Estensione is a university course and speculative research on new design scenarios and challenges enabled by the convergence of digital technologies and life sciences. This hybridization offers plenty of innovation opportunities but poses also many important challenges to society and human beings. From personal genomics and the 3d printing of organs and prostheses, along with the rise of wearables, smart homes and smart cities, technology is now able to connect the nanoscale inside our bodies to the macro scale of the environment that surrounds us.
Estensione was the first of 4 teaching modules that make up INTESTERNO, a Final Synthesis Design Studio at the Bachelor Degree in Interior Design at Politecnico di Milano in the academic year 2014/2015. Prof. Giulio Ceppi, the creator and coordinator of the course, asked Fondazione Bassetti and Fabio Besti to direct this first part of his laboratory. This was the first of a very long list of projects and research initiatives we did with as a partner of the Bassetti Foundation, like the design workshops at Domus Academy, the investigation on the investigation on the Self-Driving Society (once again at Politecnico), or the semester of conferences Meet the Media Guru | Around Mobility, just to name a few.
For this academic project we created a 30 days intensive course aimed at having students develop concepts and ideas that would explore the borders and the hybridizations between biology and technology, body and artificiality, internal and external.
With Estensione we engaged the vision of the next generation of designers: 44 students worked tirelessly to develp 30 different projects, uncovering an important set of new responsibilities on one hand, but also exposing a blue ocean of innovation opportunities on the other.
Scenario’s topics, workshop’s guests and structure
During the workshop we invited several experts, leaders in the fields of genomics, wearable technology and prosthetics, to give open lectures to the students and the teaching staff. The guests have been: Giuseppe Testa, Director of the IEO – European Institute of Oncology; Matteo Lai, Founder & CEO of Empatica; and Pietro Cecini, R&D Project Manager of Roadrunnerfoot.