Ezio Manzini: Cosmopolitan Localism

NewSchool Auditorium
Street address
1249 F Street, San Diego CA
3pm - 4:30pm Free Lecture in Auditorium & 5pm - 6pm Book Presentation and Signing

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Ezio Manzini

For more than two decades he has been working in the field of design for sustainability. Most recently, his interests have focussed on social innovation, considered as a major driver of sustainable changes. In this perspective he started DESIS: an international network of schools of design specifically active in the field of design for social innovation and sustainability

Presently, he is Chair Professor of Design for Social Innovation at the University of the Arts London, Honorary Professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Guest Professor at Tongji University, Shanghai and Jiangnan University, Wuxi.

In addition to his continuous involvement in the design for sustainability arena, he has explored and promoted design potentialities in different fields, such as: Design of Materials, in the 80s; Strategic Design, in the 90s, starting a Master in Strategic Design; Service Design, in the last ten years, starting the specific courses in Service Design.

His most recent book is “Design, When Everybody Designs. An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation”, MIT Press 2015.

Lecture Abstract

Until now the discussion on sustainability and resilience has mainly adopted technical, economic, functional points of view. This paper assumes that, even though these approaches are important and necessary, they are not enough. If sustainability and resilience must be characterizing features of every potential future society, their cultural dimension must be considered too. In order to give a contribution in this direction, the presentation introduces the notions of distributed systems and cosmopolitan localism and discuss the possibility to use design tools to connect and reinforce them. It also observes that both distributed systems and cosmopolitan localism can be recognized in the growing wave of social innovations we are witnessing world-wide. Building on them, the presentation concludes outlining an emerging design scenario, the SLOC Scenario, and the new cultural fabric needed to implement it.

Special guests include:

Don Norman, Director, Design Lab at University of California, San Diego

Joseph Kennedy, Adjunct Instructor, Undergraduate Architecture, NewSchool of Architecture & Design

Michael Stepner, Professor, Undergraduate Architecture, NewSchool of Architecture & Design


Free Lecture in Auditorium: 3pm - 4:30pm

Book Presentation and Signing: 5pm - 6pm

A limited number of books will be available for sale for $20 (cash or check).