Course in Social Design

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Currently, design is revealed as an essential tool not only for aesthetic creation, but also as a fundamental medium for debate and critic in our society. Recognising the imperfections of the system in which we live, with its marked social and environmental imbalances, design is presented as a necessary vehicle to question and suggest alternatives. In this context, discipline in design takes crucial responsibility in developing mechanisms that allow society to address and discuss these challenges, easing the path to more solid and thoughtful changes.

The own nature of design offers different possibilities to incorporate this critical attitude. From processes and proposals immersed in market dynamics to more radical approaches, design becomes an agent of change when it comes to reflection and social action.

This course is based on a theorical basis in social design, aiming to offer an integral vision of the key strategies for a more sustainable design that also generates a social change. Throughout this programme, we will explore project examples that illustrate the application of these theories in successful and failed cases. We will also make design proposals applied to real problems, in touch with a social entity, allowing the participants not only to acquire theorical knowledge, but also to apply them actively in a real case. This way, the participants’ capacity to address specific challenges and generate solutions in the area of design with social impact will be empowered.

Aimed at

Designers and professionals in creative and/or social sectors. People with the need of change, with inquisitiveness and an ethical compromise who want to innovate in the resolution of social problems. People who want to broaden their knowledge and deeply understand Social Design.

Needed materials

Laptop, sheets, pens and/or markers.


The objective of this course is to provide an integral vision about design’s capacity to generate a significant social change. During the programme, we will not only concisely explore some key strategies for a more sustainable design, but also immerse ourselves in the study of communication with an impact, all this based in real cases. When thoroughly examining these dynamics, we aim to provide the participants with a deep understanding of how design and communication can merge to motivate solutions that besides being environmentally respectful, will drive a positive change in society.

Structure and content
Key concepts to understand social design
  • Innovation, social design, inclusive design, and design as an agent of social change
  • The social impact in each of the disciplines in design
  • The mistakes in good intentions
  • The study of mono and multidisciplinary cases
  • Basic indicators of social impact
  • Strategies of divergent creativity
Designing for change (in collaboration with a social entity)
  • Practical case
  • Detecting the problem/s
  • Improvement proposals

Anaïs Esmerado

Graduated in Design by Elisava and the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. Master’s degree in Graphic Management and Production by Elisava. Master’s degree in creativity as a tool for social inclusion (UB). Postgraduate degree in Sociology (UOC).

After twelve years working in graphic design, marketing and communication strategy for public and private institutions, she decided to change her professional goals and train herself in conflict management to travel to Asia, where she works in different cooperation projects. In 2016 she moved to Greece to collaborate with refugees by using creativity as a tool for social transformation.

In 2018 she created the Ojalá Projects Association which she runs since then with the aim of generating participative and co-creation processes between university students with different collectives in vulnerability. After the pandemic, she created the project Disseny x inclusió, promoting the local action and using design as an agent for change. Anaïs Esmerado’s LinkedIn.

Curro Claret

Curro Claret was born in Barcelona in 1968. He studied industrial design at Elisava Superior School of Design and at Central Saint Martins in London. Since 1998 he works as a freelance designer, in different projects (objects, facilities, interior design, events, happening…) for families, friends, galleries, institutions, fundations, Barcelona’s city council, the Generalitat of Catalonia and different companies. He also occasionally works as a teacher and industrial design workshop coordinator, mainly at IED School in Barcelona. He has been a member of FAD’s management board.

His work has been exhibited in many galleries and museums and has received many honours and awards. His work stands out for being the result of a constant reflection about the designer’s role in society and the inclusion of the user in creation processes. At the same time, his way of designing can be considered social in that it usually is a tool to generate inclusion, collaboration and co-design processes with collectives of people in a position fragility.