• 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.

SIMPACT Newsletter

SIMPACT - Social Innovation Economic Foundation Empowering People - is an
international project funded by the EU's 7th Framework Programme.
With its twelve partners from ten European countries is a research
collaboration that aims at understanding the economic foundation of social

DESIS Food Cluster

We are pleased to announce that the DESIS food cluster is now at the launch!



The Food Cluster is an initiative of DESIS Network that explores and promotes design knowledge for social innovation and sustainability in the food system. The cluster aims to highlight some transversal issues expressed in each project and, with this, propitiates further reflections and transversal knowledge.

DESIS Open Day @ Tongji Fablab

DESIS open day @ Tongji Fablab
Saturday, January 10th, 2015 / h.16-21
Projects Showcase + Open Discussion
(Digital) Social Innovation in China

Do you want to know more about design for social innovation?
Would like to share your projects or practices with a larger community?
Are you interested in participate to the Tongji DESIS Lab?

Call for submission - DESIS Showcase Hong Kong

Call for submission - DESIS Showcase Hong Kong

DESIS Showcase was originally an initiative 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.

DESIS Philosophy Talk: Storytelling and design for social innovation #4

The idea of time in Western culture has been developed following an idea of
linearity: a run towards the future, characterized by faith in the idea of
progress. This concept of time informed our ideas of development, success,
society, and values. Nowadays society is registering a disruption from
within, where alternative ideas of time are emerging. This also has as a
consequence the reflection on meanings and values. Storytelling can play
therein a relevant role, as it can facilitate the awareness of the disruption
taking place in society and empower this shift, envisioning a narrative of the
future which is not linear but rather inspired by different ideas of time.


The full series of open lectures are available at DESIS Public & Collaborative initiative website (http://www.desis-clusters.org). 

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