On 12 October 2017, Carla Cipolla (International coordinator DESIS Network) and Eun Ji Cho (Tongji DESIS lab) organized an workshop “Design for social innovation: emerging issues and practices from DESIS Network” at Tongji university, as a part of DESIS events during Tongji Design Week.
The workshop aimed to discuss the DESIS map (www.desisnetwork.org/the-desis-map) providing an overview of various themes and types of design projects carried out by DESIS labs around the world, and stimulate participants to share similar cases and design projects they have initiated or experienced in their everyday life.
As most participants of the workshop were Chinese and German, many cases from China and German were collected. Collected cases were mapped based on the structure of the DESIS map (7 themes for action, and 10 themes for reflection), and resulted in local maps of design for social innovation projects/practices. These new maps uncovered ‘emerging areas’ in Chinese and German contexts (service for social innovation, digital social innovation). Although the workshop outcome cannot be generalized as a representation of design for social innovation in China and Germany, we find this kind of collaborative mapping exercise can be a useful way to stimulate local discussion and reflection on design for social innovation in different contexts, and enrich the DESIS map.