I was born in Pistoia, a beautiful small city in Tuscany, near Florence, Italy. Growing up in the cradle of the Renaissance, I was lucky to be immersed in the culture heritage and surrounded by the timeless masterpieces of masters like Leonardo, Botticelli, and Brunelleschi.
There I became passionate about programming, electronics, and design. I studied design at the University of Florence, where I fell in love with photography, theater, cinema, and creativity in all its forms. I was inspired by the ideas, values, and teachings of Bruno Munari and Adriano Olivetti. At that time I started an online community called Officina Creativa, to help students, creatives, and designers around Italy connect, learn, and share ideas.
As I learned more about design and technology, I was inspired by Douglas Engelbart conceptual framework and Vannevar Bush's 1945 essay "As We May Think" to explore how to augment human intellect. I grew passionate about interaction design, HCI, user experience, and learned about the work and ideas of Ivan Sutherland, Alan Kay, Alan Cooper, Bill Verplank, Bill Moggridge, Bill Buxton, and Don Norman.
In 2006, for my final university project, I explored new types of interactions using touch interfaces, and developed an application focusing on the direct manipulation of UI and content on screen. It was a new approach at the time, and little I knew that just one year later the first iPhone would be announced, pushing those concepts to the next level and fundamentally changing how we think and interact with technology.
From there my journey started: I left my hometown in Italy to follow my passions and travel the world. I lived in London, Stockholm, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco. I learned new cultures, worked at great companies, and met incredible people that helped me see the world from different perspectives, inspiring me to stay curious and keep learning.
What started as curiosity to explore the world and satisfaction to craft simple and inspiring experiences by combining design and technology, evolved year over year, thanks new interests, passions, and dreams. During these years I've been exploring new interaction paradigms, studied the evolution of our relationship with technology, and had the opportunity to work on the incubation of new products with the potential to have incredible impact in the world. I've immersed myself in different industries learning about marketing, education, gaming, productivity, manufacturing, automotive. I worked with different technologies and interfaces, learning about touch, gestures, voice, gaze, EEG, AI, holograms. And the more I learned and the more I reflected on the role and purpose of technology - how can it be ethically applied to create meaningful solutions that help improve people's lives?
I had the opportunity to lead and grow organisations, building teams, defining strategies, shipping products, define processes, and learned the value of focusing on people and culture to create successful products. I was inspired by Ed Catmull's book "Creativity inc", and committed to build inclusive, transparent, and collaborative environments that foster creativity and enable everyone to express their full potential and achieve great results.
This journey led me to work with brilliant teams on exciting projects in companies like Microsoft, Zoox, B-Reel, and Unit9. I've been invited to share my ideas and experience at conferences all around the world, and had the immense privilege to be invited by some of my favourite institutions - like CIID - to teach about interaction design to new generations of students and professionals.
2019 - Present, San Francisco
Zoox is developing the next generation of mobility - a new, fully autonomous electric vehicle, designed from the ground up to move beyond our concept of cars, and provide an unprecedented experience for passengers and our cities. A new service to help shift society away from single vehicle ownership, toward a shared, autonomous, electric transportation platform.
At Zoox, I am responsible for all the aspects of the product experience, including research, design, and prototyping. I'm growing a team of exceptional talents to help research, invent, and design solutions that address the unique challenges around autonomous mobility, and define new interaction paradigms to help advance the human experience through design.
Principal Creative Director
2013 - 2018, Seattle
At Microsoft I led teams to envision and create innovative products, including the incubation of new devices, like Microsoft HoloLens, the first untethered mixed reality headset, HoloLens 2, Surface Hub 2, Duo and Neo. And the first mixed reality applications, for both consumers and enterprise, including Remote Assist and Layout.
2009 - 2010, London
Specialmoves was an award winning digital production studio, helping companies create digital experience, including Rolex and Nokia. As Interactive Director I worked on multiple projects to define new interactions and started new R&D program to explore new interaction models across for collaboration across devices.
Tech Lead, Senior Developer
2007 - 2009, London + Stockholm
UNIT9 is an award winning global production partner focusing on VR, Digital, Gaming, Innovation and Film projects. As tech lead and senior developer I worked on creating innovative interfaces and interactive experiences, including online educational games for the Museum of Science of Chicago.
2005 - 2006, Firenze
The Media Integration and Communication Center (MICC) was established by the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research at the University of Florence in 2001 as a Center of Excellence in the area of new media. The MICC works as an interdisciplinary center for advanced research in the fields of computer vision, multimedia technologies applied to smart environments, natural interaction, Internet Based Applications and collective intelligence.
CIID - Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design
2017 - Present. Advisor and Visiting Faculty. Copenhagen, India, and Costa Rica.
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
2013 – 2017. Advisor, Digital Strategy.
Erhvervsakademi Lillebælt/Lillebaelt Academy (EAL)
2011 – 2015. Advisor on the BA E-Concept Development education Board
2012- 2013. FWA Awards Judge.
2006 – 2011. Founder and Director. Florence, Italy.