Design and social innovation processes.

This post is written by Andrea Paoletti

Ida Telalbasic interviewed me some time ago and I want to share with you my thoughts.

She was conducting a series of interviews with people in the design world who understand the concepts of social innovation and social entrepreneurship.

 

1. What is the role of a designer in a society where products have turned into processes and ownership into access?

The designer is a guide that helps people listen and look at the world from a different perspective. Instead of focusing on the problems, we focus on finding solutions. Designers are becoming networkers and, even more that in the past, innovators.

2. How do design practices organise their work and secondly, how do they interact in terms of physical working space?

In my experience, the design of the working space is critical. I need to be in a complete open space to share ideas, to gather input, and to increase communication between people. Design has become a tool to encourage users to take an active role in their environment. Technology offers new opportunities to expand the capabilities of this kind of interaction. An online platform such as PBworks or Google Group is critical for sharing information, ideas, projects, and feedback.

3. What new rules could you suggest as guidelines for social entrepreneurs? 

The new rules are:

LIVE YOUR PASSION
THINK BIG
START SMALL
BE RESILIENT
SHARE YOUR IDEAS
MAKE IT SIMPLE
LOOK AT YOUR PROJECT ALWAYS FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
HAVE FUN!

4. How can design thinking be applied to social innovation?

Design thinking is an approach in which designers need to have a broad and deep understanding while also listening carefully to stakeholders. It is necessary to start from the humans, trying to understand their needs, culture, and context. Overall, we learn by doing, so we start quickly to create and encourage collaboration! Exchanging knowledge and experience!

 5. How does the economic crisis affect the way designers work in 2012?

 What is happening with the economy right now and in the near future will help designers to think out of the box to find new ways of thinking, designing, and finding solutions. We are looking for new paradigms and we are doing it with a participatory method. It is necessary to share! And, in my opinion, the economic crisis is really something necessary for our evolution to encourage innovation!

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