DESIS in the Mirror is online
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  • 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.

DESIS China Spring Festival 2014

DESIS China is glad to announce the Spring Festival, a series of initiatives organized by Jiangnan DESIS Lab in the framework of Re-design Education Conference at Jiangnan University.

The Design Society Research Conference, DRS 2014

With the aim of fostering and supporting a shared design discourse, the Design Society Research Conference, DRS 2014 will be held in Umea, Sweden, June 16-19. The contributions and issues raised by the DESIS thematic clusters including Informal, Formal, Collaborative (IFC) and Public and Collaborative (P&C) will be the focus of one of the “conversations” of the conference, a new presentation format for dialogue and debate curated by Carl di Salvo and Jamer Hunt.

(New) Public Goods: Labs, Publics and Policies

Dear DESIS colleagues,

Designers telling stories & making meaning Politecnico di Milano, 12th May

Politecnico di Milano, Design Academy Eindhoven and MAD Faculty/LUCA are organising the next DESIS Philosophy Talk that will take place the next 12th of May in Politecnico di Milano. Starting in Dublin in November 2013, and continuing the discussion in Eindhoven in February 2014, in these past two editions of Storytelling and Design for Social Innovation we have been researching upon the idea of storytelling and what we can learn from taking a philosophical perspective. In this third session we will focus on the role of storytelling in the practice of design for social innovation as enabling the act of opening up in our contemporary society underexplored ranges of meanings.

Emerging Practices: Design Research and Education Conference 2014

In this new era, design must, and is currently being, redefined. Social and economic changes impel designers to “think bigger.” For the design discipline, the expanding roles and tools of design make it more possible than ever to connect and to integrate multi-disciplinary knowledge within the social and economic context, and to tackle real world problems. Moreover, during the course of blurring the boundaries between professions and developing new approaches, design explores the new frontier by dealing with matters that center around goodness, happiness, and wellbeing of the entire human community. Design is immersed in values that were not even recognized a couple of decades ago, and the legitimization of design will now be measured more on how it can enable us to survive on this planet. Such emerging design practices and thoughts raise the bar for design knowledge, in terms of its breadth, depth, and complexity. The areas where they start to grow, especially the intersections between design professions, approaches, and values, merit a closer examination.

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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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