Mutuality and reciprocity: foregrounding relationships in Design and Social Innovation

Viola Petrella, Joyce Yee, Rachel E. Clarke

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Although the importance of interpersonal relationships to processes of design and social innovation (D&SI) has been acknowledged, there is limited research in identifying what constitutes a relational approach in D&SI. In spite of their importance for relationship formation and maintenance, questions of respect, reciprocity, power and trust –and their intersection with various cultural practices– are often left untouched in design discourse. This paper reports early findings from interviews with design and social innovation practitioners in the Asia Pacific region, detailing the significance of putting relationships first, establishing mutuality and building reciprocity. The paper contributes insights into how practitioners perceive relationships as both meaningful and essential and suggest areas for further research to develop a more nuanced understanding of relationships in D&SI.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS 2020
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherLoughborough University
Number of pages16
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 May 2020
EventDRS2020: Synergy - Griffith University’s South Bank campus and Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre., Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 11 Aug 202014 Aug 2020


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