Matrix system

Matrix System is a research, design, and development tool created by the Center for Generative Communication (CfGC) at the University of Florence. This tool, in the form of a web application, aims to develop ​​automation ideas while placing the objectives to be pursued and the values ​​that inspire them–particularly ethical and moral ones–at the center of project activities and identifying the knowledge and devices necessary to achieve them as the project moves forward

A system that focuses on the Human Touch

The added value of Matrix System is its ability to operate in two different dimensions which, however, are closely linked to one another: the first concerns the method of data selection and acquisition; the second constantly develops and redefines the architecture of the project based on gathered and elaborated information.

The objective of this tool is to give value to individual subjects and to put them at the center of planning of new social models. Considerations include individuals’ needs, their knowledge, their real needs, their community, and their changing identities in such a way as to promote a paradigm that professes and practices ​​active involvement of all identified subjects. This process starts not from a simple transmission of contents, but from the relationships between the various stakeholders in order to highlight potentials–which frequently have not been perceived–of the subjects themselves who generate them.

A system based on the relationship between Projects-Sources-Sheet of analysis

Matrix System is based on the inseparable Project-Sources-Analysis forms trinomial which firmly outlines the generative logic and approach, making the connection between the experimental activity (i.e. the planned field research from the project) and basic research (based on the identification of sources and the development of specific analysis forms).  The element that links and connects these three entities is the research question, the critical filter that every scholar must use to identify and read the different resources necessary for the development of the project. Its importance in the relationship between the elements of the trinomial lies, above all, in the fact that it motivates the scholar to question the chosen source through their own perspective, thus creating a sort of catalog that responds to a specific knowledge requirement. The researcher, in this way, assumes the responsibility of a choice that allows them to circumscribe the (potentially infinite) field of study and to orientate their own actions to achieve a defined objective (i.e. the project). There is, therefore, no project to be implemented, source to be chosen or catalog to be written that is not linked to the research question.  Sources can function for one or more projects: for this reason, Matrix System allows querying and, therefore, cataloging the same sources in light of multiple research questions related to various active projects. Thus, a source will have more than one catalog based on the different questions it responds to.

An unprecedented relationship between experimentation and design

The reality we practice, for example our most everyday actions, are only apparently insignificant. Since they are organized and managed by very powerful automation systems that are invisible to us, they seem to have very limited consequences when taken individually, but at system level they have cascading cumulative effects that may be positive or negative in the short, very short, or very long term.

Man has never had so much unconscious strength and been so at risk of losing control, or at best being controlled by narrow and poorly visible power groups that have not been democratically legitimized. History is full of miscalculations, but today, in the context of a planetary society and the so-called Anthropocene era, an improper calculation can have irreversible, non-modifiable effects; complexity theory has explained this very well. This risk applies to society as a whole as it does to a single company or any type of organization which, today more than ever, should be analyzed and interpreted as living beings. Not to mention, with regard to the cultural dimension of our lives.

However, the complexity that governs our lives must not be a limit or put a brake on action and innovation. On the contrary, it is necessary to understand the complexity in order to identify the immense patrimony of resources–waiting to be discovered and utilized–within it and within the web of relationships among the elements of the system. This is why the fulcrum of all projects conducted on the basis of generative communication is a Communication Matrix Object. This modest object, in the economy of the entire system, conveys innovative grammars capable of activating innovation processes.