From Social Design to Design for Social Innovation

از طراحی اجتماعی تا طراحی برای نوآوری اجتماعی

The evolution of social design
Design has a long tradition with multiple connections to society. A recent report from the UK categorized social design as social entrepreneurship, socially responsible design and design activities. In the last decade, social design has become increasingly important in design research, a development that can be seen as having several different origins. Some of these roots go back decades, to the writings of Papanek in 1984, while others have a more recent origin, such as the field of service design that interacts with innovation in the public sector and is connected to the emergence of new social challenges.

Although it is impossible to state all the reasons for this phenomenon, some of them are clearly considered outside the development of this field, dependent on complex socio-economic trends.

Many countries still do not have clear and strong signs of recovery from the global economic recession that began in 2008 and caused a structural shortage of resources, especially in the public sector. Long-term economic, demographic, social and environmental challenges require deep changes and question many of the assumptions that supported the foundations of public services and create new challenges for institutions, policy makers, civil servants and communities. While austerity measures have been adopted around the world, social challenges are intensifying: youth unemployment, care for the elderly, immigration, social integration and other complex military issues confront public institutions with conflicting demands to provide new services or restructure existing ones. makes, and this requires getting more performance with fewer resources. At the same time, we are witnessing the emergence of the “social design” movement, which is described as socially oriented rather than exclusively commercial or consumerist in purpose. Indeed, there is a widespread acknowledgment of the role of design and its capacities in addressing social challenges and contributing to social innovation (SI).

In particular, there is a growing awareness of the impact of design on understanding and interpreting problems and finding solutions in collaboration with communities and influencing communities and the macro environment. According to a recent report from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, we can define social design as a design-based practice that refers to collective and social goals, rather than primarily commercial or consumerist goals, which can be found in many applied fields, including It operates in central and local government, as well as policy areas such as health and international development.

Despite the widespread acknowledgment of design as a strategic tool for the development of SI activities, especially in terms of design, and the urgency of social issues, the 26 case studies of the SIMPACT project showed that design is still neglected or not considered as a resource in SI operations. . Here we define the concept of “design culture as a specific system of knowledge, abilities and skills that operates in a specific context for the development of new products, which is an intermediary between the world of production and consumption and which includes several factors such as technology, market and society. We introduce “Coordinates”.

In this context, the introduction of a culture and design approaches in the field of social innovations does not rely only on the cooperation dimension between the end users or the adopter and the initiator of an SI. The design culture also brings with it the ability of design to optimally meet the needs of users and the ability of design to deal with the limitations associated with all the factors that affect the innovation development process (technological, organizational, infrastructural, market, etc.).

Complex collaborative design processes
In the co-design approach, many researchers have focused on examining the interoperability of end users and building prototyping in order to involve stakeholders in the exploration of potentials under the investigation of innovation. In this approach, two basic situations can be considered. The first mode is the dialogue mode, which is related to collaborative design processes and tools involving users and other finalists in collective creativity thinking and finally revising the current situation. This mode stems from practices that have their roots in a close relationship with the participatory design tradition, but also suggests studies “beyond efficiency” that deal with the design of experience and empathy. The second mode of making is prototyping, which specifically deals with the ways designers often think about and understand complex and often non-existent objects through creating shapes, drawing, illustrating, and prototyping. These two conceptual modes adapt most of the time to practical application and today converge to the foundations of those design laboratories (living laboratories, living urban laboratories, innovation ecosystems) that are blooming in a set of designs. These laboratories are similar to new research and development organizations in cities, science parks, regions and private companies. They envision innovation through building strong connections with a network of stakeholders who belong to a place; They are formed by promoting long-term partnerships with local communities that lead to the emergence of new ways of everyday life that point to new opportunities for design.

Unlike living labs that emphasize technology evaluation or adaptation, these co-creation spaces take a real, human-centered approach to developing innovation in local communities. In this context, the design uses the specific conditions and resources of the local communities in each of the pilot projects to implement related service systems that may contribute to social innovation. In this approach, zooming through this method is not done through similarities between communities, but through the strength and general qualities of service design concepts.

How social design works today: An example of a design-driven social innovation project
In the framework of the European project “My Neighborhood”, a long-term experiment in the field of social innovation design has been carried out by a team of design researchers. The Milan pilot test took place in the Quarto Ojiaro neighborhood in northwest Milan, not far from where the 2015 Expo was held. Here, the whole design process of social innovation was carried out due to a strong collaboration between the Politecnico di Milano University (with a long tradition in the field of urban design and research), the Municipality of Milan, the associations and volunteers active in the area, and the residents. This blended design team conducted all activities and engaged with local communities and stakeholders to engage them in the process of co-designing and testing social innovation. This pilot was implemented during a year and a half, the first months of which were dedicated to investigating and getting to know the neighborhood.

The design team started by understanding the physical aspects of the neighborhood, demographic characteristics, socio-economic dimensions, major factors operating in this field, the connection of the neighborhood with the rest of the city and the features of urban services available in the neighborhood.

Then, a period of intensive co-design sessions began. At this stage, the design team created four different design tables that involved designers, urban planners, people from the Municipality of Milan, representatives from local associations and people from the neighborhood. Each table began with a complex discussion of important neighborhood issues and ended with a list of key challenges:

Regeneration of disabled and abandoned public areas
Improving the social life and integration of the elderly
Preventing dropouts and creating job opportunities for young people
Investigating and testing new entrepreneurial opportunities and business models for start-up companies
Considering these challenges, the design desks presented four possible ideas as smart solutions for design process issues. Out of the four ideas, two were selected for the entire development and testing process. In the following, we will briefly introduce one of them.

Quarto food service
The Quarto Food Club addresses the needs of a relatively large community of elderly people living in the Quarto Ojiaro area.

This service combines the need to deliver food to lonely and vulnerable seniors with improving their social life. They enjoy meals prepared with care and eaten in a social setting to reduce feelings of loneliness. At the same time, the service aims to respond to another problem in the neighborhood, namely the high unemployment rate among young people, by attracting students from local hospitality schools who can receive points for practical training and the possibility to participate in a real experience in food preparation and related have with catering. Specifically, the service involves two high schools in the Quarto Ojiaro area, where students prepare part of the meals each week as part of their catering and food preparation training. According to this source, the idea of the service is to deliver these meals to a group of elderly people living in the neighborhood, and for this occasion, a kind of social atmosphere is created in the schools, where the elderly can interact with each other and with the students in be connected Students will also benefit from these interactions, as they will receive academic credits while their work will be recognized by the actual creators.

The implementation of this service required the development of a formal partnership: this was done by an agreement between professional hospitality schools (they provide food and accommodation) and some local associations (contact with the elderly and vans for transport from private places to the school and vice versa). will be.

During typical food processing activities, students prepare meals for the target group one to three days each week. An IT platform will support this meal and travel booking process, and users will be provided with an individual rechargeable lunch card to partially cover the cost of the meal and service.

Regarding the development of design and especially intellectual design as the access of suitable methods for the development of successful social innovations, the discussion here is still shallow and in accordance with serious regulations in the field of design operations and how they are used in social innovation processes. In particular, today design thinking is promoted as the most suitable method for designing social innovation solutions, but without distinguishing between the strategic level of policy and the practical level of solutions.

Although at a general level there is coherence between the idea of social innovation as a bottom-up process and the idea of design as an innovation process guided through the application of specific design skills (design-driven innovation), we also want a Highlight the deviation that is taking place in the field of social innovation: until now, design thinking has been used to analyze the social processes of innovation. In this context, we have seen a proliferation of studies that try to prove that the development of social innovation can be described by user-centered design principles, which requires the involvement of end users and stakeholders in the development process.

Despite the buzz surrounding design for social innovation, actual operations seem far from applying basic design principles. Furthermore, it is also true that design represents a high capacity for social innovation, mainly due to two main reasons: 1) social innovation is highly complex with problems arising from the high adherence to social challenges; 2) Social innovations require the involvement of different people to solve these challenges.

Regarding the first dimension, these types of problems are often encountered chronically and without resolution, even if the problems they cause are completely new. For example, advanced countries have faced migration in different historical periods, but if we think of it as how it appears in Europe these days, we can understand, for example, the new problem that arises from the inability to control the flows. . Therefore, we must use the cooperation of new and old expertise to deal with them.

Regarding the second dimension, the needs that social innovations consider, due to the large number of people in solving these challenges, declare a high complexity. This factor imposes a process of mediation that is able to regulate and create agreements between the stakeholders involved.

However, this complexity has been widely overlooked and ignored with the idea that only the involvement of users in determining ideas and understanding their needs is equivalent to introducing design and its practices in the development of social innovations.

بدون دیدگاه

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *