DESIS in the Mirror is online
Call for participation: join the NETWORK FOR VISION -  N4V research project!

  • 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.

Design and Research Tender, Practical Tools for Social Innovation and International Development

This project, co-funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, is to develop a toolkit for development practitioners and social innovators that provides practical materials to support activity at each phase of innovation from discovery through to scaling and growth. The product will be co-branded with the Rockefeller Foundation and licensed under Creative Commons. Innovation Skills are looking for a multi-disciplinary consortium that can demonstrate deep understanding of the task at hand, and expertise and capacity to deliver across a diverse set of international development, design, research and production requirements.


DeSForM: Call for Papers and Demos

8th International Conference on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement.
Since the first DeSForM conference, the field of design has been changing a lot, but not as much as it should have, to respond to significant societal changes. One important external change is the development and widespread application of social computing. Social media fundamentally change the relationships between people and it changes their behavior. This is significant for design and at DerSForM 2013 we ask: how should design respond. Any innovative system, service, or related product is a combination of material concepts and digital concept. Material form-giving and digital form-giving. Which are the new tools that the design research community will offer to cope with this new complexity?

"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.



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

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