Our design tools and publications are available in open source. We also provide references and case studies selected from the world of Design Research.

Our design tools

Our tools can be downloaded in open source along with technical manuals and indications for use.

We suggest to use them together with our guidance for a holistic understanding of their potential.

Our publications

We shared our first contributions with the international community that deals with Design Research, which can be consulted in this section.


Busciantella-Ricci, D., Argenziano, I., Gandolfi, M., Ventin, M. (2021). Democratizing design: lessons from a case study in the Alpine area. In L. Di Lucchio, L. Imbesi, A. Giambattista, V. Malakuczi (Eds.), Design Culture(s). Cumulus Conference Proceedings Roma 2021, Volume #2 (pp. 2768-2785). Cumulus Conference Proceedings Series, N°7. Sapienza University of Rome, Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Busciantella-Ricci, D., Ventin, M. (2020). Requirements for inclusive experiences in design knowledge transfer. In F. Tosi, A. Serra, A. Brischetto, E. Iacono (Eds.), Design for Inclusion, Gamification and Learning Experience (pp. 382-391). FrancoAngeli.

Busciantella-Ricci, D., Ventin, M. (2020). Eight practice issues in design knowledge transfer: a case study. In M. Evans, A. Shaw, & J. Na (Eds.), Design revolutions: IASDR 2019 Conference Proceedings. Volume 3: People (pp. 288-303). Manchester Metropolitan University.

Busciantella-Ricci, D., Carbone, E., Ventin, M. (2019). Designing a Dissemination Framework: An Introduction to Design Knowledge Transfer. In J. Häkkilä, M. Pakanen, E. Luiro, E. Mikkonen, S. Miettinen (Eds.), Cumulus Conference Proceedings Rovaniemi 2019 "Around the Campfire – Resilience and Intelligence" 27th May – 1st June 2019, Rovaniemi, Finland (pp. 62-82). University of Lapland, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.


Bieling, Tom (Ed.) (2019). Design (&) Activism: Perspectives on Design as Activism and Activism as Design. Mimesis International.


A selection of our reference points in the field of studies in Design Research.



Bason, C. (2016). Design for policy. Routledge.

Erlhoff, M., & Marshall, T. (Eds.) (2007). Design dictionary: perspectives on design terminology. Basel: Birkhäuser.

Hanington, B., & Martin, B. (2012). Universal methods of design: 100 ways to research complex problems, develop innovative ideas, and design effective solutions. Rockport Publishers.

Krippendorff, K. (2005). The semantic turn: A new foundation for design. CRC Press.

Manzini, E. (2015). Design, when everybody designs: An introduction to design for social innovation. MIT Press.

Meroni, A., & Sangiorgi, D. (2016). Design for services. Routledge.

Michel, R. (2007). Design research now. Basel: Birkhäuser.

Schön, D. A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Basic books.

Rodgers, P., & Yee, J. (Eds.) (2014). The Routledge companion to design research. Routledge.

Simon, H. A. (1996). The sciences of the artificial (3rd ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT press.

Stickdorn, M., Hormess, M. E., Lawrence, A., & Schneider, J. (2018). This is service design doing: Applying service design thinking in the real world. O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Stickdorn, M., & Schneider, J. (2010). This is service design thinking: Basics, tools, cases. Amsterdam: BIS publishers.


Design and Culture: The Journal of the Design Studies Forum

Design and Culture reflects the state of scholarships in design and supports new or overlooked research directions that redefine our understanding of design. It provides a platform for students and professional from different sectors to discuss the fundamentals of design, both in terms of practice and research.

Design Issues

An American academic journal that examines the history, theory and criticism of design. It provides inquiries into cultural and intellectual questions related to design.

Design Studies: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Design Research

An international academic journal that focuses on developing our understanding of design processes. It thus provides an interdisciplinary forum for the analysis, design and discussion of the fundamental aspects of design activities, from cognition and method to values and philosophy.

International Journal of Design

An open-access and peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the publication of research articles covering all fields of design. It aims at providing an international forum for the exchange of ideas and results from researchers in different cultures and to encourage research into the impact of cultural factors on design theory and practice.

Journal of Design Research
An interdisciplinary journal that emphasizes human aspects as a central question in design through studies that integrate social sciences into design disciplines.

The Design Journal: An International Journal for All Aspects of Design
An international journal that covers all aspects of design, including articles from both cultural and commercial contexts. The journal aims at publishing stimulating work that has a direct impact on design knowledge and challenges hypotheses and methods while also being open to the constantly evolving role of design.


Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA)

A non-profit organization founded entirely by its members. Its vision is that design is adopted in Europe as an engine for sustainable growth and prosperity.

Cumulus association
Including 299 members in 56 countries.

Design Council
Charity and government consultant on design.  Its goal is to improve life through design.

Design Research Society
A company committed  to promoting and developing design research. The longest-standing and most interdisciplinary company in the world within the design research community.

Desis Network
A non-profit cultural association that aims to support design for social innovation in higher education institutions through the discipline of design in order to generate awareness about design and create meaningful social change in collaboration with other stakeholders.

European Academy of Design
An academy led by a committee of eminent scholars from across Europe as well as North America and Australia. The academy aims to improve collaboration and help spread research at a European level, and to support the publication and dissemination of design research.

International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR)

A charitable and non-profit NGO made up of design research associate companies from around the world. The association’s aim is to support research and study around design activities in all of its numerous fields of application.

Service Design Network

An organization mainly formed by volunteers that aims to strengthen theory and practice in service design. The network privileges the application of service design for improving business, government and society more generally.



Conference of the European Academy of Design (EAD)
The aim is to promote the publication and dissemination of design research through conferences hosted by educational institutions across Europe and the publication of conference proceedings, newsletter and a journal.

Cumulus Association Conference
An international association for education and research in the fields of art and design. The conference is a forum for collaboration and knowledge transfer and best practices. Cumulus is currently made up of 299 members from 56 countries.

Design Research Society (DRS) Conference
The conference aims to discuss and present current theory and practice in Design Research.

International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) Conference

An international NGO (non-profit) made up of design research associate companies from all over the world. The association, among other activities , promotes the organization of a biennial international research conference on design, in appropriate venues around the world.

Service Design and Innovation conference (ServDes)
The Service Design and Innovation conference is a research conference for exchanging knowledge in the field of service design and studies into service innovation.

Service Design Global Conference (SDGC)
The conference includes more than 800 professionals, scholars and interested parties engaged in exploring the latest news, trends and studies that form the service design sector. The volunteer-based organizations work under the aegis of the SDN, acting as a bridge between international and regional interests.


A map of case studies of government labs that use, at various levels, different approaches and disciplines of design culture to support and/or maintain governments in social innovation and in the public sector.

A selection of Innovation Labs case studies worldwide.


Service design as a design discipline for innovation

Design thinking as a strategy for innovation

Human-centred approaches as a method of innovation

The Studio
Dublin, Ireland

Starting year: 2010
Position: Dublin City Council
Mission: growing the capacity of Dublin City Council to innovate and improve the quality of its own services.

London, United Kingdom

Starting year: 2008
Position: City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Essex County Council
Mission: reforming the health system and public services, supporting organizations through digital transformations and service design.

Lisbon, Portugal

Starting year: 2016
Position: Public administration
Mission: experimenting with new solutions to improve public services and the everyday life of both citizens and businesses.

Laboratorio de Gobierno
Santiago, Chile

Starting year: 2014
Position: Governmental laboratory at national level
Mission: a new approach of the Chilean state to face public challenges, putting people at the centre of its actions ; supporting a vision of the state at the service of the people.

Laboratorio para la ciudad
Mexico City, Mexico

Starting year: 2013
Ending year: 2018
Position: Government of Mexico City
Mission: space in which citizenship, civil society, academia, private initiatives and government meet to change the way of understanding the city and carrying out actions together.

Adelaide, Australia

Starting year: 2009
Position: South Australian Government
Mission: discovering new and better ways to create commons, moving social innovation from the margins and into the centre of national priorities.

La 27e Région
Paris, France

Starting year: 2008
Position: Independent association, Alliance of Regions
Mission: testing new methods of innovation for designing public policies that involve all public actors.

Public Policy Lab
New York, United States

Starting year: 2011
Position: Nonprofit organisation for government
Mission: applying human-centred design methods, behavioural science and technological development to the challenges met by people on low incomes.