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Strategic Designer @Linea-Atc Brand design and Communication| Communication Designer |Writes on design, UX and communication trends

As I look back in hindsight to a research project that initiated me to design research, I still feel gutted about the breadth and freshness of the perspectives and understanding it can bring about.

Back in 2015, I joined a multidisciplinary team based in London, to carry out a speculative research project in collaboration by the Goldsmiths’ Interaction Research Studio and co-funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. With a small composite team and within design agency STBY… I got hands on an Innovative Approach to Visual UX Research. The auto-cam was conceived as a smart device able to capture relevant moments in a user journey according to changes in biometric data, such as heart rate and sweat, measured on the person wearing it. …


How can you get an understanding of your users when extensive field study or in person interviews are simply not viable?

During my recent speech at the Web Marketing Festival, I was asked: “how do you pull discovery phase off, when you have basically no budget, tight deadlines or poor management commitment?” I would add also: when a pandemic limits your field research!

My answer: follow your users’ trail on digital touchpoint and social media.

Websites, e-commerce and social networks are places we attend every day. Although they may give us only a partial account of our perspective users, still they are good at providing some sort of insight.

Of course, they can’t fully make up for the missed opportunity to…


What the coronavirus and self-isolation are teaching me about collaboration, remote working and overcoming creative blocks.

Knowledge workers in Italy and in other Countries affected by coronavirus are adapting to new “extreme working conditions”. The bright side of being “isolated” in 20.20 is that technology is preventing our life from being completely disrupted. Actually, we can’t say anyone of us is ever completely isolated!

Technology can be transformative in overcoming the issues that distance arises. There is no doubt, though, that smartworking can be a real challenge for creatives. If anything, in Italy, where a strong remote working culture hasn’t quite rooted yet, the coronavirus ordeal could be a springboard for change.

However, some things need…


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Understanding the double-purpose nature of digital interfaces

Let’s face it! How many times our digital products fail to meet any kind of need? The need of users to get a website or an app that is both useful and aesthetically pleasant. The need of organisations to generate value for themselves. The need of creative teams to feel rewarded with what they are tasked.

When it comes to carrying out a digital project, like building a website or an app or shaping the overarching brand digital strategy, so many skills and different roles come in, thus it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

To avoid deliver poor user experience…


Charting the impact of the Online Disinhibition Effect on our professional and social dynamics.

Covid-19 is moving a big portion of our lives in a virtual sphere. We are now growing accustomed to managing routines from a distance, which is also becoming a new kind of comfort zone. After all, what are human interactions if not a space where our individual self has to confront with the “other”?

As online interactions are shaping our social and professional relationships in the Covid-19 new normal , I’ve been drawn to reflect on how they do unfold and on the psychological dynamics underpinning them.

Does our nature change on digital media?

ODE ( Online Disinhibition Effect) is a widely recognised behavioural phenomenon and a…


In 2019 we have gone a long way in making our design collective a vibrant voice in the social innovation scenery. We have published our own original framework for collaborative workshops, nailed down important projects and put in place initiatives to work more collaboratively along the way.

Here’s what we have being up to in the last 12 months.

❄️ ⛱ 🌰 💮


As we Pacoers gather for our monthly dinner together, we interrogate ourselves on how to accelerate cultural transformations in businesses and on what service design can do to add up to classic change management.

If culture is said to be the software of the mind, so can be corporate culture for organisations. This analogy by cultural anthropologist Geert Hofstede suggests the inescapable power of cultures as systems of shared, interconnected meanings, which dictate the main procedures and the instructions for action that we humans follow in our daily life.

However, while most computer softwares are designed with a view of…


As we Pacoers gather for our monthly dinner together, we interrogate ourselves on how to accelerate cultural transformations in businesses and on what service design can do to add up to classic change management.

If culture is said to be the software of the mind, so can be corporate culture for organisations. This analogy by cultural anthropologist Geert Hofstede suggests the inescapable power of cultures as systems of shared, interconnected meanings, which dictate the main procedures and the instructions for action that we humans follow in our daily life.

However, while most computer softwares are designed with a view of…


An awful lot has been said and written about disconnection and isolation in the digital age. But although the causes and potential impact of these social phenomena have been well-discussed, less covered is the array of potential solutions at hand. Paco’s new tool book is designed for action and change. It is both an account of our PARTY project and a practical manual for designers and facilitators. Read on!

Isolation seems a jarring concept in today’s global and digitalised world. On one hand, we can spot convergent movements which are fostered by technology and seem likely to eliminate distances among individuals, by creating new forms of aggregation which are aimed -more or less deliberately-at bringing people together.

On the other, the same technology is feeding a widespread divergent thrust of the individual from their own communities. …


The definition of design as a problem-solving-oriented activity is outdated, says DecolonisingDesign’s founder, Danah Abdulla.

In her enlightening talk at TriennaleDesign Museum in Milan last month, she introduces an idea of design that nurtures negativity as an antidote to collective depoliticisation. With collective depoliticisation I mean a kind of more generic mass-denial (which touches far more than our political participation), more or less conscious, which has hindered for long the public awareness of the cost of progress.

It looks like this topic is starting to spike the design debate. This can be down to more than one reason.

The public…

Silvia Podestà

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