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Design and entrepreneurship skills in Brazilian slums

The City Visionaries Program is a project developed by the articulation of TransLAB - Laboratório Cidadão with Brunel - University of London, promoted by the Newton Fund, through the British Council.

The project consists of creating a program of practices for innovation and social entrepreneurship through the perspective of codesign. Focused on low-income young people, it provides free access to an original methodology and a set of tools, offering resources and support for future facilitators (popular educators, social agents, community leaders) to carry out their own program for the development of impact projects in their regions. A way to multiply opportunities for young people from low-income communities to recognise the potential of their territory and be agents of transformation.

The collaboration between Brunel University and TransLAB was extremely relevant: TransLAB was able to apply its knowledge of the context and field experience, while Brunel incorporated co-design, service design, sustainable design methods and techniques into the entire development process from the program. This process allowed the transfer of knowledge and skills between Brunel researchers and TransLAB members.

The inaugural edition of the Visionaries of the City Program was held with members of the Young Apprentice Project, through a partnership with the Murialdo Institute, located in Morro da Cruz in Porto Alegre (RS), which opened its doors to experiment with the methodology and design of the first version of the Program, which is now open and available for use on this digital platform and in the application.

Visionaries of the City Programme

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Fabrizio Ceschin - I am a Reader in Design for Sustainability, coordinator of the Design for Sustainability research group and member of the Design for Sustainable Manufacturing research theme. I worked in the Design and Innovation for Sustainability research unit at Politecnico di Milano for six years before joining Brunel University London in 2012. I carry out research in the area of: - Design for Sustainability and Circular Economy, and in particular in developing principles, strategies and tools to innovate and design products, services, product-service systems and business models integrating environmental, socio-ethical and economic sustainability; - Co-design, and in particular on how to support multi-stakeholder and participatory design processes. Over the past years I have been involved in several international and national research projects, funded by the European Commission, EPSRC, Innovate UK, the British Council, SMEs and multinational enterprises. My research projects have resulted in more than 50 journal and conference publications and 4 books. I have been teaching in the area of design for sustainability over the past 15 years. I am currently teaching modules on Environmentally sensitive design (BA and BSc) and Sustainable design (MSc), and I am director of the MSc Integrated Product Design. I am member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, the Design Research Society and the British Industrial Design Association, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Education I obtained a BSc and MSc equivalent degrees in Industrial Design awarded by Politecnico di Milano in Italy. In 2009 I started my doctoral research in design for sustainability at Politecnico di Milano, which was completed in 2012.

Related Research Group(s)

Design for Sustainability

Design for Sustainability - We focus on developing the theory and practice required to design solutions that foster environmental, socio-ethical and economic sustainability in areas ranging from materials and manufacturing to products, services, business models, bottom-up initiatives and socio-technical systems.


Project last modified 25/01/2021