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September 2020
Dear DESIS community,

Designing for Reimagined Communities: this is the title of the call for papers for a special issue of CoDesign. It would be nice and useful if many members of the DESIS network participated.

To this invitation that I make to you,  I would like to add a personal reflection on why it seems to me that today it is so important and urgent to “re-imagine communities”.

Since its beginning, DESIS Network has been concerned with the communities that were the engine of the social innovation it wanted to support. Today this attention to these communities must be confirmed. But, at the same time, their meaning must be updated to take into account the current context: a context that is very different from the one in which we began to focus on and characterize them 15 years ago. And that is why, as we said, they must be re-imagined. (continue reading)

Ezio Manzini
(DESIS Founder)

News and ongoing initiatives on DESIS Network

DESIS Students - an invitation to teachers and Lab Coordinators
DESIS Students is an initiative designed for students who participate or interact within the DESIS Labs. But not only. Over the past months, we conducted short individual interviews with a few students from all over the world to showcase their stories and to foster community building among them. Some of you may have heard about it ​over the last couple of days. Now, we propose a meeting to discuss the initiative itself, and so we can give you the updates about what we're doing, the plans for the future of it and also how you can participate on that (as professors and mentors). If you want to join us, please write to

DESIS Manifesto - a collaborative movement for the future of Design
DESIS members got together a few months ago to rethink the contributions made for Conversations 2020, that time under the circumstances of Covid-19 crisis. From that reunion, a movement was started towards a DESIS Manifesto that will reinforce the commitment to social innovation and sustainability as pillars of DESIS design practices. The Manifesto is currently receiving contributions from many different DESIS members and should be presented later on this year.

DESIS Booklets - an overview of design practices in DESIS Labs
The DESIS Map, an initiative put together at the early days of DESIS Network, allowed us to understand what the DESIS Labs really did and what DESIS Network really was at that time. This overview led to the "Thematic Areas" (TAs) that organised the projects and clustered common themes among our labs. From this scenario emerged a series of 3 books, the first being released last year. The other two, "Design for Social Innovation and Services" and "Design for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship" are at final stages of production and should be published (online) before the end of this year.

DESIS Assembly - date to be confirmed!
We have started to organise the DESIS Assembly 2020. The meeting will be done via Zoom in early December and should discuss: ongoing projects of all DESIS Labs around the world, current DESIS activities, new Labs affiliations, editorial initiatives, the new Coordination Team, the DESIS Manifesto and the plans for our future. More details soon.

DESIS and Covid-19: projects updates
Our website for projects related to Covid-19 pandemic has now reunited 35 initiatives, from 12 countries. Since we started this repository the situation around the world has changed a lot: back and forths with lockdowns, social isolation, home office, cancelled flights, closed borders, the list goes on and on. The projects in the repository are a reflex of these changes, proposing multiple approaches to the difficult situations Covid-19 brought up. As the pandemic is still going on and other projects may arise, the repository updates will continue to be done. If you have a project that isn't on the website yet, y
ou can fill a quick form to send it to us, via Survey Monkey or Google Form.

Design: Vertical and Horizontal Growth - check the deadlines!
"In accordance with the vision that Cumulus has regarding the exchange of knowledge and design experience on a global and interdisciplinary scale, three Russian schools – Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, St. Petersburg University and HSE Art and Design School have joined their efforts to host an annual Cumulus..." (continue reading)
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