Title: Hope against hope: tackling social design

Authors: Chiara Del Gaudio; Carlo Franzato; Alfredo Jefferson De Oliveira

Addresses: Design Graduate Program, Universidade do vale do Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOS, Rua Luiz Manoel Gonzaga, 744, 90470-280 Três Figueiras, Porto Alegre-RS, Brazil ' Design Graduate Program, Universidade do vale do Rio dos Sinos – UNISINOS, Rua Luiz Manoel Gonzaga, 744, 90470-280 Três Figueiras, Porto Alegre-RS, Brazil ' Design Graduate Program, Art and Design Department, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro – PUC-Rio, Rua Marquês de São Vicente, 225, 22451-900 Gávea, Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brazil

Abstract: Social design represents a growing interest among the design community. Many academic and educational experiences confirm that it is possible and promising. Senior, junior and future designers are urged to face social issues, and to foster social change and innovate. Far from institutional environments, however, professionals' action can be rather difficult since the social dynamics are very different, less regulated and more unpredictable. This entails a great challenge for professionals involved in these design processes and a great risk for this kind of practice itself. If their efforts are not reciprocated, frustration and resignation can prevail. The goal of the paper is to reflect on the limits of social design, so as to avoid frustration and resignation and even foster the designers' hope in this practice. Towards this end, the paper studies a failed participatory design experience that occurred in a Brazilian favela in partnership with a local NGO. In this way, the paper presents new paths for design research, education and practice.

Keywords: social design; participatory design; design education; social issues; social innovation; hope; favelas; slums; NGOs; design process; Brazil; non-governmental organisations.

DOI: 10.1504/JDR.2016.077009

Journal of Design Research, 2016 Vol.14 No.2, pp.119 - 141

Available online: 17 Jun 2016 *

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