Hi, nice to meet you. image

I'm an interaction designer working on projects ranging from strategic design to fully-realized applications for the web and mobile devices. I do research, design things and build them too. I enjoy thinking deeply about details and broadly about the future.

I hold a Master's from Domus Academy in Milan, Italy in Interaction Design and I'm currently at MIT in the Mobile Experience Lab, where I'm lucky to work with dedicated, talented engineers, designers, architects and developers who are as interested in grokking future experiences as I am.

Collected is a sample of the type of work I do: most of it is in teams, which I think is essential. I'm professionally represented on linkedin, tweet @nawt and tumble when inspired.

Feb 2012 - Feb 2012

  • MIT Mobile Experience Lab

Interactive Cutting Board

A cutting board for the connected kitchen

  • What I Did:
  • Concept Development &
  • Arduino Programming
  • Who I worked with:
  • Steve Pomeroy ,
  • Dan Sawada &
  • Wesley Graybill

I participated in a hackathon at the MIT Media Lab run by the creator of the fantastic IOIO board, Ytai Ben-Tsvi. The IOIO board is great way to build quick prototypes of hardware connected to Android devices. Our team built a prototype of a bluetooth cutting board that talks to an Android tablet.

Tablets are an ideal match for reading recipes while cooking, but are obviously not suited for interactions with messy hands. So, we designed a board that would allow a cook to navigate a recipe and also help estimate the correct amount of ingredients to chop.

We built a physical prototype as a part of a weekend hackathon at the MIT Media Lab

Over the space of a weekend we fabricated the board, electronics and wrote a simple Android recipe app. The board connects to any Android device over bluetooth. Capacitive touch areas on the side of the board allow cook to select the next or previous recipe step. Each step in the recipe can help the cook estimate the amount to chop by lighting concentric rings embedded in the board. I had a lot of input into the design direction and worked on implementing the capacitive sensing and subtle haptic feedback via a pager motor embedded in the board.

Oct 2011 - Jan 2012

  • MIT Mobile Experience Lab

Memory Traces

An interactive documentary on Boston's Italian Community presented as Web and Android applications

  • What I Did:
  • Graphic Design ,
  • Web Front-End Development &
  • Android App Design

I was the primary graphic and UX designer for the Memory Traces project at MIT, which captured the Boston Italian Immigrant Experience through the memories if prominent Italian-Americans. A documentary team interviewed a number of community leaders, including Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, and used the web application I designed to map the interviews. The application allows people to find and view memories based on time, place or theme, while a mobile app allows people to find and view nearby memories.

The documentary mapped a century of memories from prominent Italians in Boston

I designed the web and mobile interfaces for the applications

Jul 2011 - Sep 2011

  • MIT Mobile Experience Lab

    &
  • UNICEF

UNICEF Youth Mapping

A set of digital mapping tools for kids in Rio De Janeiro to capture hazards in their communities and advocate for themselves

  • What I Did:
  • Graphic Design ,
  • Web Front-End Development &
  • Android App Design

I designed the look and UX of this mapping application for UNICEF. The application allows youth to create custom digital maps and easily populate them with media from mobile phones and cameras.

UNICEF has already managed several deployments of the application with youth in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. These youth live in communities with dire infrastructure problems which the application allows them to document and advocate for improvements from the local government.

I designed the web and mobile applications for UNICEF

The project gave youth tools to create digital maps of hazards in their communities to advocate for change with the local government

Nov 2010 - Dec 2010

  • MIT Mobile Experience Lab

Next TV

A study of how people actually watch television and how tablets could support a better connected television experience

  • What I Did:
  • Video Prototyping ,
  • Graphic Design ,
  • Benchmarking Research ,
  • Flash Prototyping &
  • Clickable Prototypes

The Next TV project conducted research on the behaviors around TV viewing and the dissemination of television content online to understand how web and TV experiences could merge. Our notion was that the classic TV viewing experience is an "always on" model, in which the viewer relaxes and is seduced by programming pushed to him, is in opposition to the web viewing experience, in which people actively search for, comment on and remix content.

I participated in the last part of the project which involved synthesizing insights from user and media research into an interface merging the qualities of a classic TV viewing experience with the informational richness of the web. I worked closely with Marco Susani on the design in which I was responsible for the execution of clickable, interactive and video prototypes and the visual design of the interface.

In the first part of the project ethnographic researchers observed people's activities while viewing television

Out team asked how connected television could retain the essential "Always On" quality of television

Sep 2009 - Nov 2009

  • Domus Academy

    &
  • Tinker.it

Peepers

My thesis at Domus Academy on generative media and personal sensing

  • What I Did:
  • User Research ,
  • Ideation ,
  • Concept Development ,
  • Processing Prototype &
  • Product Design
  • Who I worked with:
  • Massimo Banzi &
  • Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

My thesis at Domus Academy focused on designing a friendly, usable interface for the collection and analysis of personal data. I worked from a brief on the Internet of Things by Massimo Banzi and Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino of the (sadly, no longer existing) IoT consultancy Tinker.it.

I worked from the emerging trend of simple sensors and web services allowing people to instrument their lives and gain an understanding of their personal environments, bodies and emotions. However, I found design of these quite invasive objects tended towards the bland and impersonal while the presentation of data was always oriented towards screen-based solutions filled with attention-demanding graphs. Visualizations are neat, but, at a certain level, numbing: as if you are part of a stock ticker.

Visualizations are useful for certain types of analysis, but they are not intimate or personable

I developed and prototyped a more domesticated personal sensor system based on audio and tangible interactions that brings a playful, relatable quality to data collection and representation. The sensors are engaging characters whose forms suggest what they sense. And, instead of relying on a screen, you configure your sensors via an audio interface which uses speech to text to take commands and text to speech to provide you a generative news program that interprets your data based on historical trends and other sensors nearby.

The project envisioned interactions not requiring a GUI

Instead of using buttons, I designed interactions with the radio object to be physical and intimate

The applications of such an interface are diverse, but by using audio, which may fold into common home activities such as listening to music, the design provides a calm layer of ambient information which invites casual encounters and does not demand the level of attention of a screen-based interface.

To further explore the concept, I programmed a working generative radio stream in Processing that used text-to-speech to turn data from a pressure sensor under a chair into a simple radio program.

I built a prototype for our final exhibition with Processing and Arduino using readings from a pressure sensor on a chair to create a generative radio program

A simple pressure sensor hooked to an Arduino provided data for the program

Around three years later, technology facilitates a continuing push of little devices and sensors linked by the cloud into our lives. However, there is still a remaining question, that this work starts to address, of how people can customize these devices to fit their lives and benefit from the data they produce.

Jun 2009 - Apr 2010

  • Experientia

Experientia Client Work

While earning my Master's degree I worked on projects for a range of clients as an intern at Experientia in Turin, Italy

  • What I Did:
  • Information Architecture ,
  • Interaction Flows ,
  • Concept Development &
  • Flash Prototype Development
  • Who I worked with:
  • Piermaria Cosina ,
  • Miguel Cabanzo ,
  • Jan-Christoph Zoels ,
  • Giorgio Venturi ,
  • Takumi Yoshida &
  • Amy Lovett

During the summer of my Master's course at Domus Academy and continuing into the spring of 2010, I spent a wonderful period in Turin, Italy as an interaction designer at the human-centered design consultancy Experientia. While there, I completed several major projects and proposals in teams of ethnographic researchers and designers, for clients such as Vodafone.

I worked with another designer to develop a fully interactive Flash prototype of an innovative knowledge management interface

My responsibilities included designing UX for mobile services in emerging markets as well as developing interactive flash prototypes of innovative software interfaces. In these projects, I was able to work directly with clients and take a large amount of responsibility for the successful outcome of the each project.

I worked closely with Experientia's UX lead to develop the Information Architecture and Wireframes for a new mobile service for emerging markets

As a human-centered design consultancy, our work drew on significant research and understanding of people and their needs extending into an emphasis on prototyping and scenario creation to refine designs.

May 2009 - Jun 2009

  • Domus Academy

    &
  • Museo archeologico della Valle Sabbia

Archaeological Museum Case

An innovative system to turn museum cases into interactive audio experiences

  • What I Did:
  • Ideation ,
  • Concept Development &
  • Physical Prototyping
  • Who I worked with:
  • Carlo Zapponi &
  • Andrew Chao

This was one of my favorite projects during my time at Domus Academy, in which we worked with the Archeological Museum of the Valle Sabbia to design innovative museum experiences. Two classmates and I spent four weeks to research, design and prototype an audio game played through an interactive display case.

Our concept was an audio game played by finding and interacting with objects throughout the museum

The game allowed children to explore museum cases by "listening" to artifacts with a stethoscope-like object. Each artifact contained historical characters who would explain their lives to children and give quests to find other artifacts. Our goal was to stimulate children's imaginations: an important aspect of helping children to engage with the history that artifacts represent.

We built a working prototype of the system that contained several games played through audio and interaction with the case via a stethoscope headset

As a proof of the concept, we built a working prototype case that allowed people to play several audio-based games using a wireless headset with a fiducial marker attached. Placing the fiducial marker on the case surface allowed a camera in the back to capture the id, position and orientation of the marker. This allowed our software to play audio based on the different areas of the case surface, but also enabled us to detect gestures by the user such as twisting, circling or zigzagging for interactive tasks such as grinding grain or playing a virtual instrument.

Our prototype used Processing and Flash to turn a museum case into an interactive surface

Jan 2009 - Sep 2009

  • Domus Academy

Community Totem

A concept to integrate social media into urban space

  • What I Did:
  • Video Prototyping ,
  • Graphic Design ,
  • Ideation &
  • Concept Development

I developed this concept with two students from the Product Design Master at Domus Academy under the guidance of Setsu Ito. The brief was to design an urban rest area for the Milan Expo in 2015.

We designed a modular seating area adaptable to small, unused green areas throughout the city. Each rest area contains a map totem which acts as a hub of real-time information about the surrounding community by aggregating and semantically grouping geo-located media.

I designed the interface for the totem, which mapped clusters of content to an simplified map. People could then search, filter and capture content using an augmented reality browser on their personal devices.

The increasing amount of semantically-tagged, geo-located photos, events and status updates can be used to create a real-time portrait of a neighborhood

The totem provides a quick way to see what is happening in a neighborhood mapped to the major streets in front of the viewer

Pushing digital information into urban space creates opportunities for serendipitous discoveries

Aug 2008 - Sep 2008

Tick-Talk

A clock ?

  • What I Did:
  • Concept Development ,
  • Physical Prototyping &
  • Arduino Programming

Tick-talk is a natural language clock that takes the idea of a "human" object to a ridiculous extreme by telling time how a person might if s/he were asked to sit on a shelf or hang on a wall. Understandably, Tick-talk gets lazy and will sometimes try to change the subject. Occasionally, it draws a blank.

I built Tick-talk as part an ongoing interest in how technological objects can be personable. I designed the enclosure, soldered the electronics and programmed the firmware to make it tick.

Tick-talk uses two stepper motors and an freeduino in a case of my own devising