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  • by Ezio Manzini
    The on-going transition asks for diffuse design capabilities. And therefore for an original knowledge: design knowledge capable to feed the broad co-design processes that will have to drive the needed socio-technical changes. Where and how is this design knowledge produced? Where and how will it be produced in future, given that the demand for it will inevitably grow in the transition towards sustainability? The traditional answer falls on the existence of (and need to develop) public and private research centers. However, in my view, this answer is incomplete, and more importantly it leads us to think that the design research we are talking about can be limited to a few research professionals. In a connected world this is no longer so. In a connected world designing networks also tend to become design research networks: research networks that produce “constructive enquiry” at their nodes.

  • by Anna Meroni, International Coordinator
    Dear DESISers, it seems that the (im)possible mission of turning DESIS into an Association is almost accomplished: the “constitution paper” with the new statute of DESIS signed by the initial founding members is about to be back at home in Politecnico for the formal establishment of the association. This means that soon we can start with the formal applications by the existing Labs and with the requests for application of the new labs that are in the pipeline. But, we do not want to make it just a formal act. We aim to make it an opportunity to update the network about what’s going on in the different labs and to open up new challenges.

DESIS Public & Collaborative days

by Virginia Tassinari

On October 26th and 27th, the International Design Biennale of Liège (Belgium) - entitled "Reciprocity" - hosted the first DESIS Public & Collaborative days. This has been a unique opportunity to reflect upon the past year’s Public & Collaborative cluster project. Within the exciting framework of Reciprocity, for two full days we have discussed how in our projects the "co-produced", "people-powered services" have represented shown their potential for societal innovation, the role therein of policymakers, civil servants and exchanged lessons learnt for the developing of future projects.

Jiangnan University and Jiang Foundation International Workshop: Service Design and Social Innovation, November 2-5, Wuxi, Shanghai, China

In recent years the interest towards Service Design discipline and Social Innovation
issues is gradually spreading in China. However, the exploration of the field is still at this beginning and there is continuous need to exchange and cooperation within national and international networks.
For this reason, this 2012 edition of DESIS Symposium has been organized, to

INDISCRETO - Pamplona COLOMBIA, Oct. 29 - Nov. 2

In the framework of the INDISCRETO academic conference, organized by University of Pamplona, Colombia, and its faculty of Industrial Design, the first meeting to consolidate a common DESIS project will take place. The event, INDISCRETO (Innovation, Design, Creativity) aims at bringing the students closer to the on-going changes of the conception of design and its merging with other branches of knowledge on a multidisciplinary basis.

6th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education: Let's build transformative knowledge to drive social change

The 6th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education and the 5th GUNi Report are focused on Knowledge, Engagement & Higher Education. They will analyze how to build transformative knowledge to drive social change. In exploring this contemporary issue, the Report and the Conference will attempt to describe how it is evolving nowadays, and will propose to go beyond the narrow and compartmentalized approach to engagements of higher education by offering new visions and ways for the future.

In the Conference, GUNi aims to approach the challenge of engagements by higher education institutions in the larger society in an integrated manner: it will explore ways in which engagement enhances teaching, learning and research; it will approach engagement in ways that accept the multiple sites and epistemologies of knowledge, as well as the reciprocity and mutuality in learning and education through engagement.

Public & Collaborative days - Seminar & DESIS Philosophy Talk

On the 26th and 27th October 2012, DESIS organizes Public & Collaborative Days. These two P&C days will be dedicated to the discussion of the specific theme of Design for Public Innovation and take the opportunity to formulate some critical reflections starting from DESIS Network P&C projects.
During the P&C Seminar, the P&C project outcomes are presented and discussed among the project participants and with relevant stakeholders. To provide a framework to the discussion, the seminar is articulated in two main sections, corresponding to its two main initial questions.


The full series of open lectures are available at DESIS Public & Collaborative initiative website ( 

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