How do we engage people of all ages to explore with technology interactively? Massimo Banzi has the answer
Massimo Banzi teaches at CIID Copenhagen and there, together with the students, carried on an exploration on this topic – that resulted in amazing ideas
How do we engage people of all ages to explore, play and engage with technology interactively?
Massimo Banzi, Jose Chavarria and Andrea Desiato set out to explore this topic in their two week physical computing class in the Interaction Design Programme at CIID – Copenhagen Institute of Innovation & Design.
The students were tasked with generating concepts for museum installations that explain the inner workings of technology to children. These concepts explore how Arduino and other open source technologies can help create beautiful experiences which go way beyond, “you can look but don’t touch”. T
Technology is often so sequestered to the people who work with it, but we’re realizing more and more how important it is to open the space up for everyone.
Hands-on STEM learning experiences are key
Hands-on STEM learning experiences are powerful ways for children to understand complex ideas, encouraging them to get excited about the subject matter.
This approach can break down technical concepts into tangible metaphors and demonstrate how technology is a part of our everyday lives. Having one of the Founders of Arduino in the CIID Costa Rican studio was one of the highlights of the year for all the CIID people. Massimo’s endless knowledge and profoundly engaging teaching skills made for a challenging and rewarding experience for all involved.
Increasing access to technology
Massimo Banzi is on a mission to make STEM for everyone because he believes that if more people have access to technology, more people can participate in creating diverse, interesting worlds for us all to exist in.
He challenges the meta-verse and big tech, and is passionate about empowering more people to work with Arduino. If there are more makers, there are more creative possibilities for our future. Mia Pond, a student in the class, describes him as “off-the-charts smart”, the magic of which “ lies in the fact that he is a tinkerer and loves to problem solve and figure out how each part of something works.” This kind of curiosity and willingness to try, try, and try again is really the foundation of the build, test, repeat ethos of the CIID Programme.
Taking part in a year-long programme like the IDP – Interaction Design Program, it’s important to connect with the people around you, and share laughs together. Massimo brings his “killer sense of humour” to every class. Mia describes him as “Very talented at guiding students and making them laugh. He’s eccentric – always says “boom” when you or he does something impressive and badass.”. Not only is he fun to be around, but “He’s somebody who knows the theory and the execution super well. When it comes to concepts, he’s patient with helping us understand them.” says Lisa Guo.
The more makers around, the more possibilities for the future of us all
“It’s an honour to be in class with the best of the best.” says Lisa, which sums up the experience of being taught by Massimo. He comes at everything with a willingness to learn, helping the people around him see the “(technological) magic in the world” bringing them along the “journey of learning how things work and ways you can make your own”.
Mia and Lisa both spoke to their invigorating and generative time in the class with Massimo, and his co-teachers Andrea and Jose shared the sentiment. Andrea describes that “Massimo made the teaching experience so different, bringing the hands-on learning to another level, with a simplicity that belongs only to those who have been teaching for a long time with the same strong passion.”
Create the right learning environment
Massimo brings to the table the type of learning environment we all love to see: open to new possibilities, inquisitive, driven, and filled with joy. Learning new technological skills can be daunting, but when we create and foster a space of community, it becomes simple and natural. We’re so honoured to have Massimo teaching with us, and can’t wait to see what he creates next.
Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID) is an international hub of creative minds. We bring together diverse students, inspirational faculty, and industry partners from all around the world to create an energetic and collaborative design culture. Originally founded in Denmark in 2006, we opened our first location outside of Denmark in 2020, and now host the Interaction Design Programme from our studio in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Our passion for people and Life-Centered Design enables us to create impact through the design of innovative products, services and environments.
What is Interaction Design?
Interaction Design is a practice that combines traditional design disciplines with socio-technological trends. It leads to intuitive solutions for products, software and services. The discipline touches on all aspects of life and therefore has significant impact on society and industry.
While Interaction Design has historically utilized a people-centered approach, CIID has evolved to be life-centered.
Starting from the premise that everything is connected, human beings are not separate from the planet that we all live on. Life-Centered Design means contributing to all living systems in a way that actively helps them survive and thrive.
Technology is often presented as a medium, however we don’t only deal with technological offerings. People have been interacting with each other and their environment since time immemorial. Therefore, Interaction Design can also be applied to the development of analogue solutions that connect or communicate information.
At CIID, they strive to fulfill the objectives outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals so real people and life-centered research play a huge part throughout the ideation and concept generation process. We strive to understand needs and desires within a specific context to provide a product or service of genuine value. Rapid and iterative prototyping is essential to validate ideas in order to develop them in to a final solution.
Closely related to Service Design, Strategic Design and Experience Design – Interaction Design is not so much about visual and physical aesthetics but rather about the beauty of intangible experiences. We always work in multi-disciplinary teams providing an important link where projects cross product areas. We are capable of managing and communicating projects to a wide range of people – and we understand business strategy, as well as commercial and environmental consequences.
Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition has been committed since its very first edition to make innovation accessible, usable and profitable for all. This blog is always updated and full of opportunities and inspiration for makers, makers, SMEs and all the curious ones who wish to enrich their knowledge and expand their business, in Italy, in Europe and beyond.
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