Ezio Manzini from DESIS Network visits Elisava to talk about the concept of the scenario of proximity in the conference 'The scenario of proximity. A design-orienting framework for city making'.
Ezio will talk about how this concept has evolved since the first social innovations of the last 20 years and how, in some big cities, it has become a reference for action, sometimes using the expression "15-minute city": a city where the concentration of activities in mono-functional centres is contrasted with the adoption of distributed models.
In the past century the organisation of space in modern societies has been dominated by the effects of an idea of efficiency based on specialisation and economy of scale: there are spaces to work, spaces to have fun, spaces to study, spaces to go back to sleep. As a result, people have to move from one place to another as a sacrifice in the name of progress and well-being. We can refer to all this as the scenario of distance.
Over time, this situation has caused problems in the environment and the amount of time spent travelling was reaching unacceptable levels, which causes a distancing between people and an increase in loneliness. Moreover, since the pandemic, it has become clear how important proximity between people is: working close to where you live, the importance of neighbourhood services, having a good relationship with neighbours.
In this context, proximity systems aim to respond to all people's needs by reconnecting and bringing together everything that wasn't there before.
About Ezio Manzini
He has worked for three decades in the design for sustainability sector. Recently, his interests have focused on social innovation, which has led to the creation of DESIS: an international network of design schools active in the field of design for sustainability and social innovation.
He is currently the President of DESIS Network and Honorary Professor at the Politecnico di Milano. He has taught at several design schools such as Elisava Escola de Disseny i Enginyeria (Barcelona), Tongji University (Shanghai), Jiangman University (Wuxi), University of the Arts (London), CPUT (Cape Town), Parsons (New York).