EMUDE (Emerging User Demands for Sustainable Solutions) is a programme of activities funded by the European Commission, the aim of which is to explore the potential of social innovation as a driver for technological and production innovation, in view of sustainability. Behind the initiative are a consortium of partners, including the Milan Polytechnic, Doors of Perception and Philips Design.
Their newly published book, Creative Communities, sheds more light -- by adopting a design perspective -- on cases where subjects and communities use existing resources in an original way to bring about sustainable system innovation.
The book is available for download: low res. (46.6 mb) - medium res. (66.5 mb)
(via John Thackara)This book is about social innovation as a driver for sustainable technological and production innovation. Adopting a design perspective, it presents several case studies and their providers, the creative communities, where individuals and communities use existing resources in a creative, original way to bring about system innovation.
This book does not set out to give yet another theoretical definition of creativity. Instead it seeks to define creativity through a series of innovative responses to the various problems that crop up in everyday life. So it talks about on-the-field creativity (and therefore innovation) triggered by the real context of needs, resources, principles and capabilities.
The cases and the people presented in this book are not only interesting because they are innovative, but they are also aesthetically "beautiful": there is something in the way they appear that invokes positive emotions and recalls the straightforward aesthetics of the useful.
They are beautiful because they are colourful and authentically and surprisingly creative. They express vitality and spirit of initiative: they are the unthinkable made possible, the alternative getting itself into working order. And they are also "good": whether intentionally or by coincidence they propose solutions in which individual interests converge with those of society and the environment, creating conditions for a more satisfying use of resources. Because this restores meaning and value to everyday activities they look promising as a transition towards sustainability.