Call for participation: join the NETWORK FOR VISION -  N4V research project!
Distributed & Open Production - Call for Case

  • 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.

Disruptive qualities: "Emerging ideas of times, places, work and relationship. A design challenge.". 5 - 8 June, Cumulus conference, Kalmar, Sweden

A two days session where we will be discussing the “qualities” of the physical and social environments present in projects of social innovation that one can experience as radically different from those spread by mainstream models over the course of the last the century. The two days session on Disruptive qualities aims to define these qualities and to fuel a broader discussion about them as they occur in contemporary society by moving from empirical observations of promising initiatives in the field of social innovation, in order to improve their characterization/definition. By means of a DESIS Philosophy talk and a hands-on workshop, we will be researching on concrete cases of social innovation with the lenses of the disruptive qualities, experimenting how the philosophical reflection can inspire and reinforce the practice of design for social innovation.


NESTA_Call for proposals

In partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University and the TEPSIE project, with support from the Social Innovation Exchange, The Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Oxford, NESTA are looking for research that will push knowledge and practice of social innovation, and set a collective research agenda for the next ten years. This is an open call for proposals that aim to challenge conventional wisdom and identify and address knowledge gaps to deepen our knowledge of social innovation.

Crime and Design Conference Report, Sydney, December 2012

Over 100 delegates - designers, architects, planners, crime prevention professionals, policymakers and others engaging with public space management joined a broad cohort of academics in Sydney NSW in December 12-13 2012 to explore new ways of preventing crime, increasing community safety and making public space work better, as a convivial and collaborative public realm.
This was the first conference we have ever attended where design led approaches and the partners involved in delivering them, truly dominated the account of crime prevention. Given we have been part of the first Design Against Crime Research Centre since it emerged at Central Saint Martins in 1999 and participated in many events on this theme, this fact was very significant, and no accident. The Attorney General of NSW funded the Design Out Crime Research Centre in partnership of the University of Technology, Sydney, to emulate UK design-led crime prevention activities.

Call for paper: Equality, growth & innovation - in theory and practice

The conference discusses the relation between equality, growth and innovation based on experiences from theory and practice. It aims to 1) Systematize exchange of knowledge and experience from completed research studies, policy programs and R & D projects on socially sustainable innovation and growth between actors from different sectors (academic, private, public, nonprofit), and 2) Increase participants' ability and willingness to use knowledge and experience from completed research studies, policy programs and R & D projects to further develop research and policy field of social innovation and sustainable growth.
You are warmly welcome to contribute with an abstract on any of these themes:

Could Design Leadership Be Personal? Forecasting New Forms of ‘‘Indie Capitalism’’

The democratization of design technologies, the increasing personalization of production, and the spread of new distribution models are interconnected phenomena that have produced a new era of rapid change in the creation, materialization, and accessibility of many goods and services. One observes the following features in the production systems of the main advanced economies.


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

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