Design Solutions for Resilience

  • Davide Fassi
  • Carla Sedini
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


Design and, in particular, design-research, is able to create the right conditions to engage resilient processes. In this chapter, we will present research projects that have used design strategies to reach different goals—from the development of business and strategic ideas, to the improvement of the quality of life of a neighbourhood.

Many intangible elements that have to do more with social capital than with economic, have to be considered and design methods are very useful in highlighting and explaining what usually stays covered. Narratives, participation, and co-design are suitable approaches to create and make visible connections, which can help resilience.

The focus of this chapter will be on the methods and tools that are typical of design processes used for projects concerned with the involvement of both institutions and citizens.


Design strategy Communities Engagement Resilience Cultural and creative industries 


  1. AaVv. (2015). Re/search milano. Mappa di una città a pezzi. Milano: Agenzia X.Google Scholar
  2. Armitage, J. (Ed.). (2000). Paul Virilio: From modernism to hypermodernism and beyond. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  3. Avison, D., Baskerville, R., & Myers, M. D. (2007). The structure of power in action research projects. In N. Kock (Ed.), Information systems action research. Boston: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Bagnasco, A. (1999). Tracce di comunità. Bologna: Il Mulino.Google Scholar
  5. Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid modernity. Cambridge: Polity press.Google Scholar
  6. Becattini, G. (1979). Dal settore industriale al distretto industriale. Alcune considerazioni sull’unità d’indagine dell’economia industriale. Rivista di economia e politica industriale, 1, 35–48.Google Scholar
  7. Björgvinsson, E., Ehn, P., & Hillgren, P. A. (2010, November). Participatory design and democratizing innovation. In Proceedings of the 11th biennial participatory design conference, Sydney, Australia. New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  8. Bontje, M., & Kepsu, K. (2013). Creative knowledge strategies for Polycentric City regions. In S. Musterd & Z. Kovàcs (Eds.), Place-making and policies for competitive cities. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  9. Bourdieu, P. (1980). Le capital social. Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 31(1), 2–3.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, T. (2009). Change by design. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  11. Cantor, J. (1995). Experiential learning in higher education: Linking classroom and community. Washington, DC: ERIC Digest.Google Scholar
  12. Castells, M. (1996). The rise of the network society: The information age: Economy, society and culture (Vol. 1). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  13. Christopherson, S., Michie, J. E., & Tyler, P. (2010). Regional resilience: Theoretical and empirical perspectives. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 3, 3–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Colucci, A. (2012). Le città resilienti: approcci e strategie. Pavia: Jean Monnet Centre.Google Scholar
  15. d’Ovidio, M., & Ranci, C. (2014). Social cohesion and global competitiveness: Clustering cities. In C. Ranci, T. Brandsen, & S. Sabatinelli (Eds.), Social vulnerability in European cities: The role of local welfare in times of crisis. Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan.Google Scholar
  16. Diehl, M., & Stroebe, W. (1987). Productivity loss in brainstorming groups: Toward the solution of a riddle. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(3), 497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Douglas, N., Douglas, N., & Derrett, R. (2001). Special interest tourism: Context and cases. Milton, Australia: Wiley.Google Scholar
  18. Ehn, P. (2010). Participation in design things. In 10th biennial participatory design conference proceedings, Bloomington, Indiana, USA. New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  19. Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (1997). Universities and the global knowledge economy. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
  20. Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (2000). The dynamics of innovation: From National Systems and “mode 2” to a triple Helix of university–industry–government relations. Research Policy, 29(2), 109–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fassi, D. (2017). Events and the city: When Arnold meets NoLo. In D. Fassi & B. Camocini (Eds.), In the neighbourhood. Milano: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar
  22. Fassi, D., & Sedini, C. (2017). Design actions with resilient local communities: Goals, drivers and tools. Strategic Design Research Journal, 10(1), 36–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fassi, D., Meroni, A., & Simeone, G. (2013). Design for Social Innovation as a form of design activism: An action format. In Social Frontiers: The next edge of social innovation research conference proceedings. London: NESTA. Accessed December 10, 2017, from
  24. Fassi, D., Galluzzo, L., & Rogel, L. (2016). Hidden public spaces: When a university campus becomes a place for communities. In P. Lloyd & E. Bohemia (Eds.), Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + research + society - future-focused thinking (Vol. 8, pp. 3407–3421).Google Scholar
  25. Ferraris, M. (2012). Manifesto del nuovo realismo. Bari: GLF editori Laterza.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ferraris, M. (2014). Che cosa c’è di nuovo nel “nuovo realismo”? Bollettino Filosofico, 27, 119–126.Google Scholar
  27. Fiksel, J. (2003). Designing Resilient, Sustainable Systems. Environmental Science & Technology, 37, 5330–5339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Foot, J. (2001). Milan since the miracle: City, culture and identity. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  29. Frayling, C. J. (1993). Research in art and design. Royal College of Art Research Papers, 1(1), 1–5.Google Scholar
  30. Granovetter, M. (1983). The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisited. Sociological Theory, 1(1), 201–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Graziano, P. (2012). Rischio, vulnerabilità e resilienza territoriale. Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali, Serie rossa: Economia. Accessed December 10, 2017, from
  32. Hahlweg, D. (1997). The City as a family. In S. H. Crowhurst Lennard, S. von Ungern-Sternberg, & H. L. Lennard (Eds.), Making cities livable. International making cities livable conferences. California: Gondolier Press.Google Scholar
  33. Hallegatte, S. (2014). Economic resilience: Definition and measurement. Policy research working paper, (No. 6852). Washington, DC: World Bank. Accessed December 10, 2017, from CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lampel, J., & Meyer, A. D. (2008). Guest editors’ introduction: Field-configuring events as structuring mechanisms: How conferences, ceremonies, and trade shows constitute new technologies, industries, and markets. Journal of Management Studies, 45(6), 1025–1035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lyotard, J. F. (1984). The postmodern condition: A report on knowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  36. Meroni, A., & Sangiorgi, D. (2011). Design for services. Aldershot: Gower Publishing.Google Scholar
  37. Manzini, E. (2015). Design when everybody designs. Boston: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  38. Marshall, A. (1890/2013). Principles of political economy. New York: Palgrave Mcmillan.Google Scholar
  39. Murray, R., Caulier-Grice, J., & Mulgan, G. (2010). The open book of social innovation. London: National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Art. Accessed December 10, 2017, from
  40. Nordvall, A., Pettersson, R., Svensson, B., & Brown, S. (2014). Designing events for social interaction. Event Management, 18(2), 127–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pasqualini, C. (2016). Una nuova cultura della socialità: la sfida delle social street a Milano. In R. Lodigiani (Ed.), Milano 2016. Idee, cultura, immaginazione e la Città metropolitana decolla. Milano: Franco Angeli.Google Scholar
  42. Pinto, H. (2015). Resilient territories: Innovation and creativity for new modes of regional development. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.Google Scholar
  43. Pisano, U. (2004). Resilience and sustainable development: Theory of resilience, systems thinking. European Sustainable Development Network (ESDN), 26, 50.Google Scholar
  44. Putnam, R. D. (1993). La tradizione civica nelle regioni italiane. Milano: Mondadori.Google Scholar
  45. Richards, G. W., & Raymond, C. (2000). Creative tourism. ATLAS news, 23, 16–20.Google Scholar
  46. Rodin, J. (2014). The resilience dividend: Managing disruption, avoiding disaster, and growing stronger in an unpredictable world. London: Profile Books.Google Scholar
  47. Sabatino, M. (2015). Competitività e Resilienza dei Distretti Produttivi in Sicilia. XXXVI Conferenza Italiana di Scienze Regionali, Cosenza. Accessed December 10, 2017, from
  48. Salzano, E. (1997). Seven aims for the Livable City. In S. H. Crowhurst Lennard, S. von Ungern-Sternberg, & H. L. Lennard (Eds.), Making cities livable. International making cities livable conferences. California: Gondolier Press.Google Scholar
  49. Sanders, E., & Stappers, P. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and Arts, 4(1), 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sanders, E., & Stappers, J. P. (2012). Convivial toolbox. Generative research for the front end of design. Amsterdam: BIS Publisher.Google Scholar
  51. Santagata, W., & Bertacchini, E. (2011). Creative atmosphere: Cultural industries and local development (No. 4/2011). Working paper Department of Economics “S. Cognetti de Martiins”. Accessed December 10, 2017, from
  52. Schlenker, K., Edwards, D. C., & Sheridan, L. (2005). A flexible framework for evaluating the socio-cultural impacts of a small festival. International Journal of Event Management Research, 1(1), 66–77.Google Scholar
  53. Sedini, C. (2011). Field-configuring events: Design fairs and cities. REDIGE Edição Especial: Economia Criativa, 2(2), 64–78.Google Scholar
  54. Sedini, C. (2015). Don’t reinvent the wheel: A design driven agenda for cultural and creative industries. In A. Meroni, L. Galluzzo, & L. Collina (Eds.), Proceedings conference, the virtuous circle. Design culture and experimentation (Politecnico di Milano, 3–7 giugno 2015). Milano: McGraw-Hill Education.Google Scholar
  55. Sennett, R. (2008). The craftsman. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  56. Smith, N., & Williams, P. (2013). Gentrification of the City. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sotarauta, M. (2005). Tales of resilience from two Finnish cities, self-renewal capacity in the heart of strategic adaptation. In C. Duke, M. Osborne, & B. Wilson (Eds.), Rebalancing the social and economic learning, partnership and place. Leicester: Niace.Google Scholar
  58. Spayde, J. (2012). Public art and place making. Public Art Review, 47, 22–25.Google Scholar
  59. Stumpo, G., & Manchin, R. (2014). The resilience of employment in the Culture and Creative Sectors (CCIs) during the crisis. EENC Report. Accessed December 10, 2017, from
  60. Throsby, D. (2008). The concentric circles model of the cultural industries. Cultural trends, 17(3), 147–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tönnies, F. (1887/2005). Community and society. In J. Lin & C. Mele (Eds.), The urban sociology reader (pp. 16–22). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  62. Vignati, A. (2015). Entrepreneurship in the creative and cultural sector. In A. Meroni, L. Galluzzo, & L. Collina (Eds.), Proceedings conference, the virtuous circle. Design culture and experimentation (Politecnico di Milano, 3–7 giugno 2015). Milano: McGraw-Hill Education.Google Scholar
  63. Visser, F. S., Stappers, P., Van der Lugt, R., & Sanders, E. B. (2005). Contextmapping: Experiences from practice. CoDesign, 1(2), 119–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Von Streit, A., & Lange, B. (2013). Governance of creative industries: The role of social and professional networks. In S. Musterd & Z. Kovàcs (Eds.), Place-making and policies for competitive cities. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  65. Walker, B., Holling, C. S., Carpenter, S. R., & Kinzig, A. (2004). Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society, 9(2), 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Woodman, R. W., Sawyer, J. E., & Griffin, R. W. (1993). Toward a theory of organizational creativity. The Academy of Management Review, 18(2), 293–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Fassi
    • 1
  • Carla Sedini
    • 1
  1. 1.Design DepartmentPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly

Personalised recommendations