*Virginia Tassinari, LUCA School of Arts, Belgium
Clive Dilnot, The New School of Design, USA
Ezio Manzini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
* contact: email@example.com
Increasingly, designers are asked to play a role in innovation processes taking place in society, either by initiating new approaches to weave social tissue, by amplifying or scaling up existing initiatives or by creating the preconditions for these initiatives to prosper. By doing so, they touch upon new meanings and values that are about to emerge in society, often increasing their visibility and moving them towards the centre of our everyday lives. For instance, a new sense of community and citizenship emerges where designers attempt to increase citizen participation in co-designing new services for their cities. As time progresses, the meaning of notions such as politics, aesthetics and citizenship shift and designers need to adapt to these changes and help to initiate or steer the adaptation process. Thus they no longer just work to create new services: they are engaging in a cultural operation. This raises important questions such as: Are we designers always aware of the cultural implications of our work? How to take these implications into account? Are we always aware of the shift of meanings and values to which we contribute when working on social innovation? Do we deal with it critically?
Philosophy has traditionally dealt with the interpretation of meanings and values produced throughout history. As a discipline, it can help us to better frame the new meanings and values that we designers are uncovering, (re)shaping or amplifying in our societies. Which meanings and values are we talking about? Can philosophy help us to critically assess these new meanings and values, framing them culturally and increase our awareness of their implications on our culture? Can philosophy help to bring more critical awareness and continuous reflection in processes of social innovation? Which philosophical traditions are better suited to look into in this sense? How can these reflections practically help us in our design practice aimed at social innovation? This track will put into dialogue meanings and values emerging from practices of social innovation with diverse philosophical traditions.
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