Zoe Romano is a craftivist, digital strategist e lecturer focused on social innovation, women in tech, digital fabrication, open design. She graduated in Philosophy at the University of Milan, worked for several years in digital communication and tech, developed her social skills as media hacktivist on precarity, material and immaterial labor in the creative industries. She worked for Arduino as digital strategist from 2013 to 2017 and then co-founded WeMake Makerspace in 2014 where she now works full-time on R&D, training and digital social innovation projects. She also teaches in courses around e-textiles and digital fabrication in different contexts.
I live in Milano, where i got my degree in Philosophy at Università Statale and enjoyed my passion for digital culture at the Master in Media Science and Technology at University of Pavia. In the ’00 I’ve been into media activism and political visual art for 10 years, working on precarity, social production, material and immaterial labor in creative and service industries.
I co-developed several projects in the context of the Italian and European post-1999 movement, such as Chainworkers.org, EuroMayDay.org, and the icon of Italian precarious laborers and their struggles, San Precario. In 2005, I was part of the initiators of Serpica Naro media hoax, the fictive fashion designer accepted to the official calendar of Milano Fashion Week. Since then, I’ve been developing the Serpica Naro Collective brand and its non-profit association with several events and initiatives. I’ve been earning my bread working for advertising agencies as copywriter, content manager and social media strategist.
Read more about Serpica Naro:
- On the Life and Deeds of San Precario – by Ilaria Vanni and Marcello Tarì 2005
- Serpica Naro and the Others. The Media Sociali Experience in Italian Struggles Against Precarity – by Alice Mattoni 2008
- From open source branding to collaborative clothing – by Zoe Romano
- Staging precariousness: The Serpica Naro catwalk during the Milan Fashion Week (PDF) – by Silvia Gherardi and Annalisa Murgia 2013
- “Why Save The World When You Can Design It?” Precarity and Fashion in Milan – by Ilara Vanni 2015
From February 2013 to 2017 I joined Arduino team to give my contribution on digital strategy and special projects on wearable technology.
NOW I’M BUSY ON
In the past years I started getting interested in digital manufacturing especially regarding the way it could accelerate the process of spreading open-fashion, micro-social-enterprises and p2p economies. I’ve been exploring these topics co-founding two projects: Openwear (2009/2012) and Wefab.it (2010-2012).
I’ve finally co-founded (together with Costantino Bongiorno) a collaborative lab in Milan in 2014 focused on digital fabrication and digital social innovation: WeMake Makerspace and Fablab. Take a look at some cool pics from the lab.
WHAT IS WEMAKE
WeMake is an innovative enterprise based in Milan providing a series of services and training to the creative community in the field of digital and traditional manufacturing and access to a fully equipped Fab Lab focused on design and fashion. With its 250sq/mt urban multifunctional factory providing open and membership based access to digital fabrication tools WeMake is clearing the difference between prototype and finished object, fostering the development of a new model of designer-producer (maker) and agile company by facilitating the prototyping phase, the rapid iteration of design solutions, the on-demand production of physical/digital artefacts.
WeMake is a member of the International Fablab Network affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
WeMake has been developing and designing courses, workshops, initiatives and co-design sessions, which boost knowledge exchange and explore new fields of innovation involving the local and global community on different skills and learning processes. We bring together the best practices of informal groups/companies and the most unique techniques in an environment of open exchange by excellent professionals and researchers in diverse fields.
I WROTE ARTICLES FOR
Digicult – Enjoy digital culture
Doppiozero – Rivista culturale
CheFuturo – Lunario dell’innovazione (closed in 2015)
I DESIGN TRAINING MODULES ON
- Agile Fashion & new business modules
- Digital fabrication for fashion applications
Interested in hosting a module? Drop me an email: Zoe Romano – contact (at) zoeromano.eu
- AA.VV – La Cura che cambia – Pratiche e culture di salute collaborativa in Italia – October 2018
- Zoe Romano – “Fablab e Makerspace: co-costruire l’innovazione fuori dall’accademia” – for Scienziati in Affanno, CNR – May 2018
- Serena Cangiano, Zoe Romano, Matteo Loglio – “The growth of Digital Social Innovation: an open source approach to support the innovation for the societal good” for EAD conference Design for Next’, Rome – April 2017
- Zoe Romano, Serena Cangiano – Chapter: “Open Sourcing Wearables: the Impact of Open Technologies and User Engagement in the Design of Body-Borne Interactive Products” in Empowering Users through Design – Interdisciplinary Studies and Combined Approaches for Technological Products and Services – Bihanic, David – Springler 2015
- Serena Cangiano, Zoe Romano, Massimo Banzi – “From wearable computing to the design of interactive open wearables”. 10th European Academy of Design Conference – Crafting the Future
- Adam Arvidsson , Giannino Malossi & Serpica Naro – “Passionate Work? Labour Conditions in the Milan Fashion Industry“ – T&F 2010 – More info
- Remodel expert panel for Danish Design Center
- Scientific Committee of REIsearch’s Citizen Engagement and Media Campaign on the Next Generation Internet
- Advisory Board of Digital Social Innovation for Europe
– MakerFaire Vilnius – Empowering diversity with soft electronics and open source design – Vilnius 2019
– Out of Fashion / Agile Fashion towards Manufacturing 4.0 module at Polimoda – Firenze 2019
– Europadigitale: Inclusione Innovazione / Spazi innovativi di interazione at Meetcenter – Milano 2019
– Focus Olivetti – Panel on social innovators in urban landscape – Torino 2018
– MakerFaire Barcelona – Panel on Embedding Digital and Bio Technologies in Fashion – Barcelona 2017
– What next for digital social innovation conference at Nesta UK – Chaired a panel on Sustainability and Business models on DSI projects – London 2017
– Seoungsu Social Fashion Show – Seoul (South Korea) 2016
– Innovation & Ready Made – Manufacturing technologies, new production models and product life cycles – Mons 2015
– Wearable Futures – Exploring the future of wearables – Ravensbourne – London 2013
– Alternative Fashion Systems – Lecture at Parsons New School of design – New York 2012
– ACRE – Framing a competitive future – The creative and knowledge economy in European cities – Barcelona 2010
– CREAM, International Festival for Arts and Media – Yokohama 2009
– WinterCamp – Institute of Network Cultures – Amsterdam 2009
– Migrant / Media / Metropolis New Labour Struggle in the global city – Amsterdam 2008 -Migration and media-activists gather with theorists and labour organizers to discuss and share best practices in the fight against precarity and insecure labour conditions.
– Schiller Festival – “Utopia Reversed – An Assault on Neurospace” – Weimar 2005 – A two-day meeting about new forms of art and activism hitting the global mind
– Hoax is More – Furtive (re)production et Xavier Society for the Blind – Paris 2005
Do u want to get in touch? Drop me an email: Zoe Romano – contact (at) zoeromano.eu