Planning food recovery and environmental sustainability

3 min read

Design for social innovation, as Ezio Manzini’s words remind us, is «everything that expert design can do to activate, support and orient the processes of social change towards sustainability». From this perspective, design becomes a tool for supporting and supporting citizens, communities and organizations who wish to experiment with innovations with a positive impact on the environmental and socio-economic contexts of their territories. An example in this sense is provided by Frassati Foodprint, one of the winning projects of the «Wonder. Experiments in design for social innovation” by Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, which rewards projects in the Turin area conceived by local third sector bodies created with the support of designers of national origin.

The Frassati FoodPrint project involved Studio Shift in the creation of a path of analysis, systematization, prototyping and, finally, implementation of a methodology and digital tools that led the Frassati Cooperative to measure, increase and perfect the impact of recovery actions food and environmental sustainability; maintain or improve the health condition of homeless people; promote the development of a culture of sustainable and healthy eating within the cooperative’s services and among citizens.

The project represents an orientation that transcends the categories commonly associated with design, confirming the possibility of exploiting the discipline as a first agent, anticipator and activator of social innovation processes that attempts to aggregate different stakeholders around a common vision of change. «We are a studio of designers and change-makers: we work exclusively with the third sector and we do it with co-creation processes. For the development of this project we proposed moments of co-design with all the stakeholders of the future service, from operators to users; therefore, all the people who will use the solutions”, says Elena Giunta, founder of Studio Shift, adding: “if there is no unified understanding of the problem and the improvement objectives there will be no real participation and therefore not even the desired response” . Words that describe the added value brought by the collaboration with the design studio to the project, as confirmed by the story of Luca Calvetto, head of fundraising and research and development of the Frassati cooperative: «We had not yet collaborated with a design studio and to work with co-design methods. The collaboration has allowed us to look at our work and our processes by adopting a different perspective, enriching our ability to understand needs and therefore to design increasingly adequate responses.”

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