DESIS in the Mirror is online


  • by Anna Meroni
    Dear all, it’s a great pleasure to announce that DESIS has now become a cultural association, within the meaning of Art. 36 Italian Civil Code. The Art.1 of our new Statute affirms that our purpose “is to promote design for social innovation in higher education institutions with design discipline so as to generate useful design knowledge and to create meaningful social changes in collaboration with other stakeholders. The Association pursues its purpose by supporting the scientific research in the field of the design fostering and maintaining the exchange of scientific information and views among the members and with other institutions, exchange of scientists, promotion of young scientists (doctoral students) and use of existing research infrastructures.

  • by Ezio Manzini
    The notion of design for social innovation is frequently considered similar, if not coincident, with the one of social design. In my view, to do that is an error: the two expressions refer to different activities and have very different implications. The problem begins with the double meaning commonly attributed to the adjective “social”. One of them, that is also the one used in the expression design for social innovation, indicates that we refer to something concerning social forms. That is, concerning the way in which a society is built. The other one, instead, indicates the existence of particularly problematic situations (such as extreme poverty, illness or exclusion, and circumstances after catastrophic events) to which both the market and the state fail in finding solutions. In other words, when used in this way, “social” becomes a synonym for “very problematic condition”, which poses (or should pose) the need for urgent intervention, outside normal market or public service modalities. It is with this meaning that this adjective made its entrance into the design debate several decades ago, generating the expression: social design.

Unmaking Waste: Transforming Production and Consumption in Time and Place

Waste is created when we no longer value something we create, possess or use. Barriers to prematurely discarding goods and resources have steadily fallen in recent years. Easy credit, low prices, instant online access, and a 24 hour promotional media all reinforce an expanding consumerism.

While much effort has gone into researching and implementing successful technical strategies for reducing waste and emissions, accelerating rates of consumption are undermining these efforts. It is clear that we need new systems-based approaches to reduce this excess consumption, including the excesses of our ‘waste-making’, to generate a more sustainable circular economy.

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Four Weekends – Four Locations –Four Networking Events Parallel Crossings, Film festival for Social Innovations and Sustainability in Berlin From the 5th until the 28th of September

From the 5th until the 28th of September Parallel Crossings a unique Film Festival on Social Innovation and Sustainability is taking place in Berlin screening film productions which move around issues like gentrification, media activism, food, shifting cities and more.

DESIS has endorsed the initiative and will participate by screening short films produced at the interior of the DESIS Lab in Parsons NY and Pasadena, DesignMatters in California. The project developed by the IMAGIS group at Milan Polytechnic:
DESIS IN THE MIRROR will also be presented.

Call for paper: CUMULUS Milan 2015 Conference. The Virtuous Circle. June 3-7, 2015

Dear DESIS community,

we are pleased to announce that the call for paper of the conference ‘CUMULUS Milan 2015 - The Virtuous Circle. Design Culture and Experimentation’, is now open. We are planning several parallel initiatives for DESIS and therefore we warmly recommend a massive participation

Philosophy Talk: Cultures of Resilience: 18th September 2014, Cape Town

Resilience (i.e. system’s capacity to cope with stress and failures without collapsing and learning from the experience) is today a widely used and discussed term. Until now, this has been done considering mainly its technical, economic, functional dimensions. This kind of discussions is important, but is not enough. If resilience must be a characterizing feature of every potential future society, its cultural dimension must be considered too: which cultures are coherent with a resilient society? And, in turn, which cultures can promote a resilient and sustainable society? In particular: how do the meanings of time and future change? And what about the one of development?

DESIS Association general assembly

The next CUMULUS Conference in Johannesburg, on September 22-24 (http://www.cumulusjohannesburg.co.za), will be a very good opportunity to share and align our initiatives.

It will be also the opportunity for the first DESIS general Assembly on September 22 in the afternoon and for the first extensive debate around the on-going projects of the network, described using the new template which aim is to facilitate the emerge of transversal knowledge about what design can do for social innovation.

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The full series of open lectures are available at DESIS Public & Collaborative initiative website (http://www.desis-clusters.org). 

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