Social Innovation and Design

Committed to reality (scientific, ethical and personal) society can find solutions to poverty, disease prevention and cure, and emotional instability that affect us. However the established system hates reality and fight steadily any alternative for fear of losing its hegemony. We insist on wasting our efforts demanding or begging those who do not want to change things, they do so.

Since its inception, Diseño Social EN+ wanted to recover the value of design as solution generator and put this in the service of NGOs and social movements. Our aim was empowerment in access and innovation application in the field of communication and design. However, the first big disappointment came in 2010, when we realized that we could not help anyone. We were just patching a much more serious problem. In our own way of putting solutions base of problems were found.

«It’s insane to expect different results doing the same,» said Albert Einstein. And he was quite right . We had heard that phrase many times and we always seemed ingenious . But only now understood it .

We wanted to help NGOs implementing communication, advertising and marketing solutions that we had been taught at design schools whose aim was to perpetuate precisely that economic, social and moral model we wanted to fight against .


Maria Hidalgo // Diseñadora Social

Communication based on generate consumer needs and a design based on the purely aesthetic value and prostituted from its base, by planned obsolescence. We decided to start from scratch. Create research groups and collaboration with various associations and professionals to create innovation processes and creativity applied that would help us to deliver ethical and functional solutions . Real solutions.

These research groups seek a communication that contributes to a more socially just, horizontal and participative society. We seek economic development based on paying a fair price for things and offer a fair price for them. Developed based on the hard, honest and innovative work involving social change aimed at the community. For some analysts, «Social FDesign» happens the same as the word «Peace.» When we try to find the best definition for «Peace» it usually come to mind answer: «absence of war”. But peace should be described by their own attributes. Similarly, «social design» should be a term that we build from his own reality and not as opposed to commercially oriented design.

«The design attempts that people buy things they do not need with money we do not have to impress people they do not care ,» wrote the Austrian- American designer Victor Papanek .

However, the social design is based on the creation of new platforms for communication, interaction, exchange and development , fleeing mere protest to seek solutions through design . Its interventions want to foster the social discussion, the approach to problems and in turn provide new spaces and tools. The association is compose some crazy communication and design, but also anyone who wants to work and contribute to the team. This term has different interpretations depending on the field of use. I personally find are or creative projecting responsible design from the understanding of a social group, and also to handle normal and minimum ( technical and artistic ) skills, diving into other disciplines such as cultural and social , to understand the surroundings and provide solutions or answers consistent therewith.

The unfair distribution of resources is not our biggest problem. The greatest shortage is not of resources, oil, water or food, but of leadership in social innovation and the courage to implement it. Committed to scientific reality, ethics and personally, society can find solutions to poverty, disease prevention and cure, and emotional instability that affect us. However the established system hates reality and fight relentlessly for fear of losing its hegemony. We insist on spending our efforts to demand or beg, to those who do not want to change the system, do so. The question is why do not we change it ?

We need to explore what concepts and methods we apply to specific solutions and what kind of methodology should underpin social design . No closed formulas.


We are interested in:
How and why do design / social media?
What designers are doing what?
What motivates developers to join and share? How is social change designs ?
Defining Social Design

The concept of «social design» is used interchangeably between different disciplines, some use it as the design of a better, more sustainable world, and others refer to the process based on a participatory methodology or social design.

Our work tries to follow both directions. To EN+ social design is one that is integrated as a key component solution , not as an end or a byproduct . Social design should therefore be used when your application is the key to making things happen. Social design: the design of platforms and processes that leads people to participate and contribute in creating a good solution for the group is better than the solution that had been applied to an individual interest .

After writing Edugrafología , Victor became Papenek design history . He quickly began to be revered by the followers of his theories and hated by those who saw their reflections as an attack craft designer. Reasons not lacked its critics because it was said that the design profession should disappear .


In its publication «Nomadic Furniture» (1973 ) he appealed to a roaming , nomadic and recycling world. In a world in crisis that seeks to rewrite history, the concept of social design, open and participatory rising from the ashes of a society enslaved by consumer design .

Currently , Papenek ideas are followed by many theorists highly critical submission of this discipline design market . Among them is John Thackara ( who participated in the documentary «The Lightbulb Conspiracy» ) , which considers the visionary work of Papenek . His ideas anticipated current movements like ecology design, crowdfunding , the Peer -to -peer (P2P ) , transparency of processes , the commons , or the wiki concept . But perhaps, of all , Papanek rescued this phrase :

«All men, in their day to day design. We design our agenda , our routes . We designed our food and our closet . We design social changes and political changes. We design our relationships. We design our lives and participate in the design of the lives of all those who interact with us»

Papanek The concept is based on that design is a basic attribute of human beings. For him, the formation and work of the designer must be demystified and rescued from the clutches of an elitist conception of forms and communication.


Design is, in essence , create solutions.

According to this concept , the design must revalue «vulgarizándolo» and introducing it within the company to restore its true social function. Design to create a solution to a need, not design to create a new need . Is often associated with «consumer society» to the acquisition of material goods

without significant value -conscious consumers little and irresponsible use of natural resources. Currently consume is the central focus of our social life and our cultural values.

This consumption is not always of material goods, but also intangible values that a product or service offers. It is precisely the irresponsibility of industrial production, and designers, which has degenerated into this disconnect between users and products.

It has been estimated that 80 % of the products and materials that pass through the hands of a consumer become trash at six weeks. It is disappointing but the world is not. We do it well . How about if we start to design it differently?

Sustainable design should not be understood as a method to reduce the impact of waste products. Designers of products or services, should raise sustainable design as a corporate social responsibility to not only pay attention to recycling or biodegradable products production, but should also work on the significance of the use of these products and linking people with its consumer goods.


The aim of social design is to create positive solutions for social change

Versus «sustainable design», closely related to organic products, other terms such as «social design» or «social design» have become in recent years a term to denote creative practices that affect society by creating positive solutions of social change. Unfortunately, their approach, but in essence they are not contrary, are often distanced from commercial approaches, and closely related to the marginal designs, non-profit associations or the new wave of social entrepreneurs.

The social design has been promoted by the «design activism» although its history going back to the origin of the design itself and has emerged as a response to certain situations of geopolitical change, social, economic practices and environmental challenges.

The social design is to propose a constructive idea to help us communicate and signify a project. This should be consistent with the production of objects or useful services to society and to use ethical proposals and resource materials compatible with the environment and the social context.



The time is now

It may sound utopian carry a fully sustainable project from start to finish in which so many factors involved but utopian would finish destroying the planet and then start thinking how to fix everything. It is difficult to save an endangered species, but it is impossible to try to save her once extinguished. Ya never return. What else are willing to lose?

For little to do with small purposes we will be doing more of what we did or did not do , and we will generate not only an alternative way of working, but a way of thinking, acting and living more sustainably .

Translated by Rafael Carbonell, Cybervolunteer, Sevilla, Spain

¿Qué opinas de todo esto?

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Salir /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Salir /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Salir /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: