All Innovation is Social

Callum Nash*, Jo Briggs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Here we examine the practice of design in supporting grassroots innovation in two UK organisations, contextualising this within contemporary design philosophy. Following from a historical reading on the relationship between design theory and technology, we contribute a nuanced characterisation of Social Design and Social Innovation where dialectical tensions predetermine design outcomes. We start by describing the recruitment and establishment of 18 months of collaborative research with the organisations, and go on to present initial findings. Through analysis of these design processes and associated tensions that emerged through the collaboration, we proposition for improved participative action and academic impact and advocate that communities should rebelliously take leadership and ownership in both Social Design and Social Innovation and associated research. The paper contributes insights for those working in contemporary ‘big society’ community led design innovation, and research and design researchers who aim to articulate and build common value with the communities with whom they work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign revolutions: IASDR 2019 Conference Proceedings. Volume 2: Living, Making, Value.
EditorsMartyn Evans, Annie Shaw, Jea Na
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester Metropolitan University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781910029602
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2020
EventInternational Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2019: Design Revolutions - Manchester School of Art, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sept 20195 Sept 2019


ConferenceInternational Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleIASDR 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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