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.
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.
This Fall's Stephan Weiss Lecture considers the import of design practices concerned with the production and distribution of public goods, including public services and utilities, public policy, government institutions, and other organizations working within the public realm or subjected to broad public scrutiny. Increasingly, the focus of design is shifting from questions of form to questions of transformation. The Weiss Lecture will explore the challenges these design practices pose to the relationship between institutional infrastructure and regulative norms, as well as to emerging forms of commons and community. Configured as a Design Strategies Dialogue, this event brings together five leading figures from the world of design and the social sciences, alongside discussants Clive Dilnot, Victoria Hattam and Jamer Hunt:
Desis Showcase is a project of Desis Network in collaboration with Cumulus Association in order to provide an overview of what is happening in the global design education in the field of social innovation and sustainability.
Cases of social innovation nowadays are showing the necessity to talk about the value of representation in order to communicate and promote social innovation. The next Cumulus conference More for less - Design in an age of austerity, held in Dublin the 7-9 November 2013 Dublin and organised by the National College of Art and Design, will guest a DESIS Showcase of cases of social innovation coming from the network of Cumulus.