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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 Showcase @ Santiago

by Virginia Tassinari

The Cumulus conference “Projecting Design” organized by DuocUC,hosted and organized together with DESIS and Cumulus, a DESIS Showcase collecting cases of design for social innovation from schools of the Cumulus network as well as from local design initiatives. The DESIS Showcase has been a useful instrument in showing the relevance of the engagement of the Latin American community in the area of social innovation.


CoDesign for Health: Exploring the creative emergence of collaborative imagination

by Francesca Valsecchi

The 2012 edition of DESIS workshop has been organized from november 30th to December 3rd by DESIS Lab School of Design Jiangnan University in partnership with UK School of Arts at University of Glasgow. As in the tradition of DESIS workshops at Jiangnan University, the main focus is on service design discipline, and this year topic focussed on health and public services. The workshop topic aim to explore how policy makers, local health-care personnel (doctors, nurses etc), designers and the public audience can be involved in more sustainable health services, and how design can contribute to this scenario.

Social Design Methods Menu

by Lucy Kimbell

This PDF is a resource for social innovators and entrepreneurs who want to use approaches based in design and ethnography at the early stage of creating new services, projects and ventures. It contains 11 methods including adaptable templates which use a combination of approaches from design, management and the social sciences, along with an overview of how and when to use them.

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


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

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