DESIS (design para a inovação social e sustentabilidade)


Design for services and social innovation, responding to the needs of local economies, cultural diversity and social cohesion; the group works under the blueprint of the transdisciplinary nature of its research areas, thus reinforcing both its insertion in the international network DESIS and partnerships with other scientific fields.


Strategic Design for Sustainability, Service design, Social entrepreneurship, Collaboration and Participation


The ID+ DESIS Lab is part of an International Network of research aimed at using design thinking and design knowledge to co-create, with local, regional and global partners, socially relevant scenarios, solutions and communication programs.
The DESIS Network is largely based on self-organization at the local level and on network-wide distributed responsibilities and administrative roles. In this spirit, it is coordinated and directed by a Council (the DESIS Council, with one representative for every DESIS Lab), a Board (including Council members with specific responsibilities at the international level) and the International Coordination Committee (the coordinator of the ID+ DESIS LAb is a mmeber of this committee).

It is within this wider network that the ID+ DESIS Lab operates, organized around three main themes:

  • Service Design and Strategic Design for sustainability;
  • Education for creativity and innovation;
  • Design for the empowerment and renewal of local economy and knowledge.

Each of the above themes has an area manager responsible for the proper functioning and development of the theme under his/her supervision, and who will serve as liason between the coordinator and the other research team members. The group has a Coordinator who is the responsible for the scientific content of the research projects and for connecting the diverse research themes coherently.

The group has an operations manager who is responsible for all the practical aspects of day-to-day activities, such as: gathering the information from the team members, planning and scheduling tasks, organizing meetings, etc.

Group Coordinator elected by the Scientific Committee, two-year renewable term;
Scientific Committee formed by all integrated members;
Project coordinators emerge out of the projects themselves, or if necessary, appointed by the SC;
Plenary: Periodic meetings with all the members of this group, are set at least twice a year.

Membros integrados
Gonçalo João Ribeiro Gomes
Inês Maria Henriques Guedes de Oliveira
João Nunes Sampaio
Rui Jorge Leal Ferreira Mendonça da Fonseca
Sílvia Daniela Passos Soares
Teresa Cláudia Magalhães Franqueira Baptista
Estudantes de Doutoramento
Cátia Cristina Ferreira Pereira
Cecilia Maria Peixoto de Carvalho
Outros investigadores
Jacinta Helena Alves Lourenço Casimiro da Costa
Jaime Sarró
João Carlos Monteiro Martins
Raul Pereira Pinto
Ricardo Jorge da Rocha Gonçalves

The group’s research aims to promote a design program where several local, regional and global projects may converge, reinforce each other and generate innovative scenarios and solutions. It is our goal to produce knowledge with the contribution of different partners and that can be used by all stakeholders.

By using design thinking and design knowledge the group also aims to trigger, enable and scale-up social innovation, namely through:

  • Stimulating design-led sustainable social change initiatives;
  • MAping innovative communities and innovative projects by gathering case studies of social innovation in Portugal; Promoting social innovations and sustainability among the Portuguese design community.
  • Promoting and enhancing local production and local economy;
  • Gathering different scientific areas in order to create transdisciplinary projects;
  • Designing solutions directed at promoting social intervention, namely in the area of Active ageing and social entrepreneurship.

Our projects will be developed with several perspectives transversal to the different fields of knowledge within the DESIS Network umbrella, and which can be distinctive of design for social innovation:

  • governance and soft-governance: the interplay between top-down and bottom up and its implications on governance and planning;
  • social activism and pro-activity: the capacity of individuals, groups and organisations to undertake initiatives and foster change at an higher level;
  • stakeholders and people participation: the way diverse stakeholders participate in decision making and implementing, the democratization and openness of the processes;
  • social interactions and relations: the potential of the initiatives to enhance social cohesion, conviviality, connections and sustainability;
  • evidences, spatial transformation and communication: the impact of the initiatives on the city, the media, the private and public space;
  • distributed and local production: the new production/distribution/consumption chains, the new technologies and the local assets/resources for more sustainable value creation systems;
  • skill training and capacity building: the need and opportunity of building new competences with, for and within the stakeholders;
  • job creation and social enterprise incubation: the potential of the initiatives to create new job opportunities and social business.

Some ongoing PhD Research:

  • Design an alternative strategy to reduce the environmental impact of products: the durability of the Classics as a stimulus to the creation.
  • Strategies and collaborative tools for the Design practice.
  • The Readjustment in the Design Process.

DESIS (Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability) is a network of design labs, based in design schools and design-oriented universities, actively involved in promoting and supporting sustainable change.
The ID+ DESIS Lab is held in the Research Institute for Design, Media and Culture [ID+] which is an organization jointly hosted by three Portuguese institutions: Universidade de Aveiro, Universidade do Porto and CPD- Centro Português de Design (Portuguese Center of Design).


Captura de tela 2013-10-28 19.01.23