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The POLIMI-DESIS Lab, based in the Department of Design of Politecnico di Milano, is composed of a group of researchers adopting a strategic and systemic approach to design, with a specific focus on design for services and design activism. It has a background in service and product-service-system design for sustainability and investigates the way design can support and trigger social innovation, combining creativity and visioning with the capability of engaging in co-design processes.

The Lab operates in multicultural and multidisciplinary contexts, integrating various competences in systemic projects, which require contributions from service design, strategic design, user centered design, interaction design, product design, interior/spatial design, design for territory and local development, communication, economics, architecture, planning and sociology.
Involved in several local and international research projects, the group runs post-graduate courses and design studios in service design, product-service-system design, design for sustainability, local development and communication. Several international training collaborations and teaching exchanges are also in place.

The Lab has a considerable experience in organizing scientific symposiums, events, exhibitions and developing basic and applied research in national and international projects.
Its objective is exploring how design can enable people, communities, enterprises and social actors to activate and manage innovation processes, aimed at experimenting with sustainable, convivial and collaborative ways of living and doing.

Over the last decade, the group has been contributing to lay the foundations for the disciplines of strategic and service design.
Primary research areas are tied up with collaborative services for local development, with specific emphasis on food, urban, mobility, distributed manufacturing and housing systems as well as small enterprise networks.

Besides these specific topics, the Lab has matured unique competences in detecting and collecting cases of social innovation (the creative communities), in designing services of de-mediation (producer-consumer direct re-connection, short supply chains), in supporting the community interaction for collaborative living (social and co-housing), in investigating the capacity of the public and urban space to be welcoming, meaningful and multicultural (temporary urban solutions, public space design, cross cultural societies, walking cities), in supporting the network society and ICT potential (smart cities and living labs), in designing for distributed manufacturing (fablab and design makers) and in creating hubs to support networks of small enterprises.

Visit the website of the DESIS International Network

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