DIID (Sep 2022)

Design and Responsible Innovation. Ethics and Caring as Keys to Addressing Contemporary Crises

  • Laura Succini,
  • Erik Ciravegna

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 01, no. 77


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Current global crises have generated profound environmental, social and economic instability, exacerbating the so-called “North–South divide”. To cope with increasing uncertainty and complexity, design has faced profound structural changes and reviewed its approaches. Design has come to the Responsible Innovation concept to define perspectives on how to develop products and services with a positive impact and create new forms of individual and collective knowledge. Based on ethical values of caring, Responsible Design focuses on ideas and practices that enable designers to address complex eco-socio-political wicked problems. At the intersection between Responsible Innovation and design cultures and practices, several examples of local and global initiatives can be identified. To better understand the state of the art and envision possible developments of Responsible Design, a selection of case studies was analysed, and action research was carried out. Thus, two perspectives emerge: 1) Design for Responsible Innovation; 2) and Responsible Innovation applied to Design. In both views, design becomes ethically responsible, empowering people to take care of themselves, their communities and the environment.