Ezio Manzini is a world's leading expert on sustainable design. He is professor of Industrial Design at Milan Polytechnic, where he focuses on innovative processes in the system of production and consumption and, in particular, on the relationship between product strategies and environmental policies in the perspective of sustainable development. His most recent interests have focused on social innovation and on what design can do to support it. He is the founder and president of DESIS Network.


Field of Research Interests

service design; strategic design; sustainable design; social innovation


Social and Academic Position

President of DESIS Network international


Work Experience


Honorary professor, Politecnico di Milano

Chair Professor in Design for Social Innovation, University of the Arts London,

Honorary Guest Porfessor, Tongji University

Honorary Guest Porfessor, Jiangnan University


July to October 2014, Guest Professor, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town

2011-2012, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Parsons the New School for Design, New York

2000-2001, Chair Professor of Design under the Distinguished Scholars Scheme, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

1993-2010, Full professor in Industrial Design, Politecnico di Milano

1983-1993, Director and Vice-president, Domus Academy

1978-1992, Researcher and Associate Professor, Politecnico di Milano


Selected Publications

[1] Mannzini, E. (2014). Make Things Happen: Social Innovation and Design. in Design Issues, Volume 30, No.1, Winter 2014

[2] Manzini, E. and Eduardo Staszowski (eds.), (2013). Public and Collaborative. Exploring the Intersection of Design, Social Innovation and Public Policy.

[3] Manzini, E, and Meroni, A. (2013). Design for Territorial Ecology and A New Relationship between City and Countryside: The Experience of the Feeding Milano Project. in Walker, S. and Giard, J, (eds.), The Handbook for Design for Sustainability. Bloomsbury, London

[4] Manzini, E. and Tassinari, V. (2013). Sustainable Qualities: Powerful Drivers of Social Change. in Crocker. R. Lehmann, S. (ed.), Motivating Change. Earthscan, London

[5] Manzini, E. (2013). People-As-Assets. Fields, An interdisciplinary Design Journal. Issue 01, Spring 2013

[6] Manzini, E. (2013). Resilient Systems and Sustainable Qualities. Current, Design Research Journal, Issue 04, Spring 2013

[7] Manzini, E. (2012). Error-Friendliness: How to Design Resilient Socio-Technical Systems. in Goofbun, J. (ed.), Scarcity. Architetcture in an Age of Depleting Resources, Architectural Design.

[8] Manzini E., Rizzo F. (2011). Small Projects/Large Changes. Partecipatory Design as an Open Partecipated Process, CoDesign, Vol. 7 (3-4): 199-215

[9] Manzini, E. (2011). Introduction to Design for Services. A New Discipline. in Meroni, A., Sangiorgi, D. (eds.), Design for Services. Grower, London. UK, 2011.

[10] Manzini, E. (2011). SLOC, The Emerging Scenario of Small, Local, Open and Connected. in Stephan Harding (ed.), Grow Small Think Beautiful (Edinburgh, Floris Books)

[11] Manzini, E. (2010). Small, Local, Open and Connected: Design Research Topics in the Age of Networks and Sustainability. Journal of Design Strategies, Volume 4, No. 1, Spring 2010

[12] Manzini, E. (2009). Service Design in the Age of Networks and Sustainability. in: Miettinen, S., Koivisto, M. (eds.), Designing Services with Innovative Methods, University of Arts and Design, Helsinki

[13] Jegou, F., and Manzini, E. (2008). Collaborative Services: Social Innovation and Design for Sustainability, Polidesign. Milano

[14] Vezzoli C., and Manzini E. (2008). Design for Environmental Sustainability. London: Springer

[15] Manzini, E. (2007). Design Research for Sustainable Social Innovation. in Michel R. (ed.), Design Research Now: Essays and Selected Projects,  Birkhäuser Basel,  2007

[16] Manzini, E. (2007). The Scenario of the Multi-local Society. in J. Chapman, N. Gant. Designers, Visionaries plus Other stories, Earthscan, London

[17] Leong B.D. and Manzini, E. (2006). Design Vision : A Sustainable Way of Living in China. Ningnan Publishing House Ltd., China


Honors and Awards


1987 Compasso d’Oro (Design Prizes)

2011 Compasso d’Oro (Design Prizes)

2012 Premio per l’innovazione  (Prize for innovation)

2012 Sir Misha Back Medal for the year (International prize for design teaching)

2013 Jiangsu Friendship in China

Honorary Titles

Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts The New School of New York

Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Goldsmiths College, University of London

Honorary Professor Glasgow School of Art




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