Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ DESIS Lab

For Admission

Starts: 22 March, 2016
Duration :
Instructors: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ DESIS Lab
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University of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ/Coppe DESIS

City: Rio de Janeiro
Country: Brazil
Coordinator: Carla Cipolla /
Project manager: Rita Afonso /
Address: UFRJ, Cidade Universitária, Av. Athos da Silveira Ramos, 149 – Centro de Tecnologia, Bloco G – Sala 209 Ilha do Fundão  Caixa Postal 68507  21941-972
Tel.:  +55 21 3938-7061  Website:

Hosting institution: UFRJ/Coppe, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (University of Brazil)

Background and objectives

UFRJ/Coppe DESIS Group was founded in 2008 to express the interest of researchers to work in the theme of design for social innovation and service design in the Brazilian context. From this moment on, it becomes the first node of the DESIS Network in Brazil.

UFRJ/Coppe DESIS Group conducts applied research into the ways in which design can enhance initiatives in the intersection point between service design and social innovation. It includes, specifically:

  • Monitoring existing social innovation cases in Rio de Janeiro and, in general, in the Brazilian context;
  • Supporting and promoting social innovation initiatives through the design of solutions, i.e. a specific set of tools, services and expertise, able to consolidate and diffuse such practices;
  • Investigating and developing new service models;
  • Developing research programs and projects
  • Promoting cultural and communication initiatives (exhibitions, publications, broadcasts)
  • Organizing learning initiatives (workshops, seminars, courses, conferences)

Primary research areas and activities

  • Social innovation and Design: It has as object the phenomenon of social innovation, identifying and analyzing cases within the Brazilian context. The idea is to apply the last developments of Service Design and Production Engineering to elaborate concepts, methodologies and strategies. It aims the promotion of social innovation with focus on sustainability.
  • Theory and Practice of Service Design: It has as object the Service Design discipline, promoting and developing its scope in Brazil. It articulates the last international developments with the Brazilian context.

List of projects and research:

1) TRANSIT (TRANsformative Social Innovation Theory)

2014 – 2017. EC-funded (FP7).

TRANSIT (TRANsformative Social Innovation Theory) is an international research project that will develop a theory of transformative social innovation, by studying how networks of social entrepreneurs and families of social innovation projects contribute to systemic societal change.

2) Informal, Formal and Collaborative: designing within underserved communities

This project aims to investigate social innovation initiatives within underserved communities as inspirations to design new models of services that can create new opportunities for local development and new forms of relations between people from and outside these communities. (United States).

It is a DESIS Thematic Cluster promoted by Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Art Center College of Design (United States), with collaborators from Universidad del Norte (Colombia), Instituto Profesional Duoc UC (Chile), University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Botswana (Botswana), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (South Africa) and National Institute of Design (India).


3) Rio Vivido

Active aging and hospitality: Designing a collaborative lodging service in older people’s homes in Rio de Janeiro (Rio Vivido). It aims the promotion of a responsible tourism through interaction with the local community, allowing privileged access to cultural heritage in Rio through contact with the elderly people and their personal life stories.

Main promoters: FAPERJ-Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio de Janeiro),

CEPE – Centro de Estudo e Pesquisa do Envelhecimento (Center for Studies on Research on Aging), and Production Engineering Program of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – COPPE/UFRJ DESIS Group.




CIPOLLA, C., BARTHOLO, R. Empathy or Inclusion: A Dialogical Approach to Socially Responsible Design. International Journal of Design. Vol. 8(2) August 2014

PRESTES JOLY, Maíra; CIPOLLA, Carla; MANZINI, Ezio. INFORMAL, FORMAL, COLLABORATIVE – IDENTIFYING NEW MODELS OF SERVICES WITHIN FAVELAS OF RIO DE JANEIRO. ServDes. 2014 Fourth Service Design and Innovation conference. England, April 2014. ISBN: 978-91-7519-280-2

CIPOLLA, C., MELO, P., MANZINI, E. Collaborative services in informal settlements. A social innovation case in a pacified favela in Rio de Janeiro. NESTA Conference “Social Frontiers: The Next Edge of Social Science Research “ (14-15 November 2013, London UK).

CIPOLLA, C. . Solutions for Relational Services. In: Satu Miettinen; Anu Valtonen. (Org.). Service Design with Theory. Discussions on Change, Value and Methods. 1ed.Rovaniemi: LUP – Lapland University Press, 2012, v. , p. 34-40.

BARTHOLO JR, Roberto dos Santos (Org.) ; CIPOLLA, C. (Org.) . Inovação Social e Sustentabilidade. Desenvolvimento local, empreendedorismo e design. 1. ed. Rio de Janeiro: Cadernos do Grupo de Altos Estudos – Programa de Engenharia de Produção da COPPE/UFRJ – E-Papers, 2012. 252p .

BERGONZINI, P. ; CIPOLLA, C. . Evocando o genius loci para a promoção de um desenvolvimento situado: o caso Villa Sorra. Sustentabilidade em Debate, v. 3, p. 41-59, 2012.

CIPOLLA, C. . Design, inovação social e sustentabilidade. In: Dijon Moraes Júnior; Itiro Iida; Maria Regina Álvares Correia Dias. (Org.). Cadernos de Estudos Avançados em Design: Inovação. 1ed.Barbacena: EdUEMG, 2012, v. 1, p. 30-38.

CIPOLLA, C. ; MOURA, H. Social Innovation in Brazil Through Design Strategy. Design Management Journal, v. 6, p. 40-51, 2011.

PILLAN, M. ; FERRI, G. ; CIPOLLA, C. . Mobile and collaborative. Mobile phones, digital services and sociocultural activation. In: Meroni; A.; Sangiorgi, D.. (Org.). Design for Services. Farnham: Gower Publishing, 2011, v. , p. 147-154.

CIPOLLA, C. ; SECOMANDI, Fernando . On the design of standard and relational service encounters. Touchpoint – The Journal of Service Design, v. 2, p. 22-25, 2010.

MANZINI, E. ; PENIN, L. ; GONG, M. ; CIPOLLA, C. ; MRITHAA, M. ; MENDOZA, A. . The Desis network: design and social innovation for sustainability. The Journal of Design Strategies, v. 4, p. 14-21, 2010.

CIPOLLA, C.; MANZINI, E. Relational Services. Knowledge, Technology & Policy (Springer), v. 22, p. 45-50, 2009.

CIPOLLA, C. . Approaching sustainability by investigating social innovation. In: François Jegou, Victoria Thoresen, Ezio Manzini. (Org.). LOLA: Looking for Likely Alternatives. Norway: Hedmark University College, 2009, v. , p. 44-46.

CIPOLLA, C. . Relational services and conviviality. In: Satu Miettinen. (Org.). Designing Services with Innovative Methods. 1ed.Helsinki: TAIK Publications/University of Art and Design Helsinki, 2009, v. , p. 232-243.

BARTHOLO JR, Roberto dos Santos ; BURSZTYN, Ivan ; CIPOLLA, C. . Practice of service design for tourism initiative: the quality of interpersonal relationships as a design requirement. Touchpoint – The Journal of Service Design, v. 1, p. 94-98, 2009.

CIPOLLA, C. . Creative communities as relational innovations: a service design approach. In: François Jegou; Ezio Manzini. (Org.). COLLABORATIVE SERVICES. Social innovation and design for sustainability. 1ed.Milano: POLIDESIGN, 2008, v. 1, p. 153-156.

MANZINI, E. ; CIPOLLA, C. . Creative Communities and Open Models: Lines of Research on Governance for Sustainability. In: Garavelli, Bruno; Lucarini, Renato. (Org.). E-Government: European Strategies Compared. Roma: EuroSpace, 2005, v. , p. 141-148.

CIPOLLA, C. . Tourist or guest: designing tourism experiences or hospitality relations?. Design Philosophy Papers (Online), Qld. Australia, v. 02, p. issue 2, 2004.