Abstract

The role of design in changing people’s behaviour and causing social implications has been referred to as an inherent aspect of design. In taking responsibility for this influence of design, emphasis is often placed on the prevention of undesired consequences rather than the realization of desired ones. Little research exists on how to exploit this implicit yet inevitable role of design in the social realm. This paper presents the development of a method to help designers in exploiting this influence of design to realize social benefit. We explain how design is part of the ‘choice architecture’ in social dilemmas and discuss methodological steps we derived from this. We show how the integration of these steps in an existing design method has led to the method Social Implication Design (SID). The SID method has been applied in a project to improve the social situation in a deprived neighbourhood. We discuss the process and the outcome of this and illuminate strengths and weaknesses of the method. We conclude by reflecting on this type of design practice in relation to other practices of social design, and discuss the unique contribution of the artefact when it comes down to solving issues of social kind.

Keywords:

social design, behavioural change, design methodology, social dilemma, choice architecture

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Social Implication Design (SID) – A design method to exploit the unique value of the artefact to counteract social problems

The role of design in changing people’s behaviour and causing social implications has been referred to as an inherent aspect of design. In taking responsibility for this influence of design, emphasis is often placed on the prevention of undesired consequences rather than the realization of desired ones. Little research exists on how to exploit this implicit yet inevitable role of design in the social realm. This paper presents the development of a method to help designers in exploiting this influence of design to realize social benefit. We explain how design is part of the ‘choice architecture’ in social dilemmas and discuss methodological steps we derived from this. We show how the integration of these steps in an existing design method has led to the method Social Implication Design (SID). The SID method has been applied in a project to improve the social situation in a deprived neighbourhood. We discuss the process and the outcome of this and illuminate strengths and weaknesses of the method. We conclude by reflecting on this type of design practice in relation to other practices of social design, and discuss the unique contribution of the artefact when it comes down to solving issues of social kind.

 

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