DESIS Philosophy Talk #2.3: Storytelling & Social innovation

Category: events, Storytelling

Phil Talk Banner_Milan-05

May 12th, 10:00-13:00 – Italy
“Designers telling stories & making meaning”

Politecnico di Milano, Design Academy Eindhoven and MAD Faculty/LUCA are organising the next DESIS Philosophy Talk which will take place on May 12th at the Politecnico di Milano. In these past two editions of Storytelling and Design for Social Innovation – in Dublin in November 2013, and in Eindhoven in February 2014 – we have discussed the topic of storytelling and what we can learn from taking a philosophical perspective. In this third session we will focus on the role of storytelling in the practice of design for social innovation as enabling the act of opening up underexplored ranges of meanings in contemporary society.

In our practice as designers, storytelling is becoming more and more important, especially in the discourse on design for social innovation. Politecnico di Milano, Design Academy Eindhoven and MAD Faculty/LUCA began organising discussions on this topic to understand it better (

During the second discussion in Eindhoven we focused on different ways in which designers are telling stories of social innovation, and the various levels at which they are using them throughout their design processes; not only as a tool for documentation but also for research purposes. In this 3rd chapter of our series – on May 12th, 2014 at the Politecnico di Milano – we will focus on the meanings that are potentially activated through the diverse acts of storytelling. This reflection will hopefully reinforce the self-criticism and awareness of the use of storytelling in the practice of design for social innovation. During the talk we will be asking and reflecting upon the following questions:

  1. do we as designers really look around us, see potentialities (both past and present), make choices and bring them into actuality?
  2. can we look at different ways to use storytelling to manifest what is at the margins of society and help its potentialities to be more fully expressed? is the point of view of each unique designer also present in their own way?
  3. are the stories unlocking meanings that have not yet been activated?
  4. how are the stories unlocking the potentialities of people, groups, communities, places, listeners, situations, contexts, etc.?

Please join the conversation & confirm your presence here.


Elisabeth Sikiaridi
 (UK) Hybrid Space Lab
Luigi Ferrara (IWB, George Brown University, Toronto) Institute without boundaries
Davide Pinardi (Novelist)
David Parkinson (Northumbria University, School of Design, UK)
Walter Mattana (Politecnico di Milano)
Johan Frans Vogelaar (The Netherlands) Hybrid Space Lab
David Hamers (Design Academy Eindhoven)
Joana Casaca Lemos (University of the Arts, Central Saint Martins, London, UK)
Valentina Anzoise (Università Cà Foscari – ECLT)
Ernesto Oroza
Nik Baerten (Pantopicon, MAD Faculty/LUCA)

Virginia Tassinari (MAD Faculty/LUCA)
Elisa Bertolotti (Politecnico di Milano)
Francesca Piredda (Politecnico di Milano)
Heather Daam (Design Academy Eindhoven)