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4.2 System Design Social Equity Vezzoli Polimi 07 08  3.11
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4.2 System Design Social Equity Vezzoli Polimi 07 08 3.11

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PDF - System Design for Social Equity

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4.2 System Design Social Equity Vezzoli Polimi 07 08  3.11 4.2 System Design Social Equity Vezzoli Polimi 07 08 3.11 Document Transcript

  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 4. (System) design for social equity and cohesion . learning resource 4.2 System design for social equity and cohesion . year 2007-2008 learning resource 4.2 System design for social equity and cohesion course System Design for Sustainability subject 4. (System) design for social equity and cohesion carlo vezzoli politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . Italy Learning Network on Sustainability contents Emerging hypothesis for a design field of action A new (potential) role for design System design for social equity and cohesion criteria improve employment/working conditions equity and justice in relation to stakeholders enable a responsible/sustainable consumption favour/integrate weak and marginalized improve social cohesion empower/enhance local resources carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 4. (System) design for social equity and cohesion . learning resource 4.2 System design for social equity and cohesion . year 2007-2008 4.4.1 Emerging hypothesis for a design field of action On the role of design for sustainability including even the social-ethical dimension, especially for what concern developing economies other authors (Crul, Diehl, 2006), within the UNEP umbrella of the Division Of Technology, Industry And Economics, argued that in developing economies, due to limited awareness, more immediate technical support is needed to introduce design for sustainability concept (even on a product innovation level). However, successful implementation of design for sustainability requires working in partnership. On the social impact, some still other authors (Weidema, 2005) are investigating the option of extending product Life Cycle Assessment beyond the environmental impact to the social (and economic) one, which is in principle more closely linked to the product innovation level. In fact these studies also lead to system innovation, since they focus on the definition of equitable stakeholder roles (social indicators). 4.4.2 A new (potential) role for the design Finally, system design for environmentally, socially and ethically sustainable innovations represents a ground where it is possible to find impelling disciplinary answers to the hypotheses of new potential design roles. Assuming the presented hypothesis (a. that system innovation approach fit to couple eco-efficiency with socio-ethical sustainability; b. local-based and network-structured is a promising model) we must first of all ask ourselves what skills and abilities a designer or design researcher should have and exercise to contribute to this type of innovation. We shall now address this issue in relation to an ability which recalls and adjusts what we have already said for eco-efficient system design, in relation to a strategic-type ability to operate. This ability can be described as the ability to promote/facilitate new sustainable locally-based and network-structured enterprise, by: • elaborating and/or co-elaborating orienting scenarios to build up partnership/interaction between different stakeholders aiming at sustainable value production • facilitating participatory design among different stakeholders to define their relationships and offer systems (products, services, communication). The required skills, abilities and tools may be derived from the ones recently developed for eco- efficient system design, and definitely have to be reinterpreted and adapted to the specific requirements of social equity and cohesion. The term system design for socio-efficiency could be understood as: the effort to orientate the design activity to fashion a system of production and consumption that is both economically competitive, and socially equitable and cohesive. Adapting or reinterpreting means understanding what aspects of these design methods and tools will remain valid; it means understanding which specific characteristics will mark the partnerships and interactions most likely to emerge. Some example could be: social co-operatives that include emerging/marginalized people, who offer similar products; or eco-fair trading districts that create carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 4. (System) design for social equity and cohesion . learning resource 4.2 System design for social equity and cohesion . year 2007-2008 local synergies in multi-satisfaction based product and service offers, building on collective, co- operative and collaborative relationships. The first signs of this of such a design research focus has emerged. For example Penin (Penin, 2006) has adapted few strategic design tools for emerging contexts. Those tools have been tested recently in incubators of social cooperatives, based in Brazil. EXAMPLE DIS, Politecnico di Milano-ITCP network project This box will describe a joint on-going project of DIS Politecnico di Milano and the Popular Co-operative Technological Incubators (ITCP) network developing system design tools/methods for social incubator. Actually since 1999 similar incubators exist already in Brazil. Within the university has been established a network of Popular Co-operative Technological Incubators (ITCP). These are part of the university corpus and have the aim of creating new jobs for groups of people with low incomes, in a perspective of local development and in a context of a solidarity economy, through the dissemination of technical and scientific know-how produced within the university. For this reason the DIS, Design and system Innovation for Sustainability (INDACO-Politecnico di Milano), recently started a collaboration with some of those ITCPs, in order to adapt, develop and test system design for sustainability tools/methods for ITCP1. The hypothesis is a specific characterisation of these incubators by design skills. Coherently with what has been said earlier, these design skills and services are not (only) those that come traditionally to mind, i.e. those of product or communication design, but they are those of system (or strategic) design: in other words, the promotion and facilitation of unprecedented partnerships/interactions between “stakeholders” (networked enterprises) in satisfaction systems seeking a convergence of their socio-ethical, environmental and economic interests. The results are very promising and the idea is to extend this approach with further financing and study all networked incubators in Brazil. 4.4.3 System design for social equity and cohesion criteria It is rather obvious, that not all system innovations are socio-ethically sustainable. So it is very important to study cases and develop criteria and guidelines as well as methods/tools to manage and orient the design process towards socio-ethical solutions. But so far very few are the tools and methods developed to orientate the strategic design process. Some of those methods and tools will be presented in learning resource 5.1-2-3, but now we should focus on the design criteria and guidelines for social equity and cohesion. Within the MEPSS project a set of criteria and guidelines for designer has been developed (as described in learning resource 4.4), which were: • improve employment/working conditions • improve equity and justice in relation with stakeholder • enable responsible/sustainable consumption • favour/integrate weak and marginalized • improve social cohesion • empower/valorise local resources. 1 Lara Penin in january 2006, made a workshop at ITCP-USP in Sao Paolo, and Carlo Vezzoli in august 2006 made a workshop at ITCP-UFPR with the COEMBRA cooperative, in Curitiba. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 4. (System) design for social equity and cohesion . learning resource 4.2 System design for social equity and cohesion . year 2007-2008 Next lesson will present these criteria together with some guidelines and examples (the cases collection of the European Research EMUDE, Emerging User Demands for Sustainable Solutions, has provided much valuable information). 4.4.4 Improve employment/working conditions When speaking about employment/working conditions we mean the design promoting and enhancing employment/working conditions (within the enterprise). The role of the designer could be marginal in this case. In fact employment/working conditions are issues determined by the company goals and requirements. Nevertheless the designer could be at least active in terms of enhancing throughout various communications means fair employment and working conditions. In order to understand whether an existing system presents problems related to employment/working conditions in qualitative terms, following key questions should be asked/answered: Are there any problems with forced or child work? Are there any problems with the health and safety? Are there any problems of discrimination in the workplace? Are there any problems with work overload and for inadequate wages? Are there any problems with freedom of association and right to collective negotiation? 4.4.5 Improve equity and justice in relation to stakeholders Equity and justice in relation to stakeholders means the design promoting and enhancing fair and just relation (outside the enterprise): within the partnerships, up-stream, down-stream and in the community where the offer takes place. In qualitative terms to understand whether an existing system presents problems related to enhancing equal and just relations between stakeholders, the following key questions could be asked: Are the stakeholders criticising the supply system? Is the client/final user criticising the supply system? Are there any unjust relations between the partnerships? Are there any unjust relations with suppliers, subcontractors and sub-suppliers 4.4.6 Enable a responsible/sustainable consumption To enable a responsible and sustainable consumption entails a design promoting and enhancing responsible and sustainable client or final user choices or behaviour. To understand in qualitative terms whether an existing system presents problems related to favouring a responsible and sustainable consumption, the following key questions could be asked: Is the client/final user able to acknowledge clearly and easily the social (un)sustainability along the whole value production chain? carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  • course System Design for Sustainability . subject 4. (System) design for social equity and cohesion . learning resource 4.2 System design for social equity and cohesion . year 2007-2008 Is the client/final user able to understand the responsible/sustainable behaviour by the supply system ? 4.4.7 Favour/integrate the weaker and marginalized When speaking about favouring and integrating the weaker and marginalized we mean a design promoting and favouring (more or less integrating) people like kids, elderly people, differently able, and unemployed, illiterate or from any other marginalised social group. To understand in qualitative terms whether an existing system presents problems related to favouring and integrating weaker and marginalized groups, the following key questions should be asked: Does the supply system create obstacles or limit access to people with weaker social status (e.g. kids, elderly, differently able, etc.)? Is the offering system accessible to people with lower income? Does the offering system favour in any way people's marginalization? 4.4.8 Improve social cohesion Improving social cohesion denotes a design promoting and favouring systems that propitiates social integration: in neighbourhood, between generations, between genders and between different cultures. To understand in qualitative terms, whether an existing system presents problems related to improving social cohesion, the following key questions should be asked: is the offering system creating or favouring any form of intra-gender, intra-cultural, intra- generational emargination? is the system creating/favouring any forms of discrimination (sexual, religious, cultural, gender)? 4.4.9 Empower/enhance local resources Empowering/enhancing local resources denotes a design promoting and favouring systems that regenerate and empower local economies. To understand in qualitative terms, whether an existing system presents problems related to empowering/enhancing local resources, the following key questions should be asked: • Does the current reference system impoverish local cultural values and identities? • Does the current system offer only one solution/few variations for all regions and cultures? • Does the current system have a negative impact on social well-being of the local community? • Is the current system impoverishing local economies? • Is the system absorbing local non-renewable resources? carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability