By Dale Dougherty DESIGNGets
ARDUINO’S MASSIMO BANZI on INTERACTION DESIGN
Arduino is Italian. It was co-created by Massimo Banzi,
at Interaction Ivrea, a design school in northern Italy, as
a tool for designers to create interactive experiences.
In March, I spent several days with
Massimo, first at a makers conference in
Rome and then in and around Turin, where the
Arduino is made. We started at the FabLab
in Turin, which had previously been part of a
large Fiat factory, now vacant. Then we drove
out to a countryside area where the early personal computer maker, Olivetti, once thrived.
After the computer maker closed its
doors, descendants of Olivetti set up shop to
manufacture the Arduino (the microcontroller
that has captivated the maker world), which
explains why there’s a small industry in the
Piedmont region with all the machinery needed to make printed circuit boards (PCBs).
On the drive to the factory, I sat in the back
of a Fiat and asked Massimo about interaction
design, the Arduino, and design for makers.
Dale Dougherty: What is good design?
What can makers learn to make them
Massimo Banzi: In design there are different
fields, and like art, there are different movements. If you look at the design of Apple products, that design descends directly from the
Bauhaus and their minimalistic, clean shapes
that emphasized rationalism. You see it later in
the work of Dieter Rams, a German designer,
and Rams’ influence on Jonathan Ive (Apple’s
senior V.P. of industrial design) and Steve Jobs.
Good design is about using the minimal
amount of stuff that you need. Also, if something is visually simple, it encourages people
to use it.
DD: What about the intuitive sense
MB: Design can be used to make an object
desirable. You can make an object so that
others are attracted to it. You might say it’s
beautiful, that it’s striking a chord in you, that
you want to have this thing.
57 Follow us @make