design, crisis, sustainability, urbanism, city, empathy


Can today design help to improve the world? During the 20th century, it did it. Actually, it has been establishing itself historically in this sense: to improve the everyday life of common people. In the last decades, however, design has become a sort of magic patina helpful to make goods attractive: a dimension of project linked to more the look of goods than to the challenges of our time. By the way, Maurizio Carta talks about ‘futuredesign’ and ‘alternative present’ – a reflection on present helpful to determinate a better (next) future. The present crisis, that is now rooted, calls for a rethink. We must grasp it in order to determinate the change that we need. The Paleo-Anthropocene in which we live, predatory and really unsustainable, has to become a Neo-Anthropocene, sustainable both socially and ecologically. Design, Urbanism and all the disciplines of Project should converge towards this change. The Future City, that it will be born from this mature and balanced cultural spur, will be an Augmented City – open, smart, sensitive, creative and fluid. And the key of the project will be the empathy: the capability to design for and with the people – for a better world.


Design | Essays & Viewpoint

pp. 194-203


Dario Russo

Author(s) Biography

Dario Russo, Architect and PhD, is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at the Department of Architecture of the University of Palermo (Italy), where he coordinates the degree course in Industrial Design. He has published several essays on design and visual communication, including ‘Free Graphics’, ‘Il design dei nostri tempi’ and ‘Il lato oscuro del design’. Mob. +39 392/35.11.793 | E-mail: dario.russo18@unipa.it


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