It was exactly two years ago when I met Marco to discuss a new project. What follows, traces the Iperstudio genesis and its possible future development.
A radical project
Iperstudio is a radical project, and any mention isn’t merely accidental. Radical means many things, the essence of something, a math operation, the part of a word or, for those who know the Italian history since the end of the Second World War, it is about artistic and political movements which, without much ado, were able to settle reactive ideas complying to the needs of society, ideas which were able to have a positive impact on it, despite the mistrust or the lack of preparation to receive them by the most.
For Iperstudio, radical has the same meaning, “place” and practice radical ideas, which can push the present in the field we are passionate about, working with and for the web. It is no coincidence that hypertext and Iperstudio (Hyperstudio in English) share the same root. In the hypertext, documents are connected and associated through hyperlinks, in Iperstudio, those who are related are designers and technologists through their projects.
Therefore, Iperstudio started with the intent to restore forms of “professional mutualism” in a historical context in which the unappealing or the inaccessibility to formal professional associations, inevitably leads designers and technologists to the bellum omnium contra omnes. An individualist attitude can lead to the frustration of not being able to face the speed of novel technologies and the overall complexity that characterize the web design and development of the last years.
Iperstudio started with the intent to restore forms of “professional mutualism” in a historical context in which the unappealing or the inaccessibility to formal professional associations, inevitably leads designers and technologists to the bellum omnium contra omnes.
In essence, Iperstudio translates in work sharing, tools sharing, and the ability to collaborate as if we were in the same physical workplace even though we live and work from different places. Thanks to this lightweight equipment, within two years, we were able to start a fully working hyperstudio.
The role of its members
Designing a website can be as complex as designing and organizing a space, and in this sense, architecture seems to share many aspects with web design. Working with the web means working with a specific kind of space in which what is designed should be “placed”, made accessible, and correlated with the existing.
Whenever we publish a website, it is like placing a new building in a megalopolis, by taking all the responsibilities that this entails. More than just providing our clients with a place that encourages their communication and information sharing, we try to improve and preserve the state of the entire community in which it will be placed.
Whenever we publish a website, it is like to place a new building in a megalopolis, by taking all the responsibilities that this entails.
Continuing to abuse the similarities of web design/development and architecture, an architect should be aware of the fact that people can’t constantly live in a public space or that she can’t use the same materials and the same construction techniques to build a stadium, a house or a hospital.
In short, the architect, as well as an Iperstudio member, should be able to understand technologies, materials, their features, the use for which they were developed, the context in which they will be assembled and used, and the social and the environmental impact that they may have in a long term.
In these years, we have hierarchically positioned this symbolic material above all, “curating” the adoption of technologies accordingly to design goals and the environment in which they would be used. In our opinion, the value of a digital project will be less and less in its pure technological aspect, especially in a historical time in which development tools are increasingly commodified.
In our opinion the value of a digital project will be less and less in its pure technological aspect, especially in an historical time in which development tools are increasingly commodified.
A project to be consolidated
In just two years we started a studio and made projects we are proud of, at this point we just have to look ahead, consolidating what we did until now. What we expect for the next year is all about processes and workflow improvements.
In practice, our efforts will be addressed to improve our studio making it more and more a product/service, communication, and a project management tool. The to-do list is long and fairly more structured, but in essence, these are the goals we have set ourselves:
- continue to make the most of one thing, design, develop and publish websites
- facilitate and improve communication with our customers
- clarify our offer with flat and ad hoc plans
- automate publishing and monitoring processes
- enlarge our team and expand our knowledge
- contributing to the development of open-source content management and digital archiving and preservation tools
Our efforts will be addressed to improve our studio making it more and more a product/service, a communication and a project management tool.
Last but not least, we will continue to work with and for the web, because if it is true that the organization of living places, as well information organization and sharing are innate human needs, at this time, the web seems to be the only space in which it is worth investing.