Material, Semi-finished Product, Product: Creation of New Fields of Application and of Project Guide Lines for the Products of Some Piedmontese Company

By Marco Bozzola and Claudia De Giorgi.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Research developed to meet the needs expressed by some companies producing materials and semi-finished products almost exclusively used for building applications.
The purpose was to widen or to identify new market areas for these contexts characterised by a problematic diversification of products. In addition to objectives of increasing sales and brand diffusion, the research dealt with how to orient new products towards sustainability and consensus.
In this light, the aim is to define experiential products with which the user is directly involved in the construction or adaptation of the product to his or her specific needs.
This research, involving companies in the region of Piedmont, resulted in thought-provoking meta-design proposals for developing and identifying viable production opportunities. More specifically, this experimentation was made possible thanks to technologically innovative interventions on the characteristics of the material (cement) or semi-finished product (alveolate polycarbonate sheets), with the introduction of more sophisticated production processes that could also be used by the end consumer.
For example, the introduction of oxides and ferrites in mixtures of cement brought the product to a new range of uses (magnetized cement), as well as the creation of pre-packaged kits for the do-it-yourself construction of cement accessories (small bags of cement and economic and disposable pneumatic moulds) were designed to be supplied directly to the end user: this innovative participatory fruition of the product offers an alternative to the “ready-made” product
Similarly, the implementation of a special heat forming technique applied to the honeycomb panels (an existing technology that was not yet available in the company) could extend the market range (micro-greenhouses for terraces and modular room dividers for interiors).

Keywords: Semi-finished Product, New Markets, Raw Materials, Value of Materials, Experiential Product

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp.369-382. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.487MB).

Marco Bozzola

PhD, Research Fellow and Lecturer, DIPRADI - Architectural and Industrial Design Department, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy

Architect and designer, Ph.D in “Technological Innovation for Architecture and Industrial Design”, research fellow at the Department of Architecture and Industrial Design at Polytechnic of Turin. He is professor of Design for Visual Communication in the Master’s Degree in Graphic and Virtual Design at the Polytechnic of Turin. He concerns himself with teaching and researching in the field of eco-design, by taking special interest in packaging and environmental, functional, communication and language-related issues.

Claudia De Giorgi

Researcher in Industrial Design, Architectural and Industrial Design Department, DIPRADI_Politecnico di Torino, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy

The main field of research regards design with a “human centered” approach, as to say, focusing on real human needs: functional, relational and perceptive ones. The aim is to innovate products by deepening contents and knowledge about project materials. This knowledge is focused on materials and innovative processes (or new use of materials and traditional processes) and their possible uses, beyond the excitement over the latest trend. The approach can be applied in research-actions operations and can be applied for monitoring process and guidance for the local design system in Piedmont. She is the curator, with Claudio Germak, of the exhibition Piemonte Torino Design, which promotes worldwide Piedmont’s design excellences, also through seminars organized in collaboration with local Universities.

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