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Design Attitudes Forum


Shaping the future through Design Attitudes

This forum aimed at being a key referent within the definition of the role of design in the future and of ELISAVA as a trainer of the agents of change.

The theme of the conference, Shaping the Future through Design Attitudes, considers design as one of the driving forces behind the fluid flow of change, acting as an innovation leverage. In this fluid and complex world, the four Design Attitudes that make positive change tangible have been identified and defined: The Conscious, The Engaged, The Rebel, The Resilient.

Designed as an inspiring, participative and networking event, an introductory session unveiled these four essential directions for innovation. The presentations in a keynote format, the participative debate, and the proposed challenges revolved around these four attitudes and was led by relevant thought leaders. The digital tool Design Attitudes Survey, aimed at identifying the keys to innovate through design, was launched at this same event and the concept was applied trough four co-creation activities in which the strategic agents in the world of design were encouraged to participate.



We are in a complex time where change is the new standard, where fluid shifts and open dynamic systems - far from equilibrium - entail uncertainty regarding the paths towards meaningful innovation. Design is one of the driving forces reflecting this fluid flow of change. Designers make change tangible and innovation happens, with an impact on society, business, and technology. Solutions in this complex world will be led by a critical mass of influencing design and engineering-related individuals with different meaningful and creative ways to approach future changes with different Design Attitudes.


The Attitudes

ELISAVA Research has conducted a thorough investigation with a sociocultural and design perspective and has identified the four key Design Attitudes, or behaviors towards innovation, which will lead to meaningful and positive fluid change that will shape the future:


The Conscious

The Conscious character is primarily concerned with practical solutions and the impact of everyday design with a focus on optimizing the production of everyday goods. Longing for simpler times and the absence of the superfluous, he rethinks tradition by making the strange familiar. With a high sense of awareness on our environment, he believes in the locally produced and globally connected.


The Engaged

The Engaged character goes for a human and holistic perspective and considers design in all its dimensions. With a high sense of creating a feeling of affection, acts in urban environments and believes in producing positive change by empowering society, through the use of a game frame and participative mindset.


The Rebel

The Rebel character questions the entire logic of the ecosystem, believing that consumption and society old rules no longer work in reference to resources. With a predominant critical thinking mindset, proposes alternative ways of manufacturing and consuming, and the use of design as a tool to raise social and cultural awareness. An experimentally-driven maker, he rejects the glossy perfection portrayed by social media.


The Resilient

The Resilient character works at the interplay of many disciplines, fusing various ways of thought to identify new opportunities for revolutionizing synergies. A cross-fertiliser with a high sense for adaptation, he is able to fail, learn and re-create new systems. Believing in design as a collaborative system, where sharing knowledge, mixing identities and the cultural multiplicity are drivers for change