Paola Antonelli: Massimo Banzi and Tom Igoe.
Massimo Banzi: Normally a printed circuit board is hidden in a box. Nobody sees it But once you're working on this thing which is open, how do you design for that surface?
Tom Igoe: The color of the board came about because green, which is the normal color for circuit boards, is very hard for engineers to read.
Massimo Banzi: Blue actually makes it easier … to do the visual inspection, to see if everything is correct. So we said, "Okay, let's do blue."
We didn't want to make it rectangular, so we created this shape which is not regular. It's just to give the shape of the board a distinctive look that you didn’t see in other products.
Before, engineers tended to design these kind of products as large circuits with lots of buttons and switches. So we did quite a bit of work over the years to remove any switch or other sort of customization, because if you reduce the visual complexity of the circuit, I think in the brain of the learner there is a mechanism that kicks in that says, "Okay, this thing only has 10 parts. How difficult could this be?"
Students obviously (laughs) they don't have a lot of budget. So it needed to be cheap. It was designed to cost €20, which is $24 or something like that, the cost of a pizza dinner in Italy.