During the last three years, different crises, such as health, environmental, social, and economical crises, characterised the international debate on architecture and design (Antonelli and Rawsthorn 2022). The ecological issue (Sacchetti 2023), the Anthropocene (Rahm 2023) and animal exploitation (Caffo 2017) force us to redefine the meaning of “dwelling” in its deepest origins. The pervasiveness of new technologies in the domestic space, and more generally in interior places, has changed the use of these spaces (Colomina 2006). From the first breakthroughs of television screens, and computers, interiors are now under constant assault by the presence of social networks, video games, and artificial intelligence, which redefine its fields of action.
The pervasiveness of digital technologies and their omnipresence in daily life modify our perception of reality. Besides, they transform the production, transmission and conservation of data, information and knowledge structurally.
Design – both as a practice and a disciplinary culture – has always played a direct role and is therefore directly responsible for these mutations and changes at several levels: the design of interfaces, interaction and experience, devices, (smart) products, processes and services.
The digital world – understood as an ecosystem encompassing media, channels, devices and touchpoints with their languages, experiences, use and functions – tends to flatten the relationship we have with both short and long-term memory.
Design Values in the Mediterranean
If one imagines the countries that border the Mediterranean through culture, trade and long periods of overlapping history, in which even idioms in different regions exchange large numbers of meanings, it must be interesting, on the one hand, to examine the similarities that points to the Design aesthetics and, on the other hand, the differences that objects and textures have shaped with cultural values or traditions. This shows that design practices in all of these areas have always been known, just as architecture leads to interior design and craft leads to products.
While from a trade point of view, the Mediterranean has always been alive to this day, simply by adapting industrial needs and market demands over the centuries, societies living in the same area are divided into two halves, between the north and the south. Exchange of goods and knowledge has been always a strong point of this vast geographic area that has however more in common than in differences, overcoming cultural differences by connecting bridges and sharing of activities.
The organization of daily life is a common need for all: common practices help to melt what is shared, and differences create interest and opportunities to learn from one another. This is the starting point that this call aims to investigate.