods of Synthesis as ways to translate research into meaningful insights.

Aza Raskin – Designing in the open

Marc Rettig – How to change complicated stuff
In the midst of a global conversation about change, many designers are pondering their own impact in the world. How does our experience in software interfaces, web sites, and physical products prepare us to address the profound issues humanity is facing? These issues involve many complex systems, systems too big to fit into the scope of any single company or institution. Design methods are potent at large scale and scope, but what does it take to be effective as a practitioner, as a team, as a company? What is it like to actually achieve a meaningful, sustainable, positive difference in life?

Jared Spool and Friends – Hiring the next generation of Interaction Designers

Luke Wroblewski – Parti and the design sandwich
In architecture, parti refers to the underlying concept of a building. Will it be a public structure that provides safety or a commercial building focused on customer up-selling? Design principles are the guiding light for any parti. They articulate the fundamental goals that all decisions can be measured against and thereby keep the pieces of a project moving toward an integrated whole. But design principles are not enough. Every design consideration has a set of opportunities and limitations that can either add to or detract from the parti. This combination of design principles at the top and design considerations at the bottom allows interaction designers to fill in the middle with meaningful structures that enable people and organizations to interact, communicate, and get things done. In this talk, Luke Wroblewski will illustrate how the World’s most accessed Web page, yahoo.com, was redesigned with a parti and the design sandwich.

(see also earlier post with links to videos of presentations by Dan Saffer, Robert Fabricant and John Thackara).

11 April 2009

LIFT France and I Realize Italy

LIFT France
Last month I announced that the next LIFT conference would take place in Marseilles, France on 18-20 June this year.

Entrepreneurs, researchers, artists, designers, and activists who are inventing radically new ways to innovate, design, produce, trade, exchange and manage, will be coming to LIFT France to express their vision of a “hands-on future”, a future of do-it-yourself change:

Changing Things: Towards objects that are not just “smart” and connected, but also customizable, hackable, transformable, fully recyclable; Towards decentralized and multipurpose manufacturing, or even home fabrication.

Changing Innovation: Towards continuous and networked innovation, emerging from users as well as entrepreneurs, from researchers as well as activists.

Changing the Planet: Towards a “green design” that reconnects global environmental challenges with growth, but also with human desire, pleasure, beauty and fun.

The programme is now finished and so is a pdf with background information.

Speakers are Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (Tinker.it!), Bruce Sterling, Catherine Fieschi (Counterpoint), Daniel Kaplan (FING), Dennis Pamlin (WWF), Dominique Pestre (École des hautes études en sciences sociales), Douglas Repetto (Columbia University), Edith Ackermann (MIT), Elizabeth Goodman (UC Berkeley), Euan Semple, François Jégou (Solutioning), Frank Kresin (Waag Society), Gunter Pauli (ZERI), Jean-Michel Cornu (FING), John Thackara (Doors of Perception), Laurent Haug (LIFT conference), Marc Giget (Conservatoire National Des Arts et Métiers), Marcos García (Medialab-Prado), Martin Duval (Bluenove), Michael Shiloh (Teach Me To Make), Mike Kuniavsky (ThingM), Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (French Government), Philippe Lemoine (LaSe), Rémi Dury (Da Fact), Rob Van Kranenburg (Waag Society), Timo Arnall, and Usman Haque (haque :: design + research).

The week before the LIFT France conference, on 9 and 10 June to be precise, you can attend the first edition of I Realize – The art of disruption, a conference held in Turin, Italy, only 370 km from Marseilles.

The organisers describe the event as “Two days aimed at identifying unsolved problems, suggesting possible (technological?) solutions and stimulating the creation of new disruptive start-ups in different fields:

I Eat: eating is not only about taste and quality anymore, but concerns issues as genetically engineered organisms (GEO), slow and bio food, fare trade and sustainability… and what would happen if a global blackout switched the electricity off tomorrow?

I Move & Interact: our ability to communicate and interact both as users and producers of information is more and more «anywhere, anytime, anyway». New physical and virtual ways of moving (or not moving…) are being developed but… (how) will we move in the future?

I Grow: individual growth and development is subject to an increasing number of inputs both on the intellectual side (design/media) and the physical/psychological side (wellness) …but are we really growing?”

Also this programme is ready (although in draft) and the speakers are Andrea Branzi (architect and designer), Alberto Cottica (Kublai project), Antonio Pascale (writer), Bruce Sterling (writer), Carlo Antonelli (Rolling Stone (Italia), Davide Scabin (chef), Elio (artist), Geoff Manaugh (BLDBLOG), Gianluigi Ricuperati (Abitare magazine), Igor Sibaldi (writer), Jennifer Higgie (Frieze magazine), Leonardo Camiciotti (TOP-IX), Maurizio Cilli (architect and urban designer), Moshe Bar, Nicolas Nova (LIFT lab), Peter Saville (founder of Factory Record), and Vittorio Pasteris (Lastampa.it).

17 March 2009

Collaborative Services: social innovation and design for sustainability

Collaborative Services
“What is a sustainable lifestyle? What will our daily lives become if we agree to change some of our routines? How do we reduce our environmental impact without lowering our living standards?”

A new book, edited by Francois Jegou and Ezio Manzini (with a chapter by John Thackara in it) attempts to answer some of these questions. Collaborative Services: Social Innovation and Design for Sustainability suggests a variety of scenarios: Car-sharing on demand, micro-leasing system for tools between neighbours, shared sewing studio, home restaurant, delivery service between users who exchange goods… The scenarios looks at how these kinds of daily life activities could be performed by structured services that rely on a greater collaboration of individuals amongst themselves.

Jeff Howard of Design for Service expands:

It’s a 200-page research report by François Jégou and Ezio Manzini that introduces a mosaic of 24 community initiatives.

Even though these organisations have different goals and actors, they present fundamental common traits: they are all built up by groups of people who collaborate in the co-creation of commonly recognized values. For this reason, we will call them collaborative organisations: production and services based on peer-to-peer, collaborative relationships and consequently on a high degree of mutual trust. Production and services where the values produced emerge out of relational qualities, i.e. out of real, dynamic personal relationships.

The collaborative service case studies are gathered from Milan, Paris, Eindhoven, Utrecht, Cologne, Glasgow and Helsinki and fall into six broad categories.

  • Family-like Services organized within a household by combining common family routines with available household appliances.
  • Community Housing based on particular housing infrastructure, which could allow for sharing domestic resources and mutual assistance.
  • Extended Homes whereby a share of household activities are outsourced to collective infrastructures in the vicinity.
  • Elective Communities in which members get organised and find synergies to help each other.
  • Service Clubs are open workshops where a group of passionate amateurs share their skills and equipment.
  • Direct Access Networks whereby groups of citizens arrange to buy directly from producers.

The second half of the publication includes 14 essays by various authors including a reflection on Dott2007 by John Thackara.

Note also the older publication Creative communities | People inventing sustainable ways of living.

(via Doors of Perception)

13 March 2009

What Matters at McKinsey

What Matters
Consulting firm McKinsey has just launched a new website, called What Matters, that is an extensive collection of essays and interviews with opinion formers around the world. The content is categorized into ten big topics: Biotechnology, Climate Change, Credit Crisis, Energy, Geopolitics, Globalization, Health care, Innovation, Internet, Organization.

“We began last summer by asking researchers, academics, journalists, policy makers and executives to address ten big questions, whose answers will shape our collective future. In each case, we asked our essayists to take a long view and tackle tomorrow’s trends rather than today’s headlines.

We published those essays in a print collection, also titled What Matters. But our goal was always to translate that vision to the Web, to create a place where we could continue to frame the important questions and gather a wide array of thinkers, including some from McKinsey, to address them. In addition, we wanted a place where our readers could bring their considerable wisdom to bear on these crucial issues.”

Essayists are many, including Yochai Benkler, Don Tapscott, Jeffrey Sachs, Clay Shirky, Don Tapscott and John Thackara.

(via Tim Brown)

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.

23 July 2008

In three years…

Experientia
Three years ago we founded Experientia. It has been a very exciting ride since.

In three years we worked with some of the best companies in the field and some of the best people too.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

Our clients
Alcatel-Lucent (France, Spain), Area Association (Italy), Arits Consulting (Belgium), AVIS (Italy), Barclays (Italy, UK), Blyk (Finland, UK), Cittadellarte (Italy), City of Genk (Belgium), Condé Nast (Italy), Conifer Research (USA), CSI (Italy), CVS-Pharmacy (USA), Design Flanders (Belgium), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Expedia (UK), Facem (Italy), Fidelity International (UK), Finmeccanica (Italy), Flanders in Shape (Belgium), Haier (China), Hewlett Packard (India), IEDC-Bled School of Management (Slovenia), IKS-Core Consulting (Italy), Istud Foundation (Italy), Kodak (USA), LAit (Italy), Last Minute (UK), Max Mara (Italy), Media & Design Academy (Belgium), Microsoft (USA), Motorola (USA), MPG Ferrero (Italy), Nokia (Denmark, France, Finland), Research in Motion (Canada), Samsung (Italy, Korea, UK), Swisscom (Switzerland), Tandem Seven (USA), Torino World Design Capital (Italy), Voce di Romagna (Italy), Vodafone (Germany, Italy, UK), and Whirlpool (UK).

Our collaborators (interns, consultants and staff)
Sven Adolph, Ana Camila Amorim, Andrea Arosio, An Beckers-Vanderbeeken, Josef ‘Yosi’ Bercovitch, Enrico Bergese, Niti Bhan, Elena Bobbola, Janina Boesch, Giovanni Buono, Donatella Capretti, Manlio Cavallaro, Gaurav Chadha, Dave Chiu, Raffaella Citterio, Sarah Conigliaro, Piermaria Cosina, Marco Costacurta, Laura Cunningham, Regine Debatty, Stefano Dominici, Saulo Dourado, Tal Drori, Dina Mohamed El-Sayed, Marion Froehlich, Giuseppe Gavazza, Valeria Gemello, Michele Giannasi, Young-Eun Han, Vanessa Harden, Yasmina Haryono, Bernd Hitzeroth, Juin-Yi ‘Suno’ Huang, Tom Kahrl, Erez Kikin-Gil, Ruth Kikin-Gil, Helena Kraus, Francesca Labrini, Alberto Lagna, Shadi Lahham, Jörg Liebsch, Cristina Lobnik, Maya Lotan, Ofer Luft, Davide Marazita, Claude Martin, Camilla Masala, Myriel Milicevic, Kim Mingo, Emanuela Miretti, Massimo Morelli, Peter Morville, Muzayun Mukhtar, Giorgio Olivero, Pablo Onnias, Hector Ouilhet, Christian Pallino, Giorgio Partesana, Magda Passarella, Romina Pastorelli, Danilo Penna, Andrea Piccolo, Rachelly Plaut, Laura Polazzi, Laura Puppo, Alain Regnier, Enza Reina, Anna Rink, Michal Rinott, Silvana Rosso, Emanuela Sabena, Vera de Sa-Varanda, Craig Schinnerer, Fabio Sergio, Manuela Serra, Sofia Shores, Massimo Sirelli, Natasha Sopieva, Yaniv Steiner, Riccardo Strobbia, Victor Szilagyi, David Tait, Beverly Tang, Akemi Tazaki, Luca Troisi, Raymond Turner, Haraldur Unnarsson, Ilaria Urbinati, Carlo Valbonesi, Marcello Varaldi, Giorgio Venturi, Anna Vilchis, Dvorit Weinheber, Alexander Wiethoff, Junu Joseph Yang, and Mario Zannone.

Our partners
Amberlight, Design for Lucy, Fecit, Finsa, Flow Interactive, Foviance, Italia 150, Launch Institute, Prospect, Savigny Research, Syzygy, Torino World Design Capital, UPA, URN, Usability Partners International, Usercentric, UserFocus, User Interface Design, and UXnet.

Our friends (insofar not covered by the above)
Nik Baerten, Valerie Bauwens, Toon Berckmoes, Ralf Beuker, Marco Bevolo, Daniella Botta, Stefana Broadbent, Francesco Cara, Jan Chipchase, Allan Chochinov, Elizabeth Churchill, Gillian Crampton-Smith, Regine Debatty, Federico De Giuli, Jesse James Garrett, Adam Greenfield, Hubert Guillaud, Wilfried Grommen, Laurent Haug, Bob Jacobson, Marguerite Kahrl, Anna Kirah, Simona Lodi, Peter Merholz, Bill Moggridge, Donald Norman, Nicolas Nova, Bruce Nussbaum, Laura Orestano, Vittorio Pasteris, Gianluigi Perotto, Carlo Ratti, Hans Robertus, Bruce Sterling, John Thackara, Joannes Vandermeulen, Lowie Vermeersch, Judy Wert, and Younghee Yung.

Thanks to you all!

Pierpaolo Perotto, Mark Vanderbeeken, Michele Visciola and Jan-Christoph Zoels
The Experientia partners

PS. We are constantly looking for great talent! We currently have openings for interaction designers, communication designer, information architect, IT staff, usability consultants, etc.

14 June 2008

Cluster #7 “Transmitting Architecture”

Cluster
The upcoming issue of Cluster, the bilingual (Eng/Ita) innovation magazine is entitled “Transmitting Architecture“. It is made in collaboration with XXIII UIA World Congress of Architecture 2008, to be held in Turin, Italy in a few weeks.

Two years on from the Olympic games, Torino is the first World Design Capital and also the arena of the 23rd edition of the World Congress of Architecture, to be held for the first time in Italy following the past edition in Istanbul 2000 and prior to the next in Tokyo 2011. A prestigious event which every three years reunites thousands of professionals and experts to cover a theme analyzing the future prospects of the profession and its relationship with the social and cultural problems of the moment.

From June 29 until July 3 over eight thousand professionals will meet beneath the Mole to discuss the concept of “Transmitting Architecture”, the main theme of the XXIII Congress 2008.

Cluster will dedicate a monographic edition to this event, introducing the work of the Congress and featuring reviews, interviews, articles and analysis organized around the main themes of the event, concentrating particularly on cities built from zero and slums. But not only.

Other sections of the Cluster issue will include contributions from Tokyo; host city of the next World Congress of Architecture and Flexibility; main exhibition and leitmotif of the Torino 2008 World Design Capital.

Special mention will be given to INDEX: Design to Improve Life, a Copenhagen based, worldwide non-profit organization that focuses on Design to Improve Life. Index is a global network that incorporates design experts and opinion leaders from all over the world. Initially conceived in 2000 and granted financial support by the Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs, Index has become a network that consists of designers, businesses, organizations and design institutions who collaborate in disseminating and applying the latest knowledge in design that substantially improves important aspects of human life, Since March 2008 Cluster has become regional ambassador for Index.

The Index award exhibition takes place biannually in Copenhagen presenting the best examples of design to improve life and transforming Copenhagen into an international centre for the cutting edge of contemporary design and design thinking by presenting a series of events and the Index:Award, the biggest design award in the world. The winning designs are chosen by an international jury consisting of leading designers, design researchers, design writers and design thinkers from Europe, Asia and the U.S. The 2007 award was divided into the following five life categories Body, Home, Work, Play and Community.

Going back to the Congress, Cluster will be distributed to all of the eight thousand participating professionals that will meet in Turin and therefore will be an active protagonist and stimulant for the week of discussion on “Transmitting Architecture”. A theme that deals with the dialogue that architecture must hold with all aspects of society; politicians, economists, communicators and citizens in its contribution to transforming territories with the aim of asserting citizen rights to the quality of life and the environment.

Transmitting Architecture is about architecture’s ability to convey the meanings behind its actions, both as design creation and in terms of deep social involvement. One of the main goals is in fact to highlight the active role it plays in perceiving positive energies and society’s emerging phenomena.

The concept “architecture is for everyone” will be the common denominator for «Culture», «Democracy» and «Hope», the three subdivisions of the Congress that will be broadly covered in the Cluster edition while at the same time giving space to images and graphic design.

Firstly «Culture», because architecture tells and passes down traditions and transmits the peoples’ history and culture over time preserving and improving the context for future generations.

Secondly «Democracy» because architecture concentrates on building a present of urban democracy with other subjects involved in dynamic processes in order to find effective solutions and solve the tangible problems that affect everybody.

Last but not least «Hope» because sustainability and environmental protection as an architect’s ethical duty and so is the search of the future for a world which is still habitable. The legacy we will leave to our children is at stake!

One of the articles is already online: it is an extensive and in-depth interview with John Thackara and Sunil Abraham on future democratic cities and the role of design in shaping them.

31 May 2008

Book: HCI Remixed

HCI Remixed
HCI Remixed – Reflections on Works That Have Influenced the HCI Community
Edited by Thomas Erickson and David W. McDonald
MIT Press, 2008
Hardcover, 344 pages
> Table of Contents

Abstract

Over almost three decades, the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) has produced a rich and varied literature. Although the focus of attention today is naturally on new work, older contributions that played a role in shaping the trajectory and character of the field have much to tell us. The contributors to HCI Remixed were asked to reflect on a single work at least ten years old that influenced their approach to HCI. The result is this collection of fifty-one short, engaging, and idiosyncratic essays, reflections on a range of works in a variety of forms that chart the emergence of a new field.

An article, a demo, a book: any of these can solve a problem, demonstrate the usefulness of a new method, or prompt a shift in perspective. HCI Remixed offers us glimpses of how this comes about. The contributors consider such HCI classics as Sutherland’s Sketchpad, Englebart’s demo of NLS, and Fitts on Fitts’ Law–and such forgotten gems as Pulfer’s NRC Music Machine, and Galloway and Rabinowitz’s Hole in Space. Others reflect on works somewhere in between classic and forgotten–Kidd’s “The Marks Are on the Knowledge Worker,” King Beach’s “Becoming a Bartender,” and others. Some contributors turn to works in neighboring disciplines–Henry Dreyfuss’s book on industrial design, for example–and some range farther afield, to Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis and Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Taken together, the essays offer an accessible, lively, and engaging introduction to HCI research that reflects the diversity of the field’s beginnings.

Or in the words of John Thackara:

BED-TIME STORIES FOR GEEKS
Tom Erickson has published a collection of 51 short, personal essays and reflections on the story-so-far of human computer interaction. Each text reflects on a piece of work – book, paper, demo – that’s at least 10 years old. Tom tells me he thinks of it as “bedtime stories for HCI geeks”.

24 May 2008

Design anthropology: What can it add to your design practice?

Elizabeth Tunstall
Design Anthropology takes user research to a whole new level. Dr. Elizabeth Tunstall explains in an essay on Adobe Design Center’s Think Tank how this emerging field can help to redefine design by exploring what it means to be human.

Design anthropology seeks to answer the question how do the processes and artifacts of design help come define what it means to human. It explores a wide range of interests related to design practice: how interfaces can be developed based on values of shared learning versus individual study; how the adoption of technologies can lead to greater social equality and inequalities over time; and how not just the words but the meanings behind words change as you design for one culture versus another. These are all issues of the human context that has grown more complex. Design anthropology is the field to help you feel confident in your design decisions by showing you the global ramifications of past, current, and potential communications, artifacts, and experiences as they affect the human context.

Design anthropology does not place separate emphasis on values, or design, or experience, which are the domains of philosophy, academic design research, and psychology, respectively. Rather, design anthropology focuses on the interconnecting threads among all three, requiring hybrid practices. The outcomes of design anthropology include statements providing some deeper understanding of human nature as well as designed communications, products, and experiences.

Read full story

(Check also this article by John Thackara on design and the future of travel.)

2 December 2007

Dott 07 Manual: 1 (Perfect Paperback)

Dott Manual
Dott 07 was a year of community design projects in North East England that explored what life in a sustainable region could be like – and how design can help us get there. It is called a manual (rather than a book, or catalogue) because it’s about practical ways for people either to join Dott projects themselves, or do something similar where they live. At 100 pages, and fully-illustrated in colour with real people, the Dott Manual is wildly under-priced on Amazon.

You can also read the manual online on Worldchanging.com, which is publishing its contents in a series of instalments. The first and second one are already available.

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).

30 November 2007

InterSections 07: a debate on design

Intersections
The UK Design Council sponsored conference InterSections 07 brought together 34 leading thinkers in design to consider how design is evolving and how this is affecting its relationships with other fields.

The conference, held in NewcastleGateshead in October 2007, asked how design is transforming as it adapts to a world in transition. Two days of stimulating and energetic debate considered how designers are adapting to the new landscape by acquiring new know-how.

Audio and transcripts are now online and feature a series of keynote presentations:

as well as panel discussions and breakout sessions:

  • What is the new know-how in service design? (audio | transcript)
    Services have been around for centuries, but Service design has recently become a hot topic. Designers Gillian Crampton-Smith (IUAV), Chris Downs (live|work) and Heather Martin (Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design) outline some examples of good, and bad, service design and discuss what the core skills of service designers are whether traditional designer notions such as craft, beauty and visualisation are still important. Jeremy Myerson (RCA) moderates.
    <  >
  • As designers, are we guilty of killing the planet? (audio | transcript)
    John Thackara (Dott07) will argue that 80 percent of the environmental impact of the products and buildings is determined at the design stage; and the ways we have designed the world force most people to waste stupendous quantities of matter and energy. But for John, playing the blame game is pointless, the best way to redeem ourselves is to become part of the solution.
    <  >
  • Clever by design (audio | transcript)
    Where does design fit into management thinking? What is the role of the designer in the modern economy? Sir George Cox, Design Council Chairman and Dr Andrea Siodmok, head of its Design Knowledge team discuss with chair Jeremy Myerson whether businesses are making more use of design capability and, if so, whether designers have the right skills to talk to business.
    <  >
  • New connections: question time (audio | transcript)
    At the final panel session of Intersections 07, delegates had the chance to put questions to the panel (Peter Saville, Richard Seymour and John Thackara), ranging from the lack of women in design, to the role of designers in creating unnecessary landfill, and how best to reconcile the desire for visionary design with co-creation. This session draws together some of the key themes from the conference.
    <  >
  • Fashion connections (audio | transcript)
    Vicky Richardson, Editor of Blueprint magazine, Ignacio Germade, Design Director of Consumer Experience Design at Motorola, Sarah Maynard, Designer and MD of Maynard Bespoke and Tom Savigar from Future Laboratory discuss the influence of fashion on wider design practice. They argue that fashion is not just about the type of things that designers create, but it can be an approach to design thinking about products, interactions, space and environments.
    <  >
  • Interaction blur (audio | transcript)
    How is interaction design changing and what the drivers behind this? Has it managed to develop the skill sets it needs to deal with the challenges ahead? And how does interaction design overlap with other design disciplines? Andy Altmann from Why Not Associates, Durrell Bishop of Luckybite and Daljit Singh, founder of Digit discuss with chair Nico Macdonald.
    <  >
  • Are design schools the new B-schools? (audio | transcript)
    Business Week has floated the idea that tomorrow’s Business school might be a design school. Jeremy Myerson, from the RCA, Janet Abrams, from the University of Minnesota Design Institute, John Bates, London Business School and Christoph Böninger, formerly of Siemens discuss whether designers can really go head-to-head with the MBAs and whether students would be better equipped for the business world if they were design trained?
    <  >
  • Feedback: Day 1 breakout sessions (audio | transcript)
    Vicky Richardson reported back to delegates on Fashion Connections, the Culture thread of day one’s breakout sessions, and Nico Macdonald told the audience what they had missed if they hadn’t been discussing Interaction blur in the Interactions thread. Chair Jeremy Myerson told delegates all about the Business thread and how the panel had discussed whether D-schools were the new B-schools?
    <  >
  • But is it art? (audio | transcript)
    Can design fill the aesthetic and cultural vacuum left by contemporary art? Where are the boundaries between the two disciplines and is it even useful to try and draw distinctions between them? Designers Allan Chochinov, Peter Saville and Richard Shed are joined by artist and writer Matthew Collings in a discussion about the nature of ‘design art,’ chaired by Vicky Richardson, editor of Blueprint magazine.
    <  >
  • Can good design be co-created? (audio | transcript)
    Can good design be co-created? What can designers learn from the open source software movement and ‘wikinomics’? While everyone is a designer, isn’t it the job of professional designers to champion good design? Writer and journalist Nico Macdonald chairs a discussion with Joe Heapy (Engine), Lynne Maher (NHS) and Austin Williams (Future Cities Project) about the possibilities and pitfalls of co-design.
    <  >
  • What can design bring to strategy? (audio | transcript)
    Design strategy is a growing sub-discipline of design. This session, chaired by conference director Kevin McCullagh, asked what strengths designers bring to strategy building and what new skills they might need to acquire. The panel, Jonathan Sands from Elmwood, Richard Eisermann from Prospect and Ed Silk from Interbrand, covered the topic with reference to their own wide experience as designers and strategists.
    <  >
  • Feedback: Day 2 breakout sessions (audio | transcript)
    Vicky Richardson“>Vicky Richardson informed delegates who had not attended the Culture thread of the breakout sessions on Is it art? of what they had missed. Nico Macdonald feedback what delegates who had attended the Interactions thread thought about the question of whether good design can be co-created and Kevin McCullagh, who had chaired the Business thread debate on design and strategy, updated the audience on what had been discussed.
27 October 2007

The future of presence

Movement
The Dott07 festival, curated by John Thackara, and taking place in the English city of NewcastleGateshead, is now in its last few days. One of the events was a series of debates on a variety of topics, such as energy, food, health, movement, and schools.

The debate on movement started from the assumption that the movement of people and goods around the world consume vast amounts of matter, energy, space, and time – most of it non-renewable. Question that arise are: Should sustainable development therefore be concentrated in cities, where economic progress can most feasibly be de-coupled from transport intensity? Or are there ways to ensure that rural communities have access to services by using transport resources more smartly? And could new forms of sustainable tourism be enabled by access to territorial and cultural assets that already exist?

The session began with a keynote from Anthony Townsend, research director at the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto, California, who has now posted his entire presentation online.

“What I want to talk about is not the future of mobility but rather, the future of presence. By ‘presence’ what I mean, is that if movement or travel is a means – then presence is the end. And so I want to broaden the discussion of mobility to include technologies and practices of telecommunication – ways of being “present” at remote locations.”

Townsend believes in the future of virtual worlds, telerobotics, and high-definition videoconferencing. But does presence really always require such high-end technologies?

Townsend’s talk was followed by a review of Dott 07’s Move Me project, which explored the potential to transform transportation resource efficiency in one village, Scremerston, in Northumberland, and by a review of three Dott 07 projects – Sustainable Tourism, Welcomes and Mapping the Necklace.

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

23 June 2007

Bringing together nature and technology, tradition and vanguard in southern Italy

Interferenzes
Sustainable tourism is one of the main focus areas of the Dott07 initiative (a year of community projects, events and exhibitions in North East England that explore what life in a sustainable region could be like – and how design can help us get there).

Programme director John Thackara has invited Leandro Pisano and Alessandro Esposito to an upcoming expert meeting.

Pisano and Esposito are partners in Ufficio Bifolco, a marketing and cultural planning company that works on ICT strategies for development of rural areas in South Italy.

They are producers of two festivals in Southern Italy – Interferenze and Mediaterrae – that bring together nature and technology, tradition and vanguard, past and future, local and global. This unique convergence of sounds, images, landscapes and carnival rites of a rural land, are signals of new ways we might visit and experience new locations.

(via Doors of Perception)

15 May 2007

Improving the lives of those with dementia and their carers through design

Alzheimer100
Alzheimer100 is a UK project that aims to come up with creative solutions to the challenges presented by dementia.

Alzheimer100 is a part of Designs of the time, a year long project based in the North East and lead by John Thackara (recent interview: En / It), exploring how design can make a positive difference to our daily lives.

People with dementia, their carers, service providers and experts in the field lead the project. The groups work together to share their experiences, thoughts and ideas via videos, photographs, journals, web logs and other means and design new services and products.

The aim is that over the course of the Dott 07 year, and beyond, an innovative pilot will be produced that will improve the lives of those with dementia and their carers through design. The possible outcomes are very broad, however, and will not necessarily focus on the new, with existing services also being scrutinised to see how they could be added to or improved.