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When you decide to change things you defy rules, balance and stability.

I say don’t give in to the allure of staying still.

INTERVIEW WITH

Flaviano Celaschi

PhD, Full Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Bologna

create Written by: Flaviano Celaschi
todayPublished on: 17 Jun 2020
scheduleReading time:

Change is always a struggle, for everyone. Living organisms are all cautious and look for balance, the economy demands stability, we ourselves live in a beautiful country which we will never want to move from. And in fact, many people give in to the allure of staying still, they intend to get there, or simply do not see the reason to leave again, to start a new adventure. They do not accept the effort of the constant challenge of progress. They do not believe that things can be improved or they are overwhelmed by the daily problems that we all face, especially today. 

Today, for example, in the fourth Industrial Revolution, change is:

    • continuity instead of speed;
    • process instead of product;
    • digital and not only material;
    • open instead of reserved;
    • control more than power;
    • collective intelligence instead of the unique genius;
    • integrated knowledge instead of specialists locked in their tower.

When you decide to change things you defy the rules, even natural ones, it is as if there is a higher mission within you. Human beings are not designed to fly, or to sink into the sea, they can’t go fast, or keep a lot of information in their memory, our voice can be heard at a few hundred metres at most. And yet, thanks to someone who was not content with that, the world has changed.

Human beings have become masters of the world – we are in the period known as the Anthropocene – because they can do three things very well: 

    • modify habitats to suit their needs;
    • modify themselves to adapt to the habitat;
    • organise themselves and live in relationships.

Human beings didn’t stop at their animal fate. We may have gone too far in modifying our habitat, but the big challenge ahead of us is to better learn how to change ourselves and do it together.

I have always felt like the man described by Robert Musil in his novel The Man Without Qualities: between a sense of reality and a sense of possibility, I have always been overwhelmed by the latter. I never say: “Here it happened, it will happen, or it has to happen!I always say: “Here this could happen, it could be different than it is.” If an entrepreneur or a manager shows me his product and says …we do it this way because the market asks for it this way…” a sadness forms inside me. What’s the need in designing something new, then doing what they ask you to do and doing what everyone does. Those who do my job are condemned for life to decipher and interpret change.

Change is the child of the basic rule of the universe (which as far as we know is relative and in continuous movement) and the father of innovation.

Flaviano Celaschi

PhD, Full Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Bologna. Vice President of the national Made in Italy cluster, President of the regional Emilia-Romagna Cultural and Creative Industries cluster.

He founded the Industrial Design and Advanced Design courses at UNIBO in 2013. He was Professor of Industrial Design at the Politecnico di Milano and at the Politecnico di Torino where he was Pro-Rector. He has taught at and developed Universities and Design Centres in Italy, China, Brazil, Mexico, India, and has taught at over 20 international universities. He is Director of the Executive Master in Business Design Innovation at Bologna Business School. His research on Advanced Design topics focusses on the innovation of products and industrial processes.