I’m in Rome at a gathering of makers, organized to promote how Italy can develop and contribute to the maker movement. Chris Anderson and Massimo Banzi presented this morning, and I’ll be up in the afternoon. Riccardo Luna is the host and conference organizer of World Wide Rome – the Makers Edition. The conference is held at the beautiful Acquario Romano.

Anderson talked about the primacy of design in Italian culture and that expertise could be the focus for understanding a new world in which we are all designers.

Banzi, who is probably better known in the US than in Italy, talked about the development of Arduino at the Institute of Interactive Design at Ivrea. The development of Arduino arises from his interest in building a platform for experimentation in interaction design.

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Leandro Agro gave an interesting talk about how design is no longer about the shape of objects but about the behaviors of connected objects.

Later, I will give my talk, “Leading and Following the Maker Movement.” There are times in history when there’s a creative explosion – emerging tools and knowledge provide new opportunities for all forms of expression, which constitute personal and social transformation. This is what the Renaissance represents in history. What if we are in the midst of a similar transformation by new tools and new ideas and a growing number of participants? What if we can find the elements of a renaissance in our own day and age?

There is work underway to develop a Maker Faire in Florence, which is an amazing cultural context to showcase the makers of this emerging world.