DESIS Workshop at CUMULUS BEIJING: Design and the Cultures of Care

Published on 19 December 2023

In the context of the CUMULUS Beijing Conference, a DESIS event on Care in different cultures was held with representatives of DESIS Labs from Korea, China, South Africa, Africa, among others. On behalf of ESDA, the ESDA DESIS Lab Coordinator, Cecilia Casas, presented a short paper on the Culture of Care in Spain. 

The full video of the conference 

DESIS Event: Design and Cultures of Care in Cumulus Beijing 2023

(ESDA DESIS Lab minute 44 to 53.30)

More on Design and Care by Ezio Manzini and Teresa Franqueira:

DESIS Event: Design and Cultures of Care in Cumulus Beijing 2023

1. The concept of "care", in all its implications, is certainly not new. However, in recent years it has gradually emerged in the social conversation with a new
connotation: that of being one of the pillars needed to bridge towards an
ecological transition. Whatever the starting conditions, looking to the future, one cannot imagine a potential future more sustainable and just society which is not based on ideas and practices of care: care for people, care for the planet, care for things.
The importance of this concept emerges even more clearly if we focus on its
relationship with design. Design can create opportunities for new diverse forms of caring relationships, accordingly from the situated contexts and wordings from which they emerge.

2. To operate as an agent of ecological and therefore social regeneration, design must therefore stimulate and support relationships of care between people and between people and the planet. Our working hypothesis is that social innovation - due to its familiarity with practices of care - can help design to further re-frame itself in more caring, relational, regenerative ways.
As a matter of fact, we have observed that the birth and evolutionary trajectory of every social innovation - developed in different ways in different places around the world - has at its centre forms of interaction between people, and between people and their environment, which are most of the times, systems of products, services and communication. And that these systems, in order to be conceived and implemented, require design skills that can be traced back to new forms of design: a design for care that, by stimulating and supporting collaboration and proximity between the players, generates conditions in which relationships of care can emerge and flourish.
It can therefore be said that, in recent years, there have been social innovations that have generated, at the same time, a new family of systems (of material and immaterial artifacts) and a new way of designing them: systems that function as platforms for new communities characterised by relationships of care. And a design capable of imagining and developing them.

3. "Design and Cultures of Care" is a DESIS Event to be held at CAFA Cumulus Conference "Narratives of Love" and intends to contribute to reinforcing and enriching the culture of design by discussing how and to what extent the intertwining of social innovation and design can generate relationships of care in different cultures.
The event is structured with an initial talk on this theme, followed with a
showcase by designers and researchers from different operational and cultural contexts.