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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.

"The UK prime minister has announced a multi-million pound prize fund designed to solve some of the world's most pressing problems"

"The UK prime minister has announced a multi-million pound prize fund designed to solve some of the world's most pressing problems" - but will this be a search for 'magic bullets' or an opportunity to pilot more systemic human centred approaches?


Piloting digital storytelling and action research as an approach to stimulate pro-environmental advocacy and behaviour change

Piloting digital storytelling and action research as an approach to stimulate pro-environmental advocacy and behaviour change,
Report authored by Margaret Gearty and Michelle Williams

A report has been released today detailing a research project commissioned by DEFRA and conducted by the University of Bath that explored the effectiveness of digital storytelling, conveyed through the use of short video clips, as a means to stimulate pro-environmental advocacy amongst the 50 plus age group.

Taksim Solidarity - public protests in Istanbul

In response to the public protests in the past days spanning to many cities in Turkey which started with the government action on the 27th of May 2013 to demolish a valuable and much needed green area at the centre of Istanbul, Taksim-Gezi Park, to re-build a replica of an old military barracks building to serve as a shopping mall, DESIS, the International network of schools of design would like to express their solidarity with the actions of the civil initiative Taksim Dayanışması (Solidarity) following this matter from the start.


DESIS @ Kalmar, 6 - 8 June, 2013

Day 1. June 6, 19.00-21.00 Kalmar Theatre, Larmtorget 1

DESIS Meeting (for DESIS members and friends)
1. Activities
- What has been done in the 2012-2013 and next steps
- Thematic Clusters: on-going and future initiatives
- Philosophy Talks and Showcases: on-going and future initiatives
- other possible initiaitves: toolkits, video, other?

2. Organization
- DESIS Labs: new entries
- DESIS Network governance: the state of the debate

NB. at the end of the meeting Thematic Clusters promoters and interested other colleagues will have the possibility to continue the discussion in separate gorups.

Ageing & Ingenuity (A&I) - Call for Design Stories

At NORDES 2013 Design Research Conference, one of the new DESIS Clusters, Ageing & Ingenuity (A&I) will conduct a workshop on the 11th June 2013. This collective design workshop aims to provoke and test new design approaches towards ageing.
We are looking for design stories that show how can design thinking and collaborative working enable the world to respond differently to the challenges of ageing. We propose a full day workshop. Morning session is devoted to an introduction to the workshop and design stories from participants. Each participants need to prepare a story of an ingenious older people from their project. All these real-world life stories of creative people will be formed into personas in first part of the afternoon. The result of the workshop is expected to form a collective design manual for the future ageing innovation.


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

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