Who are you, and what do you do?
I'm Davide Casali, better known as "Folletto", an user experience director and startup advisor with a hybrid background in design, psychology and technology. My objective is to change for better the quality of life of the people through the products I design and lead.
I believe that "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication", as Leonardo DaVinci reportedly said and my approach is to reach a focused simplicity through the existing complexity.
I developed with Gianandrea Giacoma Motivational Design, a method that provides a theoretical approach and tools to deal with social dynamics and design social environments.
During my 11+ years of professional experience I designed consumer and enterprise products and services for more than 2 million users worldwide in different markets. I worked with companies like Bank of England, Intesa Sanpaolo, Banca Sella, Unicredit, Nokia, Vodafone, Telecom Italia, Ferrari, and Benetton.
I was a design partner in the startup WideTag where I led the WideNoise product, listed in Compasso D'Oro selection, the ADI Design Index 2010, and selected in the Top 10 Internet of Things Products of 2009 and today opensourced as part of EveryAware, a foundation to monitor the european environment in a social way.
I'm currently advisor of Flythegap, PosterForTomorrow, Pick1 and Tonight.eu and evangelist of Hunie.co.
What books have influenced you the most?
Foundation, Isaac Asimov This in a sense has been a prophetic book: a story about technology and psychology. Asimov was surely a skilled writer and his writings always fascinated me for the kind of introspection exhibited, together with a positive outlook of the future of technology. Foundation is the first book I've ever read, but the whole of Asimov's universe is something incredible to dive into, all tying into one, with questions about what really means to be alive, human, and how entire civilizations have common traits when viewed through the eyes of history.
Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy, Sigmund Freud This marks my fascination with psychology since a very early age. I read this book when I was around 14 years old or something similar, and it was able to introduce me to the realm of psychology in a very delicate way. In a sense these were the starting pieces of psychology itself, so they are easier to read than everything that came later.
The Design of Everyday Things, Don Norman This is the book that created my first a-ha moment, because it showed me how my two interests - technology and psychology - blended together in this thing called interaction design. I often quote this book as the milestone, the starting point for everyone that wants to be a designer in the digital realm. Not just this is a beautifully written book, but if you nod all the way through and after that you can't think of anything else, then you probably have the talents to be a designer.
Descartes' Error, Antonio Damasio This has been for me a wonderful book, because it gives the foundation of what means being human with real, well narrated stories that show how humans are beautifully both rational and emotional, and how much this duality is important to make us human. After reading this it's impossible to think the same, it's really a book that can change the perspective on the world.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig Pirsig in this book took me through a journey inside his mind and a person that goes through a transformation. Not just that, but also it's a series of philosophical inquiries on the concept of value and quality. This is a book I still often quote today, another of the few that really made me re-think about how I viewed the world.
What book would you like to write?
I'm actually writing a book, a professional one on how to be a better designer. It's the kind of book I always felt missing as a support when I led design teams in the past years. For me it's a matter of sharing my knowledge with as many people as possible, and for this specific case a book might be the right choice.
While I have naively in mind a book on some kind of science-fiction story, the one I would actually like to write is the kind of books that unveils unexplained "other" worlds, parallel to this one, similarly to the one you can find in Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. It's a mix of fantasy and mystery, that I can't clearly define, but that leaves the imagination open to possibilities.
Published on 2014-02-16