The focus of this study is innovation and the relationship to design process. The last set of topics for presentation is the beginning of a thesis through amalgamation that begins with our first project and interviews in Roma. The students were given specific readings and/or a thinker or organization who is immersed in innovative work in Italy. In many cases these organizations and individuals are also involved in Interaction Design. In years one to three of this research study, we will focus on Italian “design” generally. In years four and five, we will begin to shift specifically into looking at the areas in which Italy is innovating in the area of interactivity and interaction design. This last set of topics in our Vancouver preparatory studies begins to anticipate that eventual direction. There are, as you will read in the research papers in the “findings” section of this website, significant instances where Italy is uniquely innovative. In this context, Italy’s innovativeness its seems to us, is linked to it’s tradition of quality and relationship to time as a constrainer of design and product. After preparing the students awareness of Italian culture and design legacy, the project now shifts into the focused topic of “innovativeness”, and how Italian design supports it.

In this last presentation, students are asked to provide as much information as possible to the group to familiarize us all with the range of topics in advance of our visit, and where applicable (see Q) to create 5 MEANINGFUL questions for the researcher to be asked by them and the group at our visit regarding the firms practice in design and their attitudes toward innovation and thoughts on interactive design. This list of topics included: urbanist Alessandro Vignozzi (Q), historian John Foot (Q), Politecnico di Milano Professor Ezio Manzini, Domus Academy and Motorola’s Marco Susani, the IVREA Interaction Design Institute , Benetton’s Fabrica think tank, John Thackara’s Doors of Perception and the Italians who are part of that community, Andrea Branzi as theorist and his recent writing such as course text, “The Solid Side”(Q), the “Innovative Cities”, course text, edited by James Simmie, with key article on Milano as Innovation capital, and lastly a comparison of the Milano Politecnico School of Design and the DOMUS Academy.

John Foot

Ezio Manzini

Marco Susani

Interaction Design Institute IVREA


Andrea Branzi

Milan as an Innovation Capital

Alessandro Vignozzi