Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2020/2021
Scuola Scuola del Design
Docente Crabu Stefano
Cfu 6.00 Tipo insegnamento Corso Integrato

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Nome Sezione Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The mission of this course is to offer to students awareness of the societal, cultural and political impact of innovation, by paying special attention on the major challenges for designers acting in technologically dense environments. By adopting a “critical thinking” sensitivity, the course will outline an actionable framework able to capture how and to which extent designers can promote innovation processes that are more flexible, resilient and respondent to societal needs.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

- Recognize and understand the social dynamics that orient technological innovation processes, with particular attention to design-driven innovations;

- Apply this knowledge to the contemporary socio-technical contexts, with the aim to understand the innovation as the emerging outcome by the mutual entanglement between users, technological tools, institutions, policy makers and designers / developers;

- Acquire novel competences able to pollinate possible innovation strategies sensitive to the potential social, environmental and ethical impact.

Argomenti trattati

In our turbulent society, technologies are crucial in solving and shaping challenges in equal measure. In this respect, the main subject of the course concerns exploring and understanding the societal, cultural and political impact of innovation, by paying special attention to the major challenges that designers acting in technologically dense environments should face.

Indeed, mainstream design narratives frame the design profession as a role servicing human beings, that is an activity devoted to shape a better and socially desirable living environments. However, we know that in many cases innovations, even if designed with the aim of improving living conditions, can fail, or can generate unwanted consequences, being rejected by social groups and the communities. The course “Innovation Theories and Cultures”, by providing an integrative set of theoretical and analytical concepts, will outline a framework able to capture how and to which extent designers can promote innovation processes that are more flexible, resilient and respondent to societal needs.

- The first part of the course (25 hours) will be carried out by means of interactive lectures, addressing fundamental issues within innovation theories, such as the co-production of science, technology and society, the socio-technical transitions, the diffusion of innovations, and the democratization of technological innovation.

- In the second part of the course (25 hours) will be organized in the form of participatory thematic symposia ("flipped class" methodology) with the aim to critically analyze specific case studies able to highlight some fundamental (but often neglected) features of contemporary innovation processes, such as the role of algorithms and big data; the Responsible Research and Innovation; the digital fabrication and the relation between gender and technology.

The assessment methods may be different for attending and non-attending students (see below).

The reading list will provided on Beep.


There are no pre-requisites for attendance.

Modalità di valutazione

Evaluation criteria for attendant students

- Active participation during classwork;

- Mid-term assessment (written assignment) concerning the topics and the reading list discussed during the first part of the course;

- Final essay, its presentation and related discussion.

Those who obtain acceptable marks both in the Mid-term assessment and in final essaay will be exempted from the oral exam.


For non-attendant students

All students can pass the exam in any exam session of the course. The exam consists of an oral discussion (about half an hour) about the content of the reading list.

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaE. Rogers, Diffusion of innovations (pp. 13-31), Editore: Free Press
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaJ. Wajcman, Domestic technology: labour saving or enslaving? (pp. 81-109)
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaS. Jasanoff, Ordering knowledge, ordering society (pp. 13-43)
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaF.W. Geels, Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes (pp. 1257-1273)
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaAdam Greenfield, Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life , Editore: Verso Book, Anno edizione: 2017, ISBN: 178663449X

This book is related to the second part of the course

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 50:00 100:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese

Note Docente
This program has been designed to be delivered in the presence of people, hoping to overcome the health emergency linked to COVID 19.
In the event of a prolonged health emergency, the timetable could vary, providing for the introduction (in part or in full) of online educational activities.
More detailed information on the methods of provision and access, as well as the indications relating to security protocols and social distancing, will be available on the University and School website. More details on teaching will be communicated by the teachers in the manner provided.
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