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The social workplaces, collaborative milieus for design. Origins, discontinuities and perspectives for participatory design

The concern of the design culture has shifted its focus over the past twenty years from economic growth to sustainable development, requiring user-centred approaches within open processes and collaborative work environments.

Today creative thinking is applied to strategies and artefacts that address complex social and technical issues. This results in methodological criticalities in the adoption of experimental approaches to solutions involving the community.

The experiences of participatory design from the 70s set the groundwork for the use of design in developing sustainable strategies to support grassroots innovation, transforming the operational milieus for innovation, which still remain largely unexplored.

The article highlights the stages of this process, taking the Helsinki Design Lab as a theoretical reference. From this perspective the historical analysis of participatory design is critical to re-interpreting the role of designers in the collaborative practices of design for social innovation.


The full version of this article is available only in Italian.

Questo articolo è stato pubblicato in AIS/Design Storia e Ricerche, numero 7 maggio 2016

Antonio Iadarola

Antonio Iadarola is an industrial and service designer. He holds an MA in Narrative Environments from Central Saint Martins in London and is a Phd candidate at the Second University of Naples as well as a visiting scholar at the Parsons DESIS Lab in New York. He is interested in processes of collaborative design and in strategies for the design of co-working environments. He specialized in design for social innovation with a research study that analysed emerging practices in the design of co-working spaces. He recently held the position of researcher for the Harlem Collaboration Project where he contributed to facilitate co-design sessions for a workshop supporting youth development. He also coordinated workshops in Italy and abroad on issues related to co-working. He is active in the design for innovation community as a tutor, coordinating educational programmes for private and public organizations.

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