1. Inventor, analyst, architect, designer.
How would you define yourself, or how would you like to be defined?
It’s always difficult to talk about oneself… Perhaps the best definition could be “pain in the ass” – someone who constantly tries to change the status quo. This attitude led me to become interested in different fields, from when I was studying engineering and architecture. If you would like a more poetic definition, I could quote François Truffaut‘s Jules et Jim. There’s a dialogue I always loved between Jim and his professor, Albert Sorel: “Mais aloes, que dois-je devenir?” – “Un Curieux.” – “Ce n’est pas un métier.” – “Ce n’est pas encore un métier. Voyagez, écrivez, traduisez…, apprenez à vivre partout. Commencez tout de suite. L’avenir est aux curieux de profession.” Yes, I’d love to be a “curieux de profession”!
2. What’s your recipe for creativity?
Again, being curious and thinking beyond existing boundaries. I believe that it is imperative to have an omni-disciplinary approach, working in a team with people from different backgrounds and competences. Diversity is a must in creativity.
3. Can you tell us about your favourite project of your career so far?
I am sure it will be the next one!
4. You come from Turin, the same city as Feel Desain.
What hopes do you have for Turin and Italy over the next few years?
I love the historic city of Turin. Italy’s “centri storici” might have struggled to adapt to the technologies of the 20th Century – heavy, invasive, and incompatible with the country’s urban embroideries. Today, these beautiful cities can finally adapt to new and light technologies brought about by the digital revolution.
5. You’re the curator of the Future Food District pavilion at the 2015 Expo in Milan –
Could you tell us about your experience with this project?
The center of the District is a supermarket, developed in collaboration with Italian giant chain COOP. Here it will be possible to try a real shopping experience – it will be in effect a retail space. We want to show how the Internet of Things is changing the food chain – and how new technologies can allow us a more direct contact with food.
In particular, I am excited about the idea that products can tell us their stories. I always liked Italo Calvino’s Mr. Palomar when, visiting a Parisian fromagerie, he has the impression of being inside a museum or an encyclopaedia: “This shop is a museum: Mr. Palomar, visiting it, feels as he does in the Louvre, behind every displayed object the presence of the civilisation that has given it form and takes form from it.”
At the Expo, products will be displayed on large tables, avoiding the vertical barriers of traditional supermarkets. In doing so, we would like to promote a seamless interaction between people and food, as in an old market place. Moreover, by simply indicating products the user will be able to reveal augmented information – “augmented labels” able to tell properties, histories, paths.
6. What first inspired you to focus your work on the relationship
between humans and the urban environment?
7. What future projects do you have in the pipeline?