Astino like Copenhagen, social innovation finds a home

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Today the future can also pass through those ancestral mountain paths that lead to a centuries-old monastery. We are in Astino, two thousand souls in the heart of the green province of Bergamo, immersed in a valley of biodiversity.

It is here that around the year 1070 that little jewel was born, built by the Vallombrosan monks and nestled between the Allegrezza forest and the Benaglia hill. And it is here that a thousand years later, thanks to a social and environmental regeneration project by the Mia Foundation, these places connect with the whole world, hosting the Italian headquarters of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

«Here we will have a two thousand square meter space dedicated to training, collaborations with businesses and startup incubation. The beating heart will be the laboratories with tools for digital manufacturing, biodiversity and prototyping with immersive technologies. We start from artificial intelligence and virtual reality, but what will take shape is a permanent laboratory of digital artisans.”

So says Simona Maschi, founder of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. This Italian talent has taught since 2002 in that innovation school created in Ivrea by Olivetti and Telecom Italia. A place where people from all over the world studied to design products, services and digital environments. Then in 2005 he landed in Denmark and created the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID). It is a school that helps companies to rethink products and services, created together with the various UN agencies and today included among the twenty best design institutes in the world.

An intuition that has become a melting pot of cultures and solutions over time. Here, projects created for Enel, Google, Philips, Roche, Toyota, Volvo, Lego and Mozilla have found space. The school has developed training courses in more than 20 countries and in 2020 the new headquarters arrived in Costa Rica.

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