DESIS in the Mirror is online
Call for participation: join the NETWORK FOR VISION -  N4V research project!

  • 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.

COLTIVANDO - Community garden at Politecnico di Milano, Italy

“COLTIVANDO –community garden at Politecnico di Milano” is a project coming from the successful experience of “C’è spazio per tutti/There’s room for one more”, an event that took place in November 2011 at the Milano Bovisa Durando campus of Politecnico di Milano, Italy, with the purpose of opening to the inhabitants of that area the public spaces of the university with a series of “toolkit”, aiming at understanding, observing and enjoying a public space, with the help of “esterni” and of the European research program “Human Cities”.

DESIS UK Network

by Adam Thorpe (Principle Investigator, UK DESIS Network at University of the Arts London)

DESIS Lab partners in the UK, including the 6 colleges of the University of the Arts London, the Royal College of Art, Lancaster University, Northumbria University, Lincoln University and Kingston University, have been successful in gaining funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to deliver a series of DESIS workshops across the UK during the period October 2012 - October 2013.


TIME BANK - News from the documenta in Kassel, Germany

This year, in the framework of the documenta(13), one of the greatest exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in Europe a Time Bank was found. Is a small wooden hut (as most of the artworks shown this year in the d13 Kassel park area), a rather colorful exhibition named Time/Bank (by e-flux: Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle) takes place. Inside the little hut (like those little houses upon which brothers Grimm used to write), a series of exchanges can be read/experienced/seen.

Helsinki Showcase, and a growing Network

by Andrea Mendoza

The trees of Finnland embraced those who attended the past DESIS Forum and social innovation meetings in Helsinki. This, thanks to the CUMULUS - DESIS partnership, within the space of the Northern Mandate Conference 2012.

SIX Global Dialogue: If design for social innovation was a method, what would it look like?

Six Global Dialogue

by Kine Nordstokka (SIX Project developer)

If Design for Social Innovation was a method, what would it look like?
This is the title of the SIX Global Conversation which will (via TelePresence technology) bring together participants from London, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Glasgow, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Lisbon, Nairobi, Adelaide, Sydney and Seoul.



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

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