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Invisible Bridges

In Interaction Design Lab 1, taught by Gillian Crampton Smith with Philip Tabor, students design and make a working prototype of an interactive, screen-based service for a mobile phone or similar device. The theme this year was ’social capital’—friendship, shared interests, and common civility between strangers. Focus was on Venice.

Valeria Donati, Maria Tasca and Valentina Venza won first prize in the  Mobile Design section of the 2008 Adobe Design Achievement Awards for their project What’s Cooking?’. They went to New York for the award ceremony and to visit leading design studios in the city.

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NOTE logo

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ZóGAME logo

carnival games platform


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Operation San Gennaro logo

Why No(u)t logo


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In the ten-week course, which meets four afternoons a week, each student team was asked to invent, design and prototype an ‘invisible bridge’: an interactive system to allow people to construct social and/or cooperative relationships. Projects range from a social network for agoraphobics to a service for homesick Neapolitans in Venice.

Students learn Processing, the programming language for designers, and use Mobile Processing to prototype or simulate their designs on their own mobile phones. Technical teaching was provided by Christian Riekoff from Berlin, who taught the Processing workshop, and Nick Zambetti of IDEO Palo Alto with Vinay Ventrakamen from the Interaction Design Institute Copenhagen, who ran the final prototyping workshop. We are grateful for IDEO’s sponsorship of this workshop.

Click the PROJECTS tab above to see the students’ solutions.

Interaction Design Lab1 is part of the laurea specialistica (graduate degree) in Visual and Multimedia Communication at IUAV University of Venice.

Click HERE for results of other Interaction Design studio courses taught by Gillian Crampton Smith and Philip Tabor.