By Eileen Holowka

On September 9th, interactive designer and co-founder of The Arduino Project Massimo Banzi came to Milieux to host an advanced Arduino workshop and give a talk.

The workshop ran from 1 PM to 4 PM; 15 Milieux and community members were able to ask Banzi specific questions about their ongoing projects.

After an hour-long reception in the foyer, Banzi presented a talk on “Internet of Things: The Struggle for Meaning,” in which he introduced his Manifesto for Connected Devices. The manifesto is based on the philosophy for the grassroots company Slow Food which works to ensure everyone has access to good, clean, and fair food. Likewise, Banzi argues for good, clean, and fair connected devices, focused on open source, non-disposable design as well as sustainable experiences that don’t rely on people as products.

A picture of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey comes up on Banzi’s powerpoint and he chuckles, “Open-source allows as many people as possible to participate.” He gives examples of some existing Ardunio projects, including everything from a chair that tweets when someone farts in it to a device that detects the radiation levels in Fukushima after the 2011 tsunami.

“Open-source allows as many people as possible to participate.”

Near the end of his talk, Banzi introduced his latest project, the ESLOV IoT Invention Kit, which is currently being kickstartered. His goal? “To build something that solves a problem.” So that people who don’t know how to program can build a working device quickly and easily. “Design and technology should also be universally acceptable and not a luxury,” he says and it is clear to see that he is committed to continuing the creation of such opportunities.


Stay tuned for more images and videos from Massimo Banzi’s visit!