Design for Social Innovation in Canada

Design has always played a role in the process of production, transformations in society and the economy, shifts in technology and impacts on the environment. The nature of the changes created by our post-industrial era is challenging the character of design and its role in society.

The post-industrial era is creating complex projects for technology, service, systems, strategy and products. Clients are even becoming undefined stakeholders, and this can be extended to the entire community and the environment.

The rise of digital technology and the knowledge society are introducing a new culture, which can be open, participatory, shared and collaborative. Here the designer is acting as a researcher, always questioning the character of the project, its outcomes and process. Open access, co-design, crowdfunding, digital manufacturing, open-source, DIY, enabling systems and networking can be included in the toolbox of the designer and can create opportunities to drive the change towards sustainability, equity and democracy. Social innovation is leveraging forms of collaboration and co-production in which designers, innovators, users and communities co-create knowledge and solutions for a wide range of social needs, exploiting the networking technologies.

This book explores a number of areas where design can contribute to face the contemporary transformations in our society with real-life collaborative research and innovation projects. Through a number of Canadian social innovation case studies collected in social, environmental and technological fields, we recognize how the role of the designer cannot be limited to the production of finished objects; rather, designers can create tools and platforms to help users and citizens participate in projects, even allowing forms of personalization.

Psychology’s New Design Science: Theory and Research

Psychology’s New Design Science: Theory & Research opens a conversation about how psychology, psychiatry, and the counseling professions will adopt technology as an extension of its skill and expertise. We propose that design reasoning and design thinking can play an important role in assisting the field of mental health as it embraces technology and begins to explore what it means to move expertise beyond current health care settings. We have placed our subject in historical context; a “where have we been” and “where are we going” narrative that points to the lineage of thought that has led to design thinking as a natural extension of clinical knowledge. The clinical literature is comprised of three dominant modes of discussion: a) theory which explores and defines the healing process, b) techniques of psychotherapy which are addressed to clinicians, and c) case studies by both clinicians and patients reporting on their experiences of recovery. Our book offers a fourth conversation which includes design reasoning as an established means for applying theory and research to mental health treatment.

Digital Interfaces in Situations of Mobility: Cognitive, Artistic, and Game Devices

This book is the result of an international program of conferences and round tables in Paris 1 Sorbonne with participants from Japan, Canada, England, Switzerland, Malta, and France. The participants consider the growing number of artistic, digital, fictional, and game devices that are based on user mobility and interaction through digital interfaces. Through exploration, experimentation, and the creation of alternate reality art devices, questions about the limits between real, virtual, and fictional worlds are discussed. The characteristics of these three worlds and their confrontation with one another require new ways of elaborating and analyzing creations.