In 2004, a group of programmers, students and teachers at the highly regarded Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (Italy) developed the Arduino platform in order to create a small and inexpensive tool that would help students "prototype interactions." The Arduino project, which was led by Massimo Banzi, was actually based on an earlier board, called the Programma 2003 (named after the world's first desktop computer the Programma 101, designed by Piergiorgio Perotto and launched by Olivetti in 1964).
Interaction-Ivrea strongly supported the project and backed Massimo in keeping Arduino open source at the end of Interaction-Ivrea in 2005. This enabled Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi and his team to expand the initiative, grow the Arduino community internationally, and in the end allowed Intel to create the Galileo, as a fully Arduino-compatible board.
One of the people involved at Interaction-Ivrea then, Jan-Christoph Zoels (who is now my business partner), dug up a visual—designed by Giorgio Olivero—that was the very first presentation of Arduino. (Click on the image above for the full pdf). It shows the history of the project, and lists the group of people involved at Interaction-Ivrea.
Mark Vanderbeeken is a senior partner at Experientia, an international experience design consultancy, based in Turin, Italy. He is also the author of the successful experience design blog Putting People First. Mark is a specialist in visioning, identity development and strategic communications and worked in Italy, Denmark, the USA and Belgium. He was communications manager of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, European communications coordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (or WWF), marketing director of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (USA) and chief press officer of Antwerp 93, Cultural Capital of Europe (Belgium).