Empathy or Inclusion: A Dialogical Approach to Socially Responsible Design
Carla Cipolla, Roberto Bartholo


This article focuses on the designer’s responsibility towards his own context of life. It develops an approach in which being a socially responsible designer also means acting “where you are” to transform your own situation by establishing dialogical relations with those who live in the same context. To define and explore this approach, the article is organized into three main sections: it presents an overview of key definitions in socially responsible design (SRD); it clarifies what is meant by dialogical relations; and it presents the methodological framework and results of an exploration into the use of a dialogical approach to SRD carried out on the campus of the authors’ university. It not only exemplifies the application of this approach in a specific local context, but also illustrates how an understanding of dialogical relations might contribute to education in SRD.

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