Designing for integration: Exploring the social role of design, using the immigration phenomenon in Italy as a case study

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Bachelor's thesis
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Major of Design
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Bachelor's Programme in Design
The present thesis work intends to investigate the role designers and design can have in addressing social issues, specifically focusing on the case study of immigrant integration in Italy. The migration phenomenon towards the European continent has been significative in the past decade, and has exhibited notable changes in the political landscape, economic state, and societal structures. Italy, serving as a primary gateway to Europe for immigrant arriving from the African continent, has attracted significant interest within the discourse concerning immigrant integration and acceptance into the Continent. However, the lack of resources, precarious economic conditions, and politicization of the immigration flows have prompted for alternative approaches and strategies to facilitate the reception and integration of the population influx, through solutions that extend beyond the dominant and established governmental structures in force. The Italian design community, with its problem-solving nature, has made valuable contributions in developing alternative integration dynamics that prioritize safety, inclusion, and cultural exchange. This thesis explores the topic of designing for integration by conducting a thorough literature review concerning the social role of design and designer, and the significance and relevance of studying immigrations in Italy from a designerly perspective. The issues emphasized in the literature review, are further examined through the analysis of seven expert interviews conducted with recognized representatives of the design field in Italy. The interviews provide personal and on- field opinions on the involvement of designers in the social domains, strategies for addressing societal issues from a designerly perspective, and the concrete outcomes achieved by the interviewees through their work. The conclusions establish and delineate the significant influence designers exert when engaged in the process of immigrant integration. These findings are derived from both the comprehensive literature review and the insights gathered from the expert interviews.
Chun, Namkyu
Thesis advisor
Veselova, Emilija
introduction, literature review, research methods, findings, conclusions, references
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