The DESIS Philosophy Talks are an initiative of Ezio Manzini & Virginia Tassinari of DESIS International aiming to nurture the dialogue between design & philosophy, between practice & theory. The idea is to match practical issues and topics emerging from design practice in the field of social innovation around the world with insights from the philosophical tradition. Several notions, such as beauty, public vs. private, community, etc., which normally belong to the field of social sciences appear to emerge from a kind of “phenomenological” study of different cases of design for social innovation. The DESIS Philosophy Talks aim to stimulate dialogue between the fields of philosophy and design, starting from concrete cases of design for social innovation. The DESIS Philosophy Talks want to explore them from a philosophical, theoretical perspective and see how the result of these discussions can add meaningful value to the design practice and possibly also philosophy.


The DESIS Philosophical Talks put forward various topics, designers and theoreticians of a specific region and create a moment in which different disciplines can meet and generate new value for their respective fields and contemporary society in general. DESIS Labs can organize a DESIS Philosophical Talk in collaboration with the team of DESIS International and possibly also with local partners (e.g. universities, research institutions, etc.). Contact Virginia Tassinari for more info.


Each DESIS Philosophy Talk consists of a(n invitation only) seminar which starts from a discussion paper that positions and frames the topics at hand within the design practice. These topics are accompanied by a series of questions that connect practice to more philosophical insights. A given amount of respondents are invited to have an in-depth discussion on the different questions raised. A larger amount of attendees, i.e. a general audience (by invitation) consisting of people from the design world as well as the philosophy world, is invited by the local DESIS lab to participate in the discussion. The results of the discussion will be presented to the international community in various ways (e.g. live streaming, publications, presentations, etc.).


The DESIS Philosophical Talk can be part of a doctoral program or it can be connected to a specific postgraduate program of the institution hosting a DESIS lab. A DESIS Philosophical Talk can also take place within the context of an international academic conference (such as a Cumulus or Lens conference, and so on).