Community-Centred Design

Wednesday 24/04/2013 13:00-14:00
Location: Brunel University, Lecture Center, Room LC262
Speaker: Prof. Anna Meroni, Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, Italy

Whereas design for services, as a discipline, is very well familiar with a user centred approach, on one hand, and with participatory techniques, on the other, much less research, practice and theory have been developed when design activities are conducted in close collaboration with communities of stakeholders. The seminar will introduce the concept of Community Centred Design – CCD - as an approach adopted in service design and design for social innovation: it will report on applied research projects and their findings and, finally, it will outline a conceptual framework for action to guide further projects. The talk will focus on both experience and theoretical frameworks to underline that CCD implies for the designer an unprecedented immersive and engaging activity that becomes a form of social activism and politics. This condition opens up compelling issues, such as the exit strategy for the designers, the project ownership for the community, and the empowerment and capacity building for all the stakeholders.

Architect and designer, Anna is coordinator of the POLIMI-DESIS Lab (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability, within the Department of Design of Politecnico di Milano. She deals with service and strategic design toward sustainability. Currently Assistant Professor in Service Design at the School of Design of Politecnico di Milano, she has been visiting professor of Service and Strategic Design in other schools and universities (China Shanghai, Tongji University; Italy Pollenzo Università Scienze Gastronomiche; Italy MBA Consorzio MIP, Politecnico di Milano; Cile, Universidad de Valparaiso; Brazil Porto Alegre, Escola de design Unisinos; Colombia Barranquilla, Universidad del Norte; USA New York, The Parsons School for Design; Australia, Brisbane, QUT; Australia Melbourne RMIT; Denmark Aalborg University).
In 2010 she was visiting scholar at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York USA, and at ImaginationLancaster, Lancaster University in Lancaster UK. Anna is in the scientific board and in the faculty of the Master of Product Service System Design, co-director of the International Master in Strategic Design and director of the Master in Social and Collaborative Housing, of Politecnico di Milano. She is also in the board of the PhD in Design of the same Institution. Involved in several national and international research activities, her areas of investigation are Service Design and Strategic Design towards sustainability, with a specific emphasis on design activism for social innovation and place development. Specific fields of research are the food system, the collaborative housing system and related issues. She has been developing the concepts of Creative Communities and Community Centred Design through a number of on-going basic and applied research projects.