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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.

Secret Garden Party, on Power and Love - by John Thackara

In his new book Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change Adam Kahane explores why it is that some groups of people manage to solve such complex problems - while others stumble, or fall. 'To co-create new social realities, we have to work with two distinct fundamental forces that are in tension: power and love’ Kahane writes; “Power in this sense is the drive to achieve one’s purpose, to get one’s job done, to grow. Love is the drive towards the unity of the separated... the drive to reconnect and make whole that which has become or appears fragmented”.

DESIS Japan_ Preliminary Steps at the Destination 2022 Design for Sustainability Conference in Japan

The 5th International Conference of Design for Sustainability, also known as Destination 2010-2022, will be held on February 26 and 27, 2011 in Yamagata city, northern part of Japan.


DESIS Cases New Wuxi and New Life (NeWu)

NeWu is an ongoing explorative framework project promoted by School of Design, Jiangnan University (JU) and other partners, stakeholders. It aims to promote new sustainable lifestyles with radical change towards sustainability by identifying, intervening and generating sustainable initials, proposals, projects for harmonious society in the area of Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. The project strategy is to define and network the diffused positive initials as the basic resource on one hand, and to generate and synergy the adapted new proposals towards the local problems on another. There are three basic elements in the framework project. They are “Urban everyday life”, “Rural-Urban relationship” and “Ubiquitous networking”. The first two are the approaches to reach the goal of project, the last one is the enabling technologies to do so.

Desis Newsletter 3 : News from our partners

The emergent DESIS Australia has started its engines with a series of discussions and events with which they aim at consolidating a big dot on the network.  As they describe themselves:??

DESIS India Forum and Kick-off Meeting

The first meeting organized under DESIS-India network, a round table discussion, held at Bangalore on 29th September 2010, was well attended with over 60 participants from diverse disciplines, professons and places. The meeting was well appreciated and it served its objective, as the first meeting, to exchange and share our views and experiences and importantly, develop the action plan for the next one year.


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

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