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Venice Hypothetical

This, the site of the Mobile Applications studio course, shows the final projects. For most of the students it was their first interaction design project.

Eight weeks were devoted to the main project. Its brief, ‘Venice Hypothetical’, invited students, working in teams, to imagine for Venice a hypothetical past (which did not happen) or a counterfactual future (which might happen, however improbable), and then design and prototype for it an interactive service accessed by mobile phone.







The aim was to stimulate students’ imaginations and, by encouraging them to ‘entertain the outrageous’, to reach solutions not easily accessible via more usual analytic and user-centred procedures, but from which ideas for today could emerge. The results confirmed that technology is not neutral and, intentionally or not, embodies values. Not every team achieved a totally convincing transition between initial hypothetical scenario and final design proposal. But all produced imaginative hypotheses and designs of considerable technical and aesthetic interest. All developed working simulations on a mobile phone – in Processing (first year students) or ActionScript – and demonstrated their scenarios and solutions in elegant videos.

The project was preceded by a two-week Processing workshop led by Till Nagel: an introduction for first year students and a data visualisation experiment for second year students. The project included a prototyping workshop in the final two weeks, taught by Nicholas Zambetti from IDEO and Luca de Rosso. We are very grateful to IDEO for sponsoring Nicholas’s time with us.