Designing ‘collaborative encounters’

STBY hosted a second edition of the book club, featuring Ezio Manzini’s ‘Design, When Everybody Designs’. In this book the author captures 30 years of experience in design for social innovation. In the session we discussed learnings from the book, and how we could apply these in our own work. Each of us happened to be exploring the strategic role of design in their own practice, and we all agreed that the book really helps to explain our work. One participant even declared that this book helped him to finally understand how his education relates to his current profession!

Manzini describes design as a mix of three human capabilities: critical thinking, creativity and practical sense, and he distinguishes between diffuse and expert (professional) designers. Professional designers can drive social innovation by designing so-called ‘collaborative encounters’. The book provides some easy to use models to map different types of interactions between people. The idea is that designers can use these models to better understand and design meaningful encounters where innovation can happen. As an experiment we started mapping out the network around Spring House, and already found opportunities for new ways of bringing people together. We will continue exploring how we can facilitate connections in and around our ‘home for innovators’.

In March we will host another session, and we already came up with some ideas for books….we will soon reveal the next title, so stay tuned.

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