Carla Cipolla: Design and Innovation for Sustainability

Carla is from the Politecnico di Milano and recently completed her PhD on the EMUDE case-studies of bottom up innovative practices of ordinary people. An example of such a case-study is the living room restaurant in Oosterhout, NL. People who love cooking started a restaurant in their living room. Visitors pay, but their is a confusion between public and private. For instance, who brings the dirty dishes to the kitchen? Another example is ‘lodge a student at home’ in Milan, organised by the local government. Here again public and private mix as friendships grow between service provider (mostly older people) and users (students).

Carla sees two extremes in service models. Standard is a service encounter between client and provider. These essentially are performances based on scripts in which both sides have a different role. Community based services are different because there is a common area where providers and users collaborate. To operate this last model totally relies on the qualities of interpersonal relations between participants.

Designers cannot design these relations between people directly, because they are different all the time. Designers can only design enabling solutions, the conditions to facilitate community based services. For instance to support examples as given above, designers can enable relational acceptance, affirmation and consolidation of the idea of the service. One project that was established using these design approaches was www.cohousing.it, helping people to share houses.

I am on next, as the last speaker of the conference, talking about design documentaries in service design bye!

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