V. Arquilla, S. Maffei, B. Villari

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
Is it possible to think about new scenarios for urban sustainability, using a research and design model within the service design discipline, and explore sustainable services based on participation, delocalization, knowledge sharing, and energetic efficiency?
The EXPO015 Lab, within the Service Design course at the Design Faculty of Politecnico di Milano, developed a project for sustainable urban changes tied to the Expo 2015 event.
The project focused on crucial intervention opportunities, which significantly affect the urban quality of life (welfare, energy, communication, food, work).
The didactic model is based on a collaborative approach aimed to create a shared knowledge repository: the tool is an on-line platform aimed to create a community of researchers/designers (the class) capable of envisioning service design scenarios.
The activity follows specific steps:
1. Problem setting: creation of a design orienteering map, describing the interesting theoretical fields and their connections
2. What if scenario: what would the services for the city look like if ?
3. Qualitative research: blue sky and best practice analysis
The community of the lab shared all the materials and results through a blog. The shared repository enabled:
- the creation of a rhizomatic map to differentiate areas for potential innovation, for basic knowledge to be shared among professors and students;
- the collective and continuous learning process on design topics and service design tools;
- the creation of a lab for discussion and research on service and sustainable design topics (research Lab).
The adopted approach is innovative for its idea of collective and continuous learning, which lead the class to work as a real research lab (or better, as a peer network), beyond the physical limits of the class (time and space) and with the development of a think tank based on the blog, of which all students were authors and contributors.