Lorenzo Davoli

PhD in industrial design (2016)


My name is Lorenzo and I am a designer and a researcher with a focus on service and interaction design. I obtained my PhD at the Umeå Institute of Design and my MSc in Industrial Design at Politecnico di Milano. Between these studies I had the opportunity to work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a research assistant for the Vehicle Design Summit, collaborating with the Senseable City Lab and interning with the Mobility and Energy Efficiency Team at the  Rocky Mountain Institute in Boulder Colorado. Through these experiences I developed competences and skills about how to guide companies and public institutions in their transition toward configurations more attentive and responsive to the needs of contemporary society and its service and information economies.

Presence and Participation

There is an emerging set of needs in our post-industrial society that require a contextual sensitivity and local flexibility that traditional industrial infrastructures seem to lack. The purpose of this research is to look at the role that design can play in addressing the transformation process of industrial infrastructures towards more distributed models that are sensitive to local needs and receptive to bottom up innovation. The aim of this work is to explore what a design practice addressing these issues might be like. Design fictions and critical interventions are crafted and used as tools for participation and means to reanimate the often invisible figure and functioning of the networks around us; to prototype new ones and engage publics in a discussion about their qualities and possible future (technological) developments.

Research blog:


Antenna A4 6156

Allowing citizens and cities to gain control over the metadata they daily produce could  be the first important step to enable the design of new contextualized services in support local economies and the redefinition of the private-public relationship.  The Antenna is a fictionaldevice made for hacking into mobile networks. It was prototyped as a way to articulate issues and possibilities for design interventions and initiate bottom-up innovation within these sensitive, private  and otherwise inaccessible infrastructures.


The Drone Postobox 

Drone Screen 4031

The drone postbox is the basic unit of a concept for a distributed and community owned delivery network for goods distribution in the Swedish countryside. To develop this concept participatory hacking sessions to explore and reveal the systemic functioning of existing delivery services on the territory took place with participants using a set of sensor and cultural probes named "the trojan boxes". Maps and videos of how different networks operate have been created through cameras and GPS, making accessible as design material systems usually intentionally not accessible for design interventions. 

IMG 3507

Mapping and visualizing infrastructures and their functionalities allowed to better understand their existing configurations and how to possibly create synergies and designs in response to their behaviors and according to local needs. This little red hut does not represent a solution or final concept, but just a materialization of a possibility, a kind of rhetorical artifacts, developed to support the staging of participatory design processes and rehearse this concept with local communities and stakeholders.


Areas of interest

Infrastructures; Co-Design; Service Design; Critical Practice;


Previous projects:

SATIN Project

RMI Fleets

Trash Track




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