Projects are design initiatives undertaken by Interaction-Ivrea's faculty and researchers. For each project a specific character, approach and work team are devised to suit its objectives. Some are sponsored by Italian and foreign firms which collaborate with the Institute to invent innovative products and services; some are internal and self-financing, intended to generate new tools for teaching design theory and practice others concern concepts for spaces and installations for exhibiting our proposals and projects.
Despite the broad variety of Projects, however, all share one constant theme: that creativity is the motor of innovation. This creativity is not confined to generating new ideas, but springs also and above all from the confluence of different disciplines, cultures and professional mindsets. In this way experts from the worlds of design, architecture, engineering, and the social and information sciences maintain a lively dialogue about the theory and practice of innovation.
What do we mean by innovation?
At Interaction-Ivrea we believe that innovation comes in several forms: the invention of something new; creating a better version of an existing product or service; or tailoring interactions, products and services to better serve an audience. Unlike the traditional idea of innovation as purely technological or business innovation, at Interaction-Ivrea we innovate by gaining a better understanding of people and their relationship to technology. We use that understanding to develop concepts for future products and services. These, in turn, can stimulate a partner company's own innovation strategy.
'Applied Dreams' are innovation workshops in which Interaction-Ivrea faculty and students collaborate with an industry partner. The aim of these workshops is to develop a range of future concepts for products and services.
The design brief, on a topic of interest to both parties, is developed jointly, to be useful to the company and fit the educational requirements of the Institute. As a result, the partner obtains new concepts and approaches from the participating first and second-year students, who in turn have the opportunity to gain experience in the rapid iteration of design solutions.
The Applied Dreams workshops are led by an Interaction-Ivrea faculty member and/or visiting faculty. Industry partners are encouraged to send full-time participants to the workshop, also, to foster the fullest possible exchange of interaction design knowledge.
How do we manage and visualise information and the ever-increasing volume of information we are all producing? How do we allow people to access it, and each other, from distant places? How to create new forms of communication and interaction via online networks? How can we make the Institute itself and its communication with its worldwide community a case study example of this?
Interaction Design Institute Ivrea is becoming a major hub in the international network of interaction design. It is a school and a centre of design innovation and as such, is in the unique position to be experimental and informative. Interaction-Ivrea is a place for framing debates, setting agendas, sharing knowledge, developing ideas and for education and learning. The aim is to convey these qualities to the online presence of the Institute and to create an online space that enables the international interaction design community to engage each other. The Institute is also interested in experimenting with knowledge representation, as well as designing collaborative online knowledge spaces: e.g. open system architecture, online space forms, central archiving and interfaces such as notice boards, complex visualisations and conversation maps.
Interaction Ivrea is exploring how to use our senses and perception as the origin for designing technology using interactive physical computing to enrich our social interactions.
Can we make our interactions with machines as enriching as our interactions with living organisms? How can we simplify our interactions with machines even as they are continually increasing in complexity?
The focus here is on making these kinds of interactions with machines more engaging, stimulating, and rich. Machines ought to be aware of their environment, adapt to it, and be able to modify their responses. Our projects seek to apply the wealth of knowledge from academic research into design research, and investigate how to use behaviour and nonverbal channels (form, sound, colour, movement) to create intuitive, fluid and continuous communication.
How can interaction design improve our day-to-day life in a highly networked society? If computers disappear and systems keep on changing, what then will we design?
At the dawn of the 21st century, information and communication technologies are revolutionising the functioning of the economy and society, and are generating new ways of producing, trading and communicating.
We want to find opportunities and solutions for major social and economic challenges faced by an emerging knowledge-based society, by concentrating on interactive and intelligent systems for the applications and services of this networked society. We want to shape technologies and integrate them with new appliances, processes and user centred services.
The focus is on the services, systems, flows and processes that are connected to and with products. The work is carried out with the strong awareness that there is indeed a dynamic relationship and transaction between actors, stakeholders and products.