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Design schools as social resources and the Open Design Program

DESIS forum @ Cumulus Paris conference, May 21th, 2011

Via the Desis newsletter.


By Ezio Manzini

To train someone to be a designer means to increase his/her skills in conceiving and developing design proposals for a better possible world. And therefore classes, workshops and seminars are organised, and proposals are conceived and developed, to make experiences on it. The majority of these proposals, being seen as didactic exercises ends-up in the teacher’s drawers and computer files. This huge amount of lost design works represents a waste of students’ and teachers’ creativity, enthusiasm and expertise. In the past, this waste was, or has been seen as, inevitable. Today, it should not be like that: design schools, with their potential in terms of students’ enthusiasm and teachers’ experience, are a social resource: a potentially powerful and useful actor in the transition towards sustainability.

To valorise these resources a large design and research program should be conceived and developed: an open design program based on a peer-to-peer approach, including design schools from all over the world.

This Open Design Program will be started in Paris, the 21st of May, at the DESIS Forum that has been organized back-to-back with the Cumulus Conference (http://www.cumulusparis2011.org). The DESIS Forum is in fact a format conceived to give design teachers and students the opportunity to showcase their projects, to present them and to exchange their experiences in the field of design for social innovation and sustainability. And therefore, hopefully, it will be the first step in the realization of the valorization program that seems to us so urgent and necessary.


Show your project. Exchange your experience with that of others.
To participate and submit your project, please download submission kit. (submission deadline: 25th April)
More information on how to participate can be found at http://www.desis-network.org

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