Designing Urban Smart Furniture for Facilitating Migrants’ Integration: The Co-design Workshop as Approach for Supporting Inclusive Design

  • Alessandra RinaldiEmail author
  • Maurizio Caon
  • Omar Abou Khaled
  • Elena Mugellini
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


European cities are changing due the immigration of people from different cultures.

There are many issues related to the integration and dialogue between cultures. Urban design plays a key role in how migrants participate in their host community and it is an important driver for the inclusion process. Facilitating the participation of residents in designing public spaces and their use helps to create a better sense of belonging. Promoting in public spaces the interaction of different cultures becomes a crucial element to facilitate social cohesion and living together.

The research project explores an innovative approach in the use of public spaces, through the design of smart urban furniture. Based on a survey of the user’s needs, and on co-design activities, the project investigates innovative solutions for facilitating migrants’ integration and the dialogue between different cultures, through the design of innovative urban furniture, with smart technologies embodied inside.

The project, based on the co-design approach of rapid prototyping, creates different kinds of new interaction among urban space and people, and between users of different social or cultural background. The results presented in this paper, were conducted by the research unit of the University of Florence, in cooperation with the Human Tech Institute and the School of Management of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland.


Human-Centred Design New technologies Public space design 



We would like to thank the following for their collaboration in research: Tiziana Chiappelli, Department of Education and Psychology, University of Florence and Associazione Progetto Arcobaleno; Paolo Costa, Department of Political and Social Science, University of Florence; Chiara Fioravanti, Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques, Italian National Research Council - ITTIG – CNR; Alberto Spadoni, Facultad de Arquitectura Diseño y Urbanismo, Universidad de Buenos Aires; Rosa Yovera, Meriem Afarfar, Associazione Progetto Arcobaleno; Hafida Bouchida and Matilde Murguenthyo, Nosotras; Francesca Biondi e Irene Genovese, Quartieri Uniti Eco-solidali Livornesi; Claudia Becchimanzi, Ester Iacono, Alessia Brischetto e Mattia Pistolesi, Lab Ergonomics and Design – LED.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.School of ManagementUniversity of Applied Sciences and Arts Western SwitzerlandLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Human Tech InstituteUniversity of Applied Sciences and Arts Western SwitzerlandLausanneSwitzerland

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