Seminars at the Faculty of Informatics

The dual nature of artifacts and their innovation

The Faculty of Informatics is pleased to announce a seminar given by Antonio Rizzo

DATE: Friday, March 9th 2012
PLACE: USI Università della Svizzera italiana, room SI-007, Informatics building (Via G. Buffi 13)
TIME: 10.30

Tools innovation is closely related to the generation of functions that go beyond what is physically feasible to perform with any existing material thing. There is now converging evidence that the generation of such functions is the result of the dual nature of artifacts (material and ideal), as expressed in cultural-historical psychology (Ilyenkov 1977). Many authors (see Vaesen 2011) recognizes the dual nature of tools, but addresses the ideal side as representing the intentions of the designers embodied in the tool (i.e., functional aspects) as well as by other roles involved in the production of the material object (marketing, manufacturing). Instead I will argue in favor of the hypothesis that the ideal component is not a matter of capturing the functional or pragmatic factors that in different moments inform the production of a material tool. It has to do rather with how people harness material things (natural and artificial, abiotic and biotic) for thought. This view has important consequences on how we should promote innovation.

2001 - Present Full Professor of Cognitive Science and Technology at the University of Siena
2004-2010 Director of the Academy of Digital Arts and Science - ArsNova in Siena.
2000 - 2006 Chair of the European Association of Cognitive Ergonomics
1996 - 1999 Head of the Human Factors Division of the Italian Railways

Student at the Universities of Rome, Manchester, San Diego. Main interests are in the domain of human reliability and interaction design; in this domain I worked in several international projects
supported both from the Public (CNR, EC,  ESF, EuroControl, MacArthur Foundation, MURST, ) and Private (Apple,  Domus Academy, ILVA, Indesit, National Railways, MPS, Philips) organizations.

HOSTS: Prof. Marc Langheinrich, Dr. Monica Landoni, Dr. Elisa Rubegni

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