Hosted by Piaggio Fast Forward's Chief Visionary Officer Jeffrey Schnapp, the PFF Podcast covers a wide range of topics from robotics and tech to the design of walkable towns and cities, always with an emphasis on the human factor: how can we move about the world more enjoyably, efficiently, and sustainably? And how, in turn, can we reshape the built environment to foster a sense of community, freedom of movement, and the quality of life?
Do you like listening to the PFF Podcast? Please leave us a review on the platforms!
Ben Green is the author of The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2019). He is an Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard and a Research Fellow at the AI Now Institute at NYU. Ben studies the social and policy impacts of data science with a focus on algorithmic fairness, municipal governments, and the criminal justice system. In this episode of The PFF Podcast, Ben and Jeffrey discuss the powers and limitations of the "smart city" approach to urban design, emphasizing what Ben calls "smart enough" alternatives that leverage the power of technologies in the service of a holistic vision of social justice and inclusion.
Mitchell Weiss has a long and distinguished career in the field of robotics with special attention to the field of manufacturing systems and mobile robots and is currently the COO of Piaggio Fast Forward. He is Co-author of Industrial Robotics: Technology, Programming and Applications (1986) and Instructor of automation and robotics courses at the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University, and of engineering design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On this episode of the PFF Podcast, he provides an overview of what has changed and what hasn't over the course of three decades and calls special attention to the challenges presented by the development of robots, like PFF's own gita®, that operate in unstructured environments like towns and cities.
Kristian Kloeckl's work weaves together data science, industrial design, and architecture. On this episode of the PFF Podcast, he discusses the implications of a shift from traditional planning-centered approaches to the design of cities to ones that embrace unplanned, dynamic, and emergent phenomena.
Sara Hendren is an artist, designer, and writer who teaches design for disability at Olin College of Engineering. On this episode of the PFF Podcast, Sara discusses some of the key arguments of her forthcoming book, What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World, from the affordances of ordinary objects such as ramps to how disability opens up new perspectives on the design of cities and the built environment. Learn more about Sara’s book here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/561049/what-can-a-body-do-by-sara-hendren/.
Shane O’Mara is a noted neuroscientist and author who explores brain systems supporting learning, memory and cognition, and brain systems affected by stress and depression. On this episode of the PFF Podcast, Shane and Jeffrey delve into the cognitive, social, and cultural benefits of walking, walking's role in human evolution, and its fundamental association with mental processes from high level thinking to creativity.