Design is a matter of freedom

“The man who doesn’t design is a man without freedom.”

I recently watched a video of professor Francesco Zurlo speaking about ‘Design of Options’ at a workshop on social enterprises organised by Iris Network. What I found really inspiring is the fact that he speaks about design as a process of creating stories open to participation and interpretation of the ‘reader’.
As we all know stories always need a feedback –in fact stories without readers/listeners do not exist (as services without users).
To support his thesis Zurlo mentioned as an example Umberto Eco’s collection of essays ‘The Role of the Reader’, an open text that allows multiple or mediated interpretation by the readers. Then Enzo Mari’s ‘Il gioco delle favole’, a card game in which kids can create endless combinations of stories.
Even the freedom in defining the space is a very important issue. Mari is again a good example for this topic with his ‘Il posto dei giochi’ (The place of games), designed to allow children to organise their own space to play in and with. The prints and cutouts of the cardboard panel evoke recognisable elements, allowing children multiple associations and projections.
Going then closer to the design side Zurlo speaks about a methodology called ‘border-up approach’, in which users become the project boundaries’ keepers of projects and the ones in charge of starting conversations to improve the system development.
The importance of options, the freedom of choice and the collective intelligence are the engines of collaborative services and empower social justice creating common projects activating socialization.