Innovation Training


Innovation Training to Management students

As a tutor of the Design and Innovation Management course at Ca’Foscari, University of Venice, I offer a 5 days innovation training to Management students to build competitive advantage by fostering a creative culture that sparks inspiration, collaboration, and innovation.
Through hands-on exercises, interactive lectures, and dynamic discussions, students learned how to harness the power of Design Thinking to create a path to innovation, unveil new possibilities, and make a greater contribution to organization’s success.

During the workshop we focused on listening, user empathy, whole-brain thinking, collaboration, and experimentation to re-think the life and behaviors of the people in Venice.
We have done a lot of learning by doing: team building, rapid prototyping, idea generation.

Design and Innovation Management, couse held at Ca’Foscari by Prof.Monica Calcagno

Omaggio a Grignani

IUAV 2014. Basic Design course at IUAV. Nunzia Coco e Emanuela Bonini Lessing con  Azalea Seratoni e Giulia Ciliberto.

Experimenting bi and tri dimensional perceptions. Inspired by Optico -mental alterations – Franco Grignani 1929-1999

Design Thinking workshop at IUAV

3 weeks Design Thinking workshop with IUAV students

Workshop designed as a 3 weeks project to challenge Industrial Design students about the perception of the time.
The students learned how to apply Design thinking methods. They experimented how to run an effective user research and gather meaningful insights. Then, they built a set of low fidelity prototype of their concepts in order to retrieve feedbacks , during an internal exhibited.

I am proud to present their work in this page. For further information on specific projects, just write me, I will be happy to introduce you to my students.

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individual project developed at CIID Pilot year, 2009
advisor:Isabel Froes

final presentation board of examiners: Bill Moggridge (IDEO), Gillian Crampton Smith (IUAV) and Mikal Hallstrup (Designit).

Honours: this project has been selected and put on trial during the team building week with Karen Ward at The Interaction Design Programme, CIID 2009-2010

Pro.seed is a toolkit that allows designers to present and reflect on themselves and their goals at the beginning and at the end of a new teamwork learning process. It is a toolkit to delineate profiles, to reflect about group dynamics and personal development in a visual way. Using visual props and notational tools, it supports the way of proceeding in a learning development.

The context

At the beginning when a team is formed, designers with different background have to present-define themselves in order to understand how to perform together to achieve  great and fast results.

How it works?
Each member of the team has a pro.seed toolkit.
The toolkit contains: two booklets, one to engage and strat discussions and another allows a personal and useful reflection at the end of the process; some stickers to build profiles in a freely, easy, visual and handy way; 60 cards, which are tools for enhancing group dynamics, during the process.
They start to use it from the begining of the process.
The discussion booklet lets them interact with oneanother and present themselves in an equalperspective. The cards are in the toolkit to help the users during the process, so they can pick them up and show/discuss each of them while they are developing a project.
At the end of each fast process, all of the designers have learned a lot and the reflaction tool allows them to apprehend the aquired knowledge.

What are the expected core values for the context?

1.a service that follows the users during the whole process
2.a tool for an easier and intuitive self reflection and description
3.awareness of being an individual within group dynamics
4.having a better view on personal learnings

Do you have a multi disciplinary design company, do you want to try it?
Ask me more information about this toolkit

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Ramo System

project developed with Alice Pintus and Erlend Kyte at CIID Pilot year, 2009
faculty: Niels Clausen Stuck, Alexander Wiethoff
specific role: user research, concept, framework and scenario development, GUI

The RaMo System is a simple yet effective infrastructural tool that – within the context of an elderly home – directly links the needs and choices of the residents to the staff. It also instantly serves important information, activities and opportunities that the elderly home provides for the people who live there.

Our field research shows that the communication between the elderly home, residents and the outside world is generally poor. The elderly should be able to choose between all the opportunities the elderly home provides (e.g. food, activities, events) as they are complaining that they able to control their situation. Currently, the caretakers communicate and coordinate shifts, specific residents’ needs and activities via oral messages and paper. This consumes a lot of time and is not an effective use of manpower.

The RaMo System from CIID on Vimeo.

Design Process
After brainstorming, we interviewed the elderly people and staff, then created storyboards, paper prototypes, a video prototype and a video scenario.

How does it work?
We wanted to create a system that would optimise the information flow between residents and staff, but also between the elderly home itself and the ‘outside world’.

The RaMo System is composed of 3 main tools:

1. Resident Agenda Planner

  • Answer to memory loss and autonomy issues
  • Social connection with the outside world (family and friends) and the inside world (elderly home). It allows the elderly to choose food menus, activities, in a simple way – and allows them to keep the date/time context under control

2. Staff Portable Device

  • Constantly updated with the Resident Agenda Planner data so it provides the right information at the right time
  • Improves the staff workflow to allow them to focus more on the residents

3. Central Hub / Elderly Home Database

  • Implementation of elderly choices about food, activities…
  • Up-to-date caretaker knowledge of a residents’ habits, needs, therapies
  • Better coordination between the staff
  • Better coordination between the organisations that work for the elderly home
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Bunny Bot


Game – Tangible floor game for two players

Bunny Bot is a tiny robot, you should try to control it through a insidious landscape, inspired by Alice in Wonderland romance, with wireless controllers strapped to your body.

BunnyBot from CIID on Vimeo.

Project developed with Ane Eline Sørensen at CIID Pilot year, 2009
faculty: Heather Martin, Durrell Bishop, David A. Mellis, David Cuartielles, Christopher Scales, Alexander Wiethoff
specific role: concept development, physical prototypes and electronics

Honours: this project has been exhibited at the Innovation Lab’s NEXT exhibtion, April 2nd – 5th in Århus, DK

Who is it for?
The core of the project is to explore how tangible gaming can be placed in a social interaction context in which the users need to collaborate to co-create the experience of the game. The BunnyBot is a research project and is targeted towards several potential user groups. The main group is people (of all ages!) who enjoy jumping around on a floor trying to work together to control a robot. The second target group is girls between 10-13. The BunnyBot as an off-the-shelf electronics model kit will appeal to young girls because of the mixture of elements – electronics, social interaction, an appealing style and a storyline. The third potential user group is rehabilitation patients who need extra motivation to go through daily training.

Why is it valuable?
The Bunnybot encourages play through social interaction using tangible computing as the medium. The networked controllers people carry on their body make this interaction possible. Our aim is to create playful social interaction between users. Interdependence is key as this game would not be possible to play without a partner that you work well with.

The experience builds on the story of Alice in Wonderland. The user navigates through a world that replicates the metaphor of following the rabbit to the rabbit hole. When you play with it, you actively use your body, using your motor skills and your ability to work with a partner.

The game is customisable and the play experience is up to the users. This flexibility ensures diversity in the gaming experience. You can customise the path and the obstacles in a tangible way to change the narrative of the game. It’s real and every move your body makes has a tangible reaction.

How does it work?
Our game is based on four different elements: a robot, two controllers, one path and some obstacles. The rabbit shaped robot is the main character in the game. He needs to be guided by the two players to navigate his way through the obstacle-ridden path.

The players wear controllers with an accelerometer inside. These are strapped on to the body and become an extension of the player. The body movements of the players give the instructions to the robot: one player controls backward & forward movements, and the other left & right.
Colour sensors on the back of the robot recognise the obstacles and it reacts accordingly enabling it to navigate along the path to the rabbit-hole. The players have to do this in as little time as possible.

• Strap the controller to your shoulder or your head (one controller controls left and right, the other controls back and forward)
• Collaborate simultaneously with your partner to move the rabbit through the path
• You cannot touch the BunnyBot.
• When you eat a carrot, you are rewarded with a time decrease
• If you stray off the path, you are punished with a time increases
• When you meet an obstacle the Bunnybot will behave in a strange way – you have to work out how to get him back on track.

What were your key learnings?
Apart from the obvious – learning how to build a robot and make it work which has been new to both of us – we introduced ourselves to the psychology of game play which established how meaningful play is.

Special thanks to David Mellis and Isabel Froes.

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project developed with Erlend Kyte at CIID Pilot Year
in collaboration with Copenhagen’s municipal library system (Københavns Biblioteker)
, 2009
Simona Maschi, Brian Rink (IDEO)
specific role: concept development, user research, service blueprint and service structure visualisation, experience prototype

Honors:The project was selected and presented at the Danish Ministery of Culture, April 2009

MindThread is a service that allows you, and your knowledge-needs to be connected to the perfect librarian. It also allows you and your librarian to visually build, use and share knowledge pathways you create and explore together.

Who is it for?
MindThread is for people with the need to go in-depth with their research — people who have a need for knowledge exploration and guidance. It could be anyone from a consultant in a small business, a student or someone that wants something more than just a generic answer. For the Librarian it’s a tool for keeping up-to-date with his or her areas of expertise, a service that connects them to other librarians, users and communities, and a chance to visually see and work with the network of information pathways they create. Most of all, it’s a powerful motivational engine, that enables librarians to provide the best possible service to their customers!

Why is it valuable?
The service enables the customer to always know where and to whom to look for maximum guidance for their current knowledge need. As for the librarian; it means they get the right questions, from the customers whom they can benefit the most. It gives them extra motivation, the opportunity to explore and dig more deeply into areas of expertise, as well as a way to easily connect with other expert librarians and other knowledge explorations.

How does it work?
The MindThread service is divided into three phases:

Phase One: Carpet Profiling. When you, either as a librarian or library user, sign up for MindThread, you start creating your own profile! This profile will hold everything you ever read, all the movies you’ve ever seen, all the places you’ve ever visited, links to all your social networks, and your whole education. Additionally, your profile will capture your current interests and your knowledge needs. Using the MindThread profile, librarians and customers will automatically be matched to one another based on knowledge need and expertise.

Phase Two: MindThread Exploration. After the carpet profile match has taken place, and your knowledge need has been accepted by the librarian, it’s time to explore the pathways for answering your questions. This knowledge exploration can happen locally, or remotely, depending on your wish or the geographical location of the librarian. The ability to view, explore, modify and connect is created by MindThread maps, a map visualisation of your exploration.

If there is a previous knowledge exploration that matches your current knowledge need, MindThread will automatically link relevant information from this session to your map. This gives you the possibility to stand on the shoulders of those who walked before you, getting deeper into the material and obtaining more knowledge than ever before.

This also gives librarians with less expertise on a specific topic the chance to use the framework and knowledge of an expert librarian when exploring an area with a user. In this way, an entire network of knowledge explorations will be built, updated, connected and shared among users and librarians, giving everyone using the service the benefit of each other’s work.

Phase Three: Finishing up. The carpet profile and knowledge map you’re working with are continuously updated by whatever new information you and your librarian come across, until you feel that your questions have been answered and you’re completely satisfied. If you at any time in the future want to check out how you got to a certain piece of information or how you connected two areas of interest to each other.

The carpet is there to tell your story. Hidden within its fibers, is all the information you and your librarians explored, including the visual pathways, links, and work you created.

What were your key learnings?
One of the best skills a good librarian has is his or her ability to harvest knowledge and connect the dots among all sources of information, from any field or domain. However, most of these connections are made inside the head of the librarian, with little or no “real world” systematic infrastructure to support this powerful skill. It’s necessary to connect the right customer to the right librarian in order to create a higher level of personal satisfaction and a stronger sense of motivation, on both sides.

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Right person-Right time

Digital Scenarios Explorations

Nokia, the telecommunication company, challenge us on re-thinking how young people could effectively manage all their contacts and communication using a variety of channels including SMS, MSN, Facebook, email and more.

We decided to explore how a growing number of personal communication channels can support young people’s maturing need of being available to the right person at the right time, 24 hours a day, while setting clear boundaries between social, personal and professional contexts.

We spent two weeks conducting user research, turning insights into projections, generating concepts for mobile phones and producing video scenarios with high resolution prototypes. Our user research took place at a Danish Højskole where we spoke with several 20-year-old students and a local park where we spoke with a couple of young mothers. After a period of initial concept generation, we returned to the Danish Højskole to show the students a prototype demonstrating how “status messages” could work on a mobile phone. This gave us more clarity about refining our concepts and inspiration for our final video scenarios.

Project developed with Adam Little at CIID Pilot year for Nokia, 2009

faculty: Vinay Venkatraman and Nicholas Zambetti
specific role: user research, concepts and scenarios development, graphic storyboards, UI design and flash prototype 

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Ping Ping Pong

Game – Ping ping pong 

Ping Ping Pong is a game controlled by a Wii remote. When the game starts, you will see just one ball on the screen. When the wii will be shaken, two more balls will appear.

Discover how to move the three balls to reach the border of the screen. Try to control them by shaking and rolling the Wii remote. The balls will respond to your movement! Let’s play!

PING PING PONG from nunzia coco on Vimeo.

Individual project developed at CIID Pilot year, 2008
faculty: Dennis Paul, Patrick Kochlik and David A. Mellis

Inside The Mystery

project developed with Andreas Hesse and Hung-Lin Hsu (Jason) at CIID Pilot year 2008
faculty: Massimo Banzi, Gwendolyn Floyd, David A. Mellis
specific role: storytelling, physical prototypes and electronics


What is it?
Inside the Mystery is an alternative reality game inspired by scavenger hunts and alternate reality games. Inside the Mystery blends the digital, physical, analogue and interactive, to create a game that you solve by connecting the dots between clues, objects, and actions.

How does it work?
The game starts out with a sheet of paper. This first clue leads you to the path right into a mysterious story. Many more clues displayed by numerous physical/electronic devices, follow. Only if you correctly answer these clues will you be able to solve this mystery. We worked with the interaction through physical, electronic objects spread within two rooms. We connected doors, an old radio, a printer and a web site through the use of the Arduino board to give clues to solve this short (but scary) Halloween mystery.

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Data Visualization project – editorial

In collaboration with Wolfgang Scheppe, we had the opportunity to try to understand urban motion patterns resulting from migration, as well as its parallel economic systems and cases of segregation and “heterotopia” (Foucault). In the pervasive society of the spectacle, one encounters an almost absolute hegemony of the fictionalized image. Reflecting on this, we will attempt to visually represent identifiable phenomena in the city of migration with new illustrative cognitive methods, notational systems and image-based technologies. Our focus will be on the representation of discursive – as opposed to persuasive – acts of visual communication. Guided by W.S., a group of young artists and designers made inteviews, take photos, read documents and interpret charts to produce Migropolis, a book full of stories, legal absurdities and inexistent human rights.

Project developed with the class on Politics of Representation, IUAV, from 2006 to 2008
Faculty memebers: Wolfgang Scheppe and Valeria Burgio

Honors: book of 1,344 pp., 2078 ills., 17 x 24 cm, hardcover, 2 volumes in slipcase, published in 2009,  by Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern and from the book to the The exhibition
Migropolis, Venice / Atlas of a Global Situation at Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice,
October 8 – December 6, 2009

Summer school – Basic Design

Basic Design teaching and workshops – Summer School – July – Venice – IUAV
from 2006 to 2008

Honors: keynote at International Basic Design Conference 2009 and Intervieview for Abitare on line for Stefano Mirti “What is basic design?” read the interview in italian

Since 2006, I collaborated with professor Giovanni Anceschi at the Basic Design course in IUAV, Faculty of Design and Art, Industrial Design undergraduate program. In 2006 we decided to organize a Summer School of Basic Design for PhdStudents: four days workshop to redesign the border of the basic design discipline.

Later I had the chance to speak about the experience at the International Basic Design Conference, July 9,10 – 2009
The School of Doctorate Studies at IUAV University in Venice promoted a two-day conference to talk about Basic Design with the special presence of Professor Ellen Lupton, Maryland Institute College of Art.
This conference was divided in 3 sections:
1) Basic design: from the past to the future
2) Basic design in Italy: present tense
3) New Basic Design in Venice.

My keynote was about the 2006 workshop called: “New Basic Design, the Tradition of the New”, were we revived  some of the major Basic Design exercises done in the Bahuaus, New Bahuaus in Chicago and The School of Ulm (Hochschule für Gestaltung).


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Sketching Interaction

thesis project April 2008, postgraduate in Communication and Mutimedia Design
at IUAV, Faculy of Art and Design, Venice, Italy

advisors: Davide Rocchesso and Giovanni Anceschi
programming implementation: Sebastiano Vascon

Sketching Interaction is a online tool to built, share and cooperate on new projects as a game.

This tool gives the possibility to generate a multiplicity of ideas in little time and these ideas will be judged by a lot of people. This new type of process create new possibilities for the design conceptualisation. Everybody can be a judger but at the same time can propose a change that can help the project to become better.

During the 2008, it was developed a working prototype for testing it on line. The application is not anymore online, this is how it was working and looking like:


The inteface of login is a cover of a notebook with a ticket to start the collaborative sketching game


The inner interface is like a note book where you can easly sketch your ideas

How does it works?

Login in the website, then read one of the design briefs and post your sketch-proposal. Your sketch is published. The Sketching Interaction community will then be able to vote your project within many others. If your project collects a defined amount of votes you will pass to another turn and you will be able to modify and collaborate with other members to refine your sketch.

Second phase: collaboration
After first phase of competition, the collaboration phase will take place within the Sketching Interaction community. The collaboration helps people to share ideas and turn them in a finished project

If a sketch was not voted enough?
Each project is stored in a database to be a resource to others experimental project


Installation – That Sinking Feeling

Interactive Installation – That Sinking feeling

TSF is a visual information system which gives the user an immediate sensation (information) about the present and future conditions of the high tide in Venice. Made by two devices, one at home and one in a city place, it involves the user in a real/virtual game with the high tide.

Even if the high tide is a big problem for the city, TSF tries to find a poetic and simple approach to the matter, making possible to live and enjoy the Venice’s water without being worried of sinking in it.

As Venice is an island linked to the high and low tide mechanism of the Lagoon,TSF allows the users to see in an easy and intuitive way where and when the water is going to raise up/down, to easily plan their movements in the city. TSF also gives you the possibility to know which kind of boots (or waders) wear depending on the water level of the zones you want to visit.

Installation description: 

The installation is composed by a big screen, six pressure sensors side by side, a projector and six webcams. The screen is divided in six vertical areas, each one representing the current conditions and forecast for the next 6 hours. Every hour is represented by an animation prerecorded by the people. A orange-wave shows you the prediction of the high tide for each hour, and a blue (or green) the current situation. As you stand in front of an animation (hour) it will disappear, and you will see your own body projected on the screen. Your image will be recorded by a camera for create a short video, which will be projected in a continuous loop until another person makes their own video.

Prototype: take a look to the video

Prototype built with: Processing, Wiring, a pressure sensor, a webcam, a lamp and one projector.

Project and prototype developed with Miguel Cabanzo at the IUAV University in Venice, 2007
faculty: Gillian Crampton Smith and Philip Tabor in collaboration with Durrel Bishop and Davide Rocchesso.

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Game – Multiple Handle

Multiple Handle is an experimental videogame controller

we developed it within an intensive workshop, Touchdown! in Florence in 2007. The aim of the workshop was to re-think and expand the language of physical interaction for gaming. Three extreme days spent in analysing, designing and prototyping alternative controllers for videogames.

We hacked a keyboard and we used part of it to build a two hand-scratch controller for each player. If you want to move inside the game, you have to squeeze and clap them together with another player.

We exhibited the projects at the BIP: building interactive playground at Electrowave 2007

watch the video

more pictures

project developed with Shadi Lahham and Elisa Rubegni at Touchdown!workshop, Firenze, 2007
workshop run by Giorgio Oliviero (TODO) and Yaniv Steiner (
Yaniv Steiner –
Giorgio Olivero –

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I am a researcher and an interaction designer specializing in organization design and digital product innovation.

I have always been deeply interested in combining research, design practice and new technology. So after several year of design consulting, I am currently a Phd Student in Innovation Management at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice.

Prior I worked as a service design lead and innovation specialist for several design and technology organizations (EricssonFjordDigital Accademia). I am passionate about user research, design experience and new technology behaviors for society. I am practicing and studying design thinking to make real world services and digital products better for people. I had the opportunity to be part of the first year master program at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design(CIID), were I graduated with a fantastic team!

This is just a selection of my work, contact me at info [at] for more info.

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