Content Curation e Dj

Content curation and dj chatelet metro station and advertising

Bel post di Elena Favilli (che con Timbuktu, come ci racconta qui, parte per la California) su contenuti e contenitori dell’ informazione, e della formazione scolastica. Mi ha colpito soprattuto quello che si racconta alla fine, su content curation/dj (che qui di seguito riporto).
E una immagine mi ritorna in mente di quando Andrea Branzi portava a lezione al Politecnico la Pina con musicisti e dj coi giradischi. Per dirci che tutto è progetto.

Di strumenti per pubblicare contenuti siamo già pieni. Quello che manca è un modo per capire, in settori cruciali come quello dell’educazione, quali sono quelli di cui fidarsi. La content curation ha già dimostrato di funzionare molto bene nel giornalismo, dove il proliferare di contenuti di ogni tipo ha costretto i giornalisti a trasformarsi prima di tutto in designer, dj delle notizie. Ora è l’educazione il campo in cui più ce n’è bisogno. Oggi gli insegnanti devono trasformarsi da detentori di un corpus di nozioni stabilite e rigidamente divise in discipline in esploratori, aggregatori, co-produttori di conoscenza. Devono spezzare il nesso rigido e deterministico tra l’informazione erogata (il testo, la lezione) e l’informazione richiesta (il compito, l’interrogazione), come diceMarco Rossi Doria. Devono diventare dj.

Leggetevi tutto l’articolo qui.

Excellence and Specialization


I am travelling around Europe to attend trade shows, meet with clients, find new suppliers and breath the air of the north that is usually very refreshing for my brain.

I have seen many new things, lot of innovative efforts, so many products have flooded my eyes.

Than I went out for a walk around the little streets of Amsterdam and one simple thing became clear to me looking at the little shop in the picture. Simplicity, excellence and specialization (and possibly customization) is the real key to innovation in most cases.

This shops sells potatoes. Fried potatoes, french fries, fries or however you call them. Just that.
Amazing fried potatoes, not the frozen one, not burned in black oil, not all of the same shape because they are cut by hand.
Fried potatoes and (here comes the customer) around twenty kind of toppings.

Easy and straightforward. And there is often a waiting line in front of this little hole in the wall.

So let’s look at what we do when we design some~ newness. And let’s ask ourselves what is that we want to sell, and what is that the customer wants. Innovation is not necessarily adding. Subtraction is often a much more difficult choice because we fear we will not satisfy some of our potential customers. But I say, let’s design simple and excellent platforms that we can than customize with varied and diverse topping.

The Future of the Book


Via MAG @ graphicsafari an interesting video from IDEO on three concepts on the future of the book.
Have a look!

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?

Adoption and Regulation


One of the first thing that impressed me when I landed in China is the amount of electrical city cruiser, motorcycles, and scooters. They are everywhere. And they appear from nowhere just behind you at any moment, everywhere: on the sidewalk, on the road, at crossing. Beyond the fact that it takes time to get used to them and to develop that extra sense that allows you to survive in the city, I am amazed at the rate of adoption of those things.
I remember before leaving Italy an electrical scooter was launched accompanied by a quite visible marketing campaign. What will be its succes if everything else do not change in the system? What I want to say is that I had the feeling that a transition to new a new, and possibly better than the oil based one, energetic ‘ecosystem’ will need a thorough consideration of the complex, interwoven underlying system. I recently discovered having a ‘real’ thermal engine motorbike in cities is almost impossible. You will not get a licence plate, or you will do only with very ‘creative’ workarounds. In fact only few are seen around, and mostly those you can rent to take you around the city.

So should we rely on laws and regulation before that on people awareness?
Of course banning thermic engines would be a decision that would impact drastically our lives as well as the economic system as it is now. How can we design a way forward? Where to start and what kind of goals should we give ourselves? I believe the discussions on those issues in the policy making circles are active, but outputs are little and dis-organized. If we want (do we?) to transition the mobility industry toward a different model, we have to design the way(s) this can happen. This should take in account policies, manufacturing and industry needs, availability of resources, and many other nodes of the net.

I am convinced we cannot leave this transition to be organized by the ‘invisible’ hands of the market. Because efficiency and profitability will be hard to achieve in the beginning. This transition should be guided, helped and somehow managed at a systemic level. Should not just be market based.

On the other hand interesting and broad in scope private initiatives are arising. One example could be the Better Place Project. Companies and Countries that are keeping a careful eye on those issues like the vision of the project and decided to join in, in various ways. Obviously there is an economic interest for the car manufacture, it might only be a future oriented ‘research/experiment’ to be ready as it is obvious that this new model is in contrast with the current paradigm. But it also obvious, to me, that when countries invest and get involved in those kid of projects they are looking at a bigger value output than one that is only economic/profit based.
It is en effort to value innovate, to innovate systemically aiming to deliver results that are meaningful, that make sense. To me value-innovation is the result of a series of equations which include design-action, complexity, knowledge, multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, and culture as variables.

Check Shai Agassi TED talk here:

photo via

Value Innovation and Complexity aka design as synapses?


As a point of departure I believe that through design we can create meaningful futures and valuable innovations. I am also of the opinion that “progress per se does not make any sense, does not generate value and [most importantly] does not add any value. It only [maybe] generates new loops of consumption.
Value-innovation is different. Value-innovation is meaningful and valuable in a systemic perspective. This kind of innovation is good progress, innovation is good design.” (Giabardo, 2010, p. 50)

But, is it really like this? How do we define/recognize a systemic good, a systemic-value, in innovation?  How do we achieve it?

We are living in a time that is very different to that of my parents. A radical shift has occurred with the digitalization of our lives. Another one is happening with the transition toward a service-intensive knowledge economy. At the same time any interaction with services, products, the environment, and other beings contribute to generate and to feed the system with increasing complexity. This is as true for individuals as it is true for organizations, companies, and business actors. There are a myriad of sub- and super- domains that converge to influence which are impacted by innovation. Whatever we want to develop, and whatever already exists, does not sit in an isolated eco-system on its own. Everything is immersed in a system – a complex one.

Fritjof Capra (1996), among others, says that we have to address this through ‘systemic thinking’. He underlines how this “new” approach implies a focus shift from objects to processes and relations; from hierarchies to networks of relationships; and from objective knowledge to the contextual one.
Embracing this organic, systemic, approach we understand that the proprieties of the parts are strongly depending on how they are inter-connected and inter-acting and not exclusively on their individual specific characteristics and qualities. This is a crucial concept in the value-innovation definition.

I want to develop my doctoral research on value-innovation through this network/system-oriented lens. In fact I would like to understand the process and method that underlies the making of those new connections, the forces and principles that guide the choices. How do we ‘interact’ with and within complexity? How do we generate new forms of user-interactions through products and services as well as new platforms or new processes in a context characterized by complexity? [And, do we really have control?]
Designers, innovators, scholars, and value-innovation-oriented business could be network-agents within complexity. Can we think, in this context, of design as synapses?

Capra, F. (1996). The web of life: a new scientific understanding of living systems. New York: Anchor Books.
Giabardo, G. (2010). Weaving Knowledge To Develop and To Manage Meaningful Innovation. Making Sense Of the Future Through Design. Unpublished MBA Thesis, ISM International School of Management, Paris.