Updated: Oct 22
Today, I received in Palo Alto a book from Italy. It was a great thrill. As if - along with the book - there was my entire professional life in the envelope.
Let me tell you this story...
What lighted my curiosity about the Interaction Design was a workshop on intelligent user interfaces. It has been '95 I think (yes, it's in the previous millennium). On the stage - among the others - there was a young Siena's University "professor": Antonio Rizzo. I was a kid, and he was a little more than that.
Less than a year after that first meeting, my life had completely changed. I had already completed my Interaction Design Course at Domus Academy in Milan and won the opportunity to go and present the project made at Apple in Cupertino. It was my first time in the USA and California. The beginning of my love for this part of the world. I was walking inside Infinite Loop's internal park. Tense like a violin string. ..and who do I meet? Antonio Rizzo!
It was evident that our paths would have crossed N-times since then. To Antonio (and Patrizia Marti) I will always remain bound by unquestionable affection. I happily participated (for years) in their Siena Design Projects, which took up the format of the Apple internal design event in Italy. As well as involving them in almost every editions of "my" Frontiers of Interaction Conference.
We are people who have made parallel paths, sweated on the same readings, imagined similar worlds, and celebrated the very same heroes.
A few days ago, I realised that Antonio had published a book. So I called him immediately to ask for a copy with dedication. I would not have imagined that - inside the book - there was our whole life. Cognitive Ergonomics: From the origins to design thinking. BOOM! It is just a perfect way to tell the story of our life. :D
I have always said that my path from IxD to IoT to Spatial Computing is nothing more than the continuous exploration of the same space. For me, more from the Relationship Architect's perspective (or technology's designer, if you like). Antonio sees the world from a slightly different angle, but... We both leave our footprints on the same territory and - each with their own weight and measure - we help to draw the same map.
So, reading its pages, finding our "heroes", was like an immersion in something familiar and at the same time innovative.
It gave me the same feeling as Stranger Things' first season -or- the first outside SW saga movie: Rogue One. Antonio’s books feed my nerditude as well as my (our) absolute love for the people.
I am enjoying every line of Antonio's book. I am paying an evident generational bias. :D But I really wonder how we can take responsibility for imagining and planning a desirable future if we don't know at least a little about the path that has led us to today.
Because the UX (and I would say life) does not end when the eye meets the edge of the smartphone's screen. We still have to invent everything. I mentioned Spatial Computing, but I could say that the last thing I worked on is related to Blockchain Robotics. (2020)
Because I hope Kevin Kelly is right, and yes:"Star Trek is really inevitable". But, if it is true, someone will have to build it! ...and that’s why we are here: Antonio, me, and many many others. Including -I hope- those that will read this book.
ps. I know, I didn't say too much about what you can find inside the book. But this post is not to sell any book. I really believe what Richard S. Wurman told me one day at Frontiers Conference. He says:"I do not believe in Education. I believe in self-generated curiosity." That's what this post and the whole leeander.com is about: Empathy, Curiosity, memories, desirable potential futures.