Tongji Design Week 2018| Design for Collaborative Cities Conference

DxCC Conference

Design for Collaborative Cities Conference

Cumulus pre-conference co-organized 

by Tongji University College of Design and Innovation and the DESIS Network

A conference in the framework of the DESIS Thematic Cluster on Collaborative Cities

l  What can design do for social cohesion? What can it do for urban commons? How can it trigger and support a regenerative circular economy? 

 How can it enrich the urban ecosystem with appropriate enabling infrastructure? 

l  How can design leverage social-innovation to orient city-making processes towards resilient, sustainable, and collaborative cities?

Design for Collaborative Cities Conference (DxCC) deals with these questions by presenting several meaningful examples worldwide. It goes on to highlight the role of design within them, meaning the design-driven initiatives that characterize them, the design culture that orients them, and the specific design tools that have been used.

The Conference is one step in the roadmap of the DESIS Thematic Cluster on Collaborative Cities—an articulated design research program self-organized by DESIS Network, involving several design schools worldwide and dealing with the issue of design and social innovation in city-making processes.

The Conference is connected with SIX-Social Innovation Exchange, that collaborates with Tongji University and DESIS Network as content partner. 

Research Threads 

1 Design for social cohesion

Connecting people and generating public spaces

How can design help in connecting people who are both different and unknown to each other? In other words, how can it co-produce the cosmopolitan fabric of a fluid society?

How can extreme individualism be counteracted and the huge diversities found in contemporary urban spaces bridged? How can public spaces be generated where this can happen?

2 Design for regenerating commons

Building place-related and place-caring communities

How can design collaborate in creating unprecedented place-related social forms? In other words: how can it collaborate in building new forms of communities-of-place?

How can existing spaces be used and reused to generate new urban commons? How can places be connected with highly individualized and mobile people?

3 Design for urban production

Enhancing distributed manufacturing and circular economy in the city

How can design enhance and connect urban production activities, in a regenerative circular economy perspective? In other words: how can it support socio-technical ecosystems in which sustainable urban production can thrive?

How can Fab Labs, digital and traditional craftsmanship, small industries, research centres, repair-reuse shops and informal worker networks be integrated in the larger scenario of “new urban manufacturing”? How can unprecedented value production constellations be created inside and around the city?


4 Design for urban infrastructure

Improving the enabling ecosystem with a hybrid collaborative platform

How can design improve material and immaterial enabling ecosystems? In other words, how can it collaborate in an unprecedented infrastructuring process?

How can the existing enabling ecosystems be enhanced with new hybrid (physical and digital) collaborative platforms? How can some basic social, environmental and democratic values be embedded in these platforms?  

5 Design, and design schools, as agents of change

Experimenting specific design tools and strategies to impact on city-making processes

Given a successful city-making process, what is the specific role of design experts? Which design initiatives do they drive? Which practical and cultural tools do they use?

How can design schools (meaning teachers and students, but also the school-related physical assets) become effective agents of change in the urban contexts where they are situated?

Conference Speakers


John Thackara l Philosopher, writer, advisor, and Senior Fellow at the Royal College of Art, UK.

Ezio Manzini l Founder of DESIS Network. Distinguished Professor on Design for Social Innovation a Elisava-Design School and Engineering, Barcelona; Honorary Professor at the Politecnico di Milano; and Guest Professor at Tongji University (Shanghai) and Jiangnan University (Wuxi).

LOU Yongqi l Professor, Dean of Tongji University College of Design and Innovation.

Luisa Collina l Dean and Professor of the School of Design at Politecnico di Milano, President of Cumulus, the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media.

Gabriella Montes-Gomez l Founder of Laboratorio para la Ciudad, the experimental arm / creative think tank of the Mexico City government, reporting to the Mayor. She is also a TED Senior Fellow, an MIT Director´s Fellow, a Yale World Fellow, an Institute for the Future Fellow and a World Cities Summit Young Leader.

Francois Jegou l Head of Strategic Design Scenarios, professor of strategic design at La Cambre, Brussels and Design manager of the Laboratory of Usage and Innovative Practices at the Cité du Design in Saint-Etienne, France. He is Lead expert of URBACT, Expert for DG REGIO and founding member of the DESIS network.

Carla Cipolla l Professor of the UFRJ - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, international coordinator of DESIS Network.

Adam Thorpe l Professor of Socially Responsive Design at Central Saint Martins College, University of the Arts London (UAL). Co Director of the Design Against Crime Research Centre and Coordinator of the UAL DESIS Lab.

Louise Pulford l Executive Director of SIX, a social innovation exchange built on mutual value, relationships and knowledge. Louise has worked on social innovation with the European Commission since 2010 and she sits on the Mayor of Seoul’s Advisory group for social innovation.

Sojung Rim l Program Director at SIX(social innovation exchange). So Jung is the co-founder of SPREAD-i, an associate at Social Life- a social enterprise specializing in place-based innovation.

Arzu Mistry l Artist, she currently teaches at the Srishti Institute for Art Design and Technology in Bangalore, facilitates the Art in Transit and placeARTS public art projects in the city of Bangalore.

Davide Fassi l Associate professor in interior and product service system design at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy and adjunct professor at  Tongji University College of Design and Innovation. Coordinator of GIDE (Group of International Design Education) and member of the International Coordination Committee of the DESIS Network.

ZHONG Fang l PhD, Deputy director, Collaborative innovation center of Eco-Design, Aacdemy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University.

Albert Fuster l Academic Director of ELISAVA, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering. He is the Director of the "Master in Creative Process", by Elisava and Ferran Adrià, and coordinates with Ezio Manzini the program "Design for City Making in Barcelona".

NI Minqing l Lecturer at  Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, Executive Vice Director, coordinator of  Tongji DESIS Lab.

Liesbeth Huybrechts l Associate professor at University of Hasselt. She co-founded the research group Social Spaces exploring the social qualities of design and art.

Francesca Valsecchi l Assistant professor at Tongji Universit College of Design & Innovation.

Conference Information 


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28 October 2018 (13:00-18:30)

29 October 2018 (9:00-12:30)    


Dark Room Lecture Hall

Tongji University College of Design and Innovation

(281 Fuxin Road, Shanghai, China)



Conference Chairs

Ezio Manzini 

LOU Yongqi

Conference Coordinator

NI Minqing

Conference Registration

Please complete the online registration before Oct. 20, 2018.

Registration Link:

Payment Methods

Registration fee

 Regular attendants: RMB 1000.

 Postgraduate students (Master/PhD): RMB 500.

■ The participants who have already registered for Cumulus Wuxi conference ( enjoy free admission to DxCC,please show registration receipt at onsite registration.

 DESIS Network researchers enjoy free admission to DxCC, please show relevant certificates at onsite registration.

■ Please note:

1.The fee covers admission and refreshments. Accommodation and transportation is not included.

2. Postgraduate student attendants should upload scanned copy or photo of your student ID when register. The conference materials will be available on site at check-in, upon student ID.

3. Teachers and students in Tongji University please show your campus smart card when getting the conference materials.

Bank Remittance

Beneficiary: Tongji University

Beneficiary Bank Account No.: 033267-00812000848

Beneficiary Bank: Shanghai Xiangyin Sub-branch, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.

Currency: RMB

Please note:

1.Please do leave the remark "DxCC, name of attendant, date of remittance" when conducting bank remittance. For example, " DxCC, Wang Xiaoming, 20180920" (If the remittance is not conducted by the participant himself or herself, please do leave the participant’s name in the remark.) 

2.After successful remittance, please upload the scanned copy or photo of the remittance receipt to complete the online registration.

3.The deadline for bank remittance registration is 20 Oct 2018.

Onsite payment

Onsite payment can be made via POS machine or cash at 12:00-13:30 of Oct.28, 2018 at Tongji University College of Design and Innovation (281 Fuxin Road, Shanghai, China).

 Please note:

1.The 'online registration' must be completed before Oct.20, 2018 while registration fee can be paid on site.

2.For participants who hold the foreign bankcards, please register online first, and pay the registration fee in RMB cash onsite.

3.Attendants who pay online please bring your vouchers (original, photo or printed ver sion of scanning page) to collect the invoices at the conference site. 

On-site Registration

Time:12:00-13:30, 28 Oct 2018

Venue: Tongji University College of Design and Innovation


Any questions please send emails 

to the organizing committee at


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