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IAAD – the Italian University for Design is pleased to invite you to “Utopian Hours” Festival, three days of talks, workshops, and exhibitions dedicated to “city-making” organized by the association Torino Stratosferica.

Utopian Hours is a format dedicated to city lovers and citizens who live in urban space and want to be an integral part of its development. The project aims to build the best possible vision of the city, without constraints, feasibility calculations, and preconceptions.

IAAD will be participating in this edition with two talks:



Saturday, October 19, 3:15 PM-4:00 PM

The Laneway Project, Toronto

In an increasingly dense city, a group of urban designers focus on the great potential of small streets.

Improving a neighborhood doesn’t necessarily require large spaces, and The Laneway Project teaches this through its placemaking interventions. Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, has almost doubled its population in twenty years. The need for common spaces for the community has grown proportionally. But where to find them?

This non-profit initiative created by the urban designer Michelle Senayah focuses on the laneways, typical side streets of the North American cities, usually occupied only by trash bins and emergency exits. The city has more than 2400 laneways, for a total of 250 km of unused public roads. The laneways involved in The Laneway Project are thus transformed into spaces of creativity, areas for events, gardens designed together with the community. What can you learn from this model?

Speaker: Michelle Senayah – Co-founder The Laneway Project.


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• Sunday, October 20, 12:00 PM-1:00 PM

New Ideas for Social Innovation

The Chief Executive of Nesta Italia talks about technological innovation at the service of social innovation with two special guests.

How can we use new technologies to support communities and face the challenges of our cities? Marco Zappalorto, Chief Executive of Nesta Italia, interviews two protagonists of the social innovation ecosystem involved in some of the most advanced projects on a global scale.

Francesca Bria, recently named by Forbes among the ‘Top 50 Women in Tech’, is Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer of the City of Barcelona, where she develops the ‘Barcelona Ciutat Digital’ plan, and heads the DECODE project on ‘data sovereignty’.

Jessica Bland, after having worked as Head of Futures Research for Nesta and Head of Foresight and Research for the Dubai Future Foundation, is now a researcher at the University of Berkeley, where she deals with human rights in the digital age.

Speaker: Francesca BriaChief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer of the City of Barcelona, Jessica Bland – Researcher at Berkeley University, Marco ZappalortoChief Executive of Nesta Italia.


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