Seminar: Designing for social innovation

We are happy to announce a seminar with senior researcher Ramia Mazé, The Interactive Institute, Sweden. She will talk about her current project on ‘Designing for Social Innovation’, especially the role of design in sustainable development processes within social groups and organizations

WHEN: Wednesday Mars 21st at 13 – 15, WHERE: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, Building 90, room: 90. 2. 01. Everyone are welcome.

Ramia specializes in participatory and critical methods for designing systems and products that alter social practices and public life. In leadership and management positions at the Interactive Institute in Sweden since 2001, she has been involved in interdisciplinary and international research projects in the areas of sustainable design, smart materials, interactive architecture and tactical media – including a current collaboration at the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago. She lectures at postgraduate art, design and technology programs and is on the Experience Design faculty at Konstfack in Stockholm.

Previously, she worked in corporate research and design consultancies in the US and UK, and studied interaction design, computer-related design and architecture, in which she has received a PhD, MA(RCA), and BA, respectively.

Summary of the project from Ramia: My current project ‘Designing for Social Innovation’ explores the role of design in sustainable development processes within social groups and organizations. While issues such as energy efficiency are
still central, such processes entail specifically social issues– in constructing understandings of sustainability, in framing priorities in policies and designs, and in shaping the practices of those accessing and controlling resources. In this area, design practices might be understood to involve a micropolitics of recognition and representation, just as practices of communicating and consuming involve forms of agency enacted in relation to designed artifacts.

This project builds on on a series of practice-based design research projects at the Interactive Institute, in which artifacts are designed and studied as interventions into domestic practices and participatory situations. It is also understood in relation to wider transformations within design discourse and practice, which are further explored in
the book ‘DESIGN ACT Socially and politically engaged design today’, co-edited by myself, produced by Iaspis in collaboration with the Interactive Institute and published by Sternberg Press. From a field conventionally formulated in relation to mass production, market consumption and technical innovation, this book highlights ‘critical practices’ of design engaging with public policy, social mobilization and political activism.

More about Ramia: www.tii.se/ramia

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