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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.

Design for social innovation and new economics

Workshop for Cumulus Dublin

Kakee Scott, Lara Penin, Nadia Elrokhsy of Parsons DESIS Lab



After a process done with all the members in the last months, the brand new profile of our network will be presented at Cumulus Dublin on 6th November 9.00am-1.00pm room DH1 at NCAD (see Cumulus Working Group 1- DESIS in the Cumulus Dublin in the program - LINK).
DESIS is moving to a no-profit international association with a statute that is a result of a several feedback sessions done with all of you. The result of this discussion and the decisions already taken will be presented during the meeting and, moving from here, we will discuss their implications.
Looking forward to seeing all of you!

5th China Conference on CSA and Organic Farming New Three Dimensional Rural Issues - Big Design

The Fifth National Exchange Forum on Community Supported Agriculture will focus on “Cross Discipline, Multiply and Innovation” in facing the new task of CSA and the new context of the society. Three Dimensional Rural Issues (agricultural land, farmers, agro-industry) will be explored in depth from the perspective of technology, culture, creative design, platform building, and new source of financing etc. The new ‘Three Dimensional Rural Issues” perspective coupled with Big Design is going to bring vitality to traditional agriculture. This is the thematic challenge od the conference that will be host by Tongji University from November 1st to 3rd. The conference is an important and large appointment for the Chinese communities and the pioneer in the reflection and practice of Sustanability inspired ways to agriculture, and its social implication. The conference is composed of keynote speeches, parallel forums, in-depth forums, open forum, summit forum and theme visits. This year, a particular interest is given to the multidisciplinary approach to agriculture, and within the conference there are two panels mainly design (and DESIS) oriented.

DESIS Seminar 2013 “New Challenge, New Quality, New Action”

In the framework of Tongji Design Week initiatives the College of Design&Innovation announces the 2013 edition DESIS Seminar, as specific discussion forum on the thematic cluster Rural-Urban China, and a joint event with the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Conference (link), hosted in November 2013 at Tongji University.

DESIS Symposium 2013 “The Chinese View of Sustainable Qualities”

The third DESIS Symposium in Wuxi, Jiangnan University, represents a yearly appointment for the Chinese academic and practitioners community to develop deeper insights and concrete project-based discussion on the issues of Social Innovation; in particular, we aim to take into account the specific approach and challenges that emerge from the Chinese cultural context. We positively observed a rising interest in recent years, whilst lots still need to be explored not only as a comparison and exchange at the international level, but mostly towards the definition of a local-based and cultural-based definition of Social Innovation in China.


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

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