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Urban development

Daily insights on user experience, experience design and people-centred innovation,
by international UX consultancy Experientia.
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Urban development

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

20 November 2017
Experientia and Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo announce innovative partnership

Wide ranging partnership also covers collaboration with design schools and public events on service design “Finding the way forward for independent design means building new business models for service design consultancies in the age of the company buy-out.” Michele Visciola, President, Experientia PRESS RELEASE It seems the business world is finally realising that service and […]

26 October 2017
Epic storytelling with video

Another EPIC conference come and gone, and no, we’re not using “epic” in the way under-10s use it about cool things on the internet. EPIC is the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, one of the most important annual events for practitioners of anthropology, ethnography and related disciplines. Ethnography is one of Experientia’s key methodologies, underpinning […]

23 October 2017
Experientia is hiring! Service design intern

Service Design Intern: Lausanne, Switzerland and Turin, Italy Experientia, an international experience design consultancy, is looking for service design interns for our Turin, Italy office, to support research, concept development and design. The ideal candidate will be a holistic thinker and designer, with a systems approach to enable complex service offerings, driven by an understanding […]

23 October 2017
Experientia is hiring! Senior Service Designer

Senior Service Designer: Lausanne, Switzerland and Turin, Italy (*) We are looking for service designers with outstanding design skills, methodical thinking, and experience in designing complex service ecosystems using a human-centered design methodology.   Required 2-5 years’ experience in service design and/or user experience design University and/or advanced degree(s) in Service Design, Interaction Design, User […]

23 October 2017
Experientia is hiring! Lead Service Designer

Lead Service Designer: Lausanne, Switzerland and Turin, Italy (*) Experientia is seeking a Senior Service Designer to lead service design projects from the Turin, Italy office (*) or the Lausanne, Switzerland office. The Senior Service Designer will have experience leading a team of behavioral analysts and service modelers in research and service design projects lasting […]

18 October 2017
Innovate through service design – The Innovation Center of Intesa Sanpaolo and Experientia for “Torino Design of the City”

by Erin O’Loughlin – Photos: Naz Kazazoglu In Turin, you only need to tell your taxi driver “Take me to the skyscraper” to end up at the impressive Innovation Center of the Intesa Sanpaolo bank, rising in the heart of Turin, with a fine view of the Turin hills and the Italian alps. Here on […]

3 October 2017

Don’t miss Experientia at Torino Design of the City

Torino Design of the City is nearly here! Experientia will of course be part of this exciting week (10-16 October) of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and guided tours about design, and we warmly invite you to join us. The event is organised by the City of Turin and will take place in strategic city locations […]

22 April 2017

Boston’s human-centered research to design middle-income housing

In Boston, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is conducting ethnographic, human-centered research to design middle-income housing that reflects people’s lived experiences, reports the Stanford Social Innovation Review. This includes intensive planning sessions in which residents, designers, and policy experts co-create policy blueprints. As part of these efforts, Boston set up a roadshow with […]

23 November 2016

Where’s Wally? In Search of Citizen Perspectives on the Smart City

Where’s Wally? In Search of Citizen Perspectives on the Smart City by Vanessa Thomas, Ding Wang and Louise Mullagh of the HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training of Lancaster University and Nick Dunn of ImaginationLancaster Sustainability 2016, 8, 207 Open access – free download This paper builds upon an earlier conference publication by the authors, offering […]

18 October 2016

Flaws of the Smart City – A design friction kit

Flaws of the Smart City is a critical, workshop-tailored kit to explore the dark faces of the so-called Smart Cities. As any hardware or software piece, the connected cities embed flaws. This kit aims to fix these weak spots or to exploit them to set chaos. As any hardware or software piece, the connected cities […]

30 September 2016

The Adaptive Reuse Toolkit

The Adaptive Reuse Toolkit – How Cities Can Turn their Industrial Legacy 
into Infrastructure for Innovation and Growth by Matteo Robiglio Policy Paper, September 2016 The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) All over in the world, industrial infrastructure is being creatively re-purposed. Culture, leisure, sport, research, education,design, services, production, residences, and even […]

17 June 2016

Remember the people: The foundation for success in 21st C infrastructure

Infrastructure providers are used to focusing on issues of project selection, funding, and regulation. The most successful firms are learning to provide great consumer experiences too. “The consumer experience matters. Infrastructure providers therefore need to tap into the disciplines and insights of great consumer-service companies, such as movie studios, retailers, and tech companies. We can […]

25 April 2016

How city design is adapting to older populations

As cities experience a demographic shift, the need for age-friendly design is becoming ever more critical. From almshouses to driverless cars, the future of urban housing and mobility may just be shaped for and by the elderly. Freelance journalist Alice Grahame writes about this trend in a Guardian essay supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Interestingly, […]

8 April 2016

On the need for ethnography in user experience design

Michael Thomas of Ford Motor Company argues in a thoughtful personal piece that User Experience design is greatly enhanced by establishing classical ethnographic methods as foundational for defining the domain of design intervention. How can UX account for subjective, positively regarded experiences that are time and community dependent, he asks: Examples of these might include […]

2 April 2016

A selection of Interaction 16 videos

In this post we highlight a number of Interaction 16 conference videos especially relevant to the Putting People First readers. They are grouped thematically. Algorithm-inspired design Crowds, algorithms and computations: The new materials of design – Matthew Milan, Normative [54:21] Can computers design? – Antti Oulasvirta, Aalto University [57:38] The Dawn of Agentive Technology: The […]

22 January 2016

Creating age-friendly cities

In a new report the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute (MHFI) argues that we need a new thinking about how to create “age-friendly cities.” Adapting to the challenges of an aging urban population, they write, requires a fundamental change in the mindset of policymakers and innovators about who’s actually living in these cities and what […]

14 January 2016

Pritzker Prize winner brings communities into the design process

The radical Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, known for his pioneering social housing projects in Latin America, has been named as the winner of the 2016 Pritzker prize, the highest accolade in architecture. The 48-year-old, who is also the curator of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, has made a name for himself over the past decade […]

11 January 2016

[New publication] The Hackable City: A Research Manifesto and Design Toolkit

The Hackable City: A Research Manifesto and Design Toolkit Authors – Cristina Ampatzidou (University of Amsterdam / University of Groningen) – Matthijs Bouw (One Architecture) – Froukje van de Klundert (University of Amsterdam) – Michiel de Lange (Utrecht University) – Martijn de Waal (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences / University of Amsterdam) Amsterdam Creative Industries […]

3 December 2015

Can “co-creation” help cities find a new way to solve their problems?

An increasing number of cities are using co-creation platforms to tackle challenging issues like mobility, air quality and urban regeneration too. The Nexthamburg project, for example, was launched in 2009 to source innovative and creative ideas for urban development in Hamburg. Medellín, Columbia, has also developed a platform called Mi Medellín to sound-out citizen solutions […]

5 November 2015

[Conference] Design & The City, Amsterdam, April 2016

Design & The City explores citizen-centered design approaches for the smart city. Central theme is the role of design(ers) to create opportunities and practices for citizens, (social) entrepreneurs and policy makers towards more liveable, sustainable and sociable urban futures. At the round table conference leading international experts discuss the implications of the rise of social […]

26 October 2015

Madrid, the non-neoliberal smart city

Paul Mason, economics editor at Channel 4 News and occasional columnist at The Guardian, writes about an alternative smart city vision: the “non-neoliberal smart city” that is currently being developed in Madrid: Instead of seeing the city as a “system”, to be automated and controlled, the vision being mulled in the Spanish capital conceives of […]

1 August 2015

Nissan’s place-based design process

Megan Neese is a senior manager in the Future Lab at Nissan Motor Ltd., a cross-functional team tasked with uncovering new business opportunities for the future of automotive. In an article for EPIC, she explains how product companies are undergoing an identity crisis, as products become smarter, their nature changes, and even the definition of […]

14 July 2015

Smart Cities will know everything about you

So, asks consultant Mike Weston, how can marketers cash in without becoming enemies of the people? Weston writes that the law will be too slow to catch up with digital innovations and that businesses in a smart city will need to craft their own policies and procedures regarding the use of data. “A large-scale misuse […]

19 June 2015

Nesta report and case studies on people-centred smart cities

For smart cities to reach their full potential, they need to focus on the citizens living in them, not just technology, write researchers Tom Saunders and Peter Baeck of Nesta, the UK innovation charity Traditionally, smart cities have emphasised hardware – the internet of things, ‘big data’ and advanced computing – over the needs of […]

28 May 2015

The driverless car push ignores challenges of people and context

Autonomous or driverless cars are based on a technology push strategy. Beyond statements like “freeing up time”, “reducing accidents” and some simple scenarios on “remote parking” or “vehicle sharing”, there is far too little thought on what such vehicles imply for people’s behaviors and possible future contexts of use. Even a cursory reflection from a […]

6 May 2015

How cities can design for aging baby boomers (and benefit younger residents too)

When cities make an effort to accommodate “aging in place,” they typically end up with designs that benefit younger residents too. A new report called “Ageing in Cities,” from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a membership group of 30-plus countries that focuses on the global economy, suggests that adapting cities will need […]

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