Design for Social Innovation

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As far back as the Industrial Revolution, the design field had been operating as the brains behind big corporates and organizations that sought a competitive edge in their sectors. Unfortunately, the race for more significant market share by corporates within a high capitalism structure has created some long-standing effects that include unfair distribution of power and wealth; social, monopolistic, and monopsonistic inequalities; and high materialism. The most prevalent of these inequalities is experienced in hierarchal structures where the majority of the population experiences the brunt of the problems and the least amount of relief and power to repair them. It is, therefore, essential to reflect on how much of the world is affected or influenced by design and, with a specific focus on interior design, explore how designers can improve their social compact through engagement in design for social innovation. Against this backdrop, this study seeks to contribute to interior design’s larger footprint in socially innovative projects and help illuminate how interior design could serve a broader number of the world’s population by being active participants in the ever-increasing field of socially responsible design. The study used an exploratory qualitative approach to critically examine the existing literature on the social innovation landscape, approaches, and socially responsible design. The study proposed a conceptual framework for social innovation integration into interior design based on this understanding. The study is viewed as a step forward in moving the interior design industry into adopting more design for social innovation projects.