Where Do You Give?

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MEET OUR FINALISTS: Federico Zannier

May 08, 2012 by Sasha  | 

Federico Zannier is an electronic engineer living in New York. He’s working to make giving more fun!

WDYG: What is your educational and professional background?

FZ: I am an Electronic Engineer with a background in Nanotechnology and Interaction Design, currently pursuing a Master at New York University in Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).  Previously I was based in Saudi Arabia for Accenture setting up IT infrastructure and doing technical project management for two of the major Saudi banks. Before this I was working for a design studio in San Francisco on a series of touch screen and gesture recognition technologies. In paralel I have been working for the last 4 years in developing consumer web applications and systems for embedded devices.

WDYG: What inspired you to enter our contest?

FZ: I have been taking a class on interactive telephony at the graduate program I am currently enrolled in. We were working with some technology to connect regular phone calls to a browser window and I realized that there was so much more that could be done by making charitable donations via mobile phone a more fun and playful experience. I wanted to give the donor a chance to be rewarded instantly through the act of giving. After presenting a prototype to the class, I happened to see details about the competition which was so relevant to what I had built.

WDYG: Tell us a little bit about the message you hope to get across through your design.

FZ: I want to make giving via mobile phone a fun and playful experience. The message of Pixels4Poverty is to forge a positive connection between the giver and the organization receiving the money.

WDYG: How do you think art can shape or change the way we think and talk about giving?

FZ: User experience is all about the way a person feels when using a product or service. The way that a donation system is designed and the feedback that is offered through the system can radically change the way a donor feels during and after the act of giving. This in turn can have a dramatic effect on the way that giving is perceived more globally. Pixels4Poverty is an attempt to make the act of giving more more playful and efficient process. I believe that Pixels4Poverty will empower donors to become like artists through the act of giving.

WDYG: Who is your favorite artist/designer?

FZ: It depends on the day and the medium. In this context I would say Gianni Colombo. He tried to transform galleries and museum in interactive performances. His main goal was to disturb the spectators’ apathy.


Sasha Feldstein is a program associate in the education and community engagement department at AJWS, where she manages WhereDoYouGive.org. Aside from wanting to be and play outside all of the time, she is interested in radical reconceptualizations of ancient traditions and in deeply exploring why we give, where we give, how we give and what it means to define giving tzedakah as pursuing justice. Sasha can be reached at sfeldstein@ajws.org.

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