Community-centered Design for Social Innovation: Bottom-up and Government Initiatives in Shanghai


Insecurity has gripped our society. When we write these words, some countries may be experiencing war, hunger, and poverty. The causes of this extreme insecurity vary, but the major contributors include a lack of community cohesion, relevance, and cultural identity. In the absence of timely solutions to these problems, more social problems arise. Therefore, this paper proposes a new way from the social innovation perspective. The communication begins by exploring the concept of social innovation design, which is crucial to explain the challenges and transformations that design disciplines face in today’s society, particularly in Shanghai, China, where the research is based. This is a qualitative methodology process. At the beginning of the study, the Delphi method was identified as an appropriate research methodology used as a tool for forecasting and validation. Some considerations about design ethnography are also presented to understand the methods used in the experimented participatory design process. This is followed by presenting three case studies in Chinese territory described and displayed in their participatory design process: the Xixi Garden and Shanghai Paradise in Shanghai and the community museum in Xiazhu Village, Zhuji City, Zhejiang Province. The objective is to understand the importance and role of social innovation design and participatory design processes of both government and bottom-up initiatives in Shanghai and Zhejiang Province. The main goal is to deepen the foundations for developing other research in social innovation and to promote the emergence of more projects in the future.


Aoni Zhang
Student, Phd, University of Lisbon, Jiangsu, China


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society



Digital Media

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