Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ezio Manzini

Some interesting excerpts from this paper by Ezio Manzini:

"This way of looking at wellbeing has progressively led to the conception and development of disabling solutions: systems of products and services that, seek to reduce user involvement and sequester formerly widespread knowledge and skills to integrate them into technical devices. In so doing they have ended up dramatically reducing the skills, abilities and know-how that traditionally enabled individuals and communities to deal with the most diverse aspects of daily life: to take care of the environment, of others and often themselves."

"Now we know that this way of thinking and doing is unsustainable and that we must discuss how to change direction: to change ideas about the user’s role and move from passive to active involvement; from the final user as part of the problem, to his/her possibility, capability and will to be part of the solution. In other words, what has to be imagined is a user who is also co-producer of the results he/she wants to achieve, able to do so because he/she has (some of) the necessary intellectual and practical resources and, above all, because he/she is best acquainted with the specific problems to be solved (Manzini, Jegou, 2003; Cottam, Leadbeater, 2005; Young Foundation 2006)..."

"...designers have to be able to collaborate with a variety of interlocutors, putting themselves forward as experts, i.e. as design specialists , but interacting with them in a peer-to-peer mode. More in general, they have to consider themselves part of a complex mesh of new designing communities: the emerging, interwoven networks of individual people, enterprises, non-profit organizations, local and global institutions that are using their creativity and entrepreneurship to take some concrete steps towards sustainability."

Ezio Manzini is giving a talk this Thursday at the Lighthouse entitled "Sustainable Design – Creative communities and the diffused social enterprise". Its sure to be interesting, will report back accordingly..

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