ItaliaDesign series visited Milan (and WeMake) last june

Italia Design is an undergraduate field school and research program offered by the School of Interactive Arts + Technology (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. The most significant contribution to the field are interviews conducted with emergent and established players in the Italian design community. Each year, a new team builds on the previous year’s research. Gruppo Nove, the ninth group of senior design students to embark on this adventure together with Prof.Russell Taylor , came and visit me in May 2014  to discuss around design and what I do at Arduino and WeMake, the makerspace I recently founded in Milan. Here’s the result of that meeting and at this link you can find all the other interviews (don’t miss Giorgio Olivero, Enrico Bassi and Giulio Iacchetti videos!):  

Afroditi experiments with embroidery, soft circuits and diy electronics

(originally created and posted on Arduino blog) The work of Afroditi Psarra includes experimentation with embroidery, soft circuit and diy electronics. I got in touch with her after discovering she was holding a workshop in Barcelona around sound performances using Lilypad Arduino along with a really cool embroidered synthesizer (…and also submitting her project to Maker Faire Rome !). Even if her background is in fine arts, as a little girl she got interested in creative ways of expression: on one side she was lucky enough to have all sorts of after-school activities that included painting, theater games and learning but also how to program using LOGO and QBasic. That was in the days of black-and-white terminals and MS-DOS commands: I still remember the excitement of not knowing what to expect at the opposite side of the screen. So for me, technology has always been a major part of my life.

Designing Economic Cultures

Designing Economic Cultures is a three year long research project that Brave New Alps have been carrying on since January 2011 investigating the relationship between socio-economic precarity and the production of socially and politically engaged design projects. The main question they are trying to answer is: how can designers, who through their work want to question and challenge the prevalent economic system with its organisational forms and problematic consequences, gain a satisfying degree of social and economic security without having to submit themselves to the commercial pressures of the market? I was one of the persons involved for the interviews and here’s the result. ——— CONVERSATION This conversation was held in Zoe’s kitchen in Milan in February 2012. Bianca Elzenbaumer: Considering all the creative activist groups you have initiated and been part of, we are wondering what path brought you to be so thoroughly engaged with precarity. Could you trace your path for us? Zoe Romano: At the beginning I

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The ethical economy. The New Redistribution Of Value

Article originally published on Digicult – Articolo originariamente pubblicato su Digicult Ethical consumerism, fair trade, socially responsible investments and corporate social responsibility are all phenomena on the rise. At the same time there are also virtual and local currencies and peer-2-peer rating systems that make the creation and redistribution of value in globalized social communities that share a set of common values, more real. At first sight it could seem a more ethical spreading of traditional economy, but there is a soon-to-be-released book that sees these phenomena as a more structural change and the rise of a new paradigm. Ethical Economy (Columbia University Press), written by Adam Arvidsson in collaboration with Nicolai Peitersen, introduces to ethical economics and interprets the begin of a new, radically different economic system in which production is mainly collaborative and social, and in which the value is based on the quality of social interactions and relationships rather than on the quantity of productive time. The book however

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