DESIS-Lab Melbourne symposium: Soumitri Varadarajan, RMIT University

Thursday, March 1, 2012 - 9:00am
RMIT University

This video was filmed during DESIS-lab Melbourne symposium on 1st March 2012

Social Innovation for a less-stuff-heavy-world

I will present social innovation as the polar opposite of technical innovation – where the designer as agent aims to change the world by organising people into an activity ecosystem. Technical innovation focuses on behaviour change by inserting technological and/or material artefacts that enable, nay constrain, people to do things differently. The studio in social innovation may look at a social problem such as “alcohol fuelled violence in small town Australia” or at enabling cultural vehicles such as “guerilla retail” where designer-makers engage with their customers in high energy obscure and poky locations. Often these studios are set up to challenge and provoke students, who in turn are challenged to provoke and massage groups of people/ communities into sustainable enterprises that steer clear of the mainstream market economy. Run in collaboration with College of Business, the social innovation solution gets taken further forward from the scenarios on posters to action planning in the form of Business Plans. Collectively the focus of the Social Innovation Studio is on a world where this is less ‘stuff’ – and where needs and wants are met through social and communal – coops, communes, collectives, organisms and crucially, the construction of vehicles for individual activism.

The latest example of developing ‘activism’ is this student collective I have nurtured through 2011

The summer of social change and their facebook space



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