27 July 2011

Design for Social Innovation: an interview with Ezio Manzini

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putting people first
by experientia

Ezio Manzini
Ezio Manzini is an Italian design strategist, one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable design, author of numerous design books, professor of Industrial Design at Milan Polytechnic, and founder of the DESIS (Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability) network of university-based design labs.

His work over the past 30 years in sustainability and social innovation has coalesced around four watchwords: small, local, open and connected.

Sarah Brooks of Shareable spoke with him via Skype and published a transcript.

“For me, dealing with the needed sustainable changes that are mainly cultural and behavior change, the pivotal moment has been when I moved from saying “What can I do to help people change behavior?” toward the discovery that a lot of people (even if they aren’t yet so visible) had already changed, and in a good way, their behaviors. And that therefore, the right question is: ”What can I do to trigger and support these new way of thinking and doing? How can I use my design knowledge and tools to empower these grass-roots social innovations?”

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