Strategies of design for social innovation and design activism in the promotion of positive social capital during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil.


  • Gheysa Caroline Prado Federal University of Paraná
  • Felipe Dalla Pria Leme Federal University of Paraná
  • Letícia Zem Messias Federal University of Paraná
  • Nathan Samuel da Costa Miranda Federal University of Paraná
  • Rafaella de Bona Gonçalves Federal University of Paraná



This case study aimed at mapping initiatives of social innovation that have promoted positive social capital during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. To this end, information about the actions and their developers were collected online and further described using the forms "Light Format" and "In-Depth Format", from the toolkit developed by the Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) Network. In addition, interviews with the people involved in the projects were carried out in order to obtain further details. From the promising cases mapped, 15 were selected and categorized according to their field, coverage area and target. Finally, the initiatives were assessed based on the concepts of design for social innovation (Manzini, 2008) and design activism (Fuad Luke, 2009; Thorpe, 2012). The analysis showed that whether the actions proposed had the design framework conceptions as a theoretical basis or not, the projects indeed adopted design strategies to reach their goals, leading to positive impact in the social, economic and environmental areas and thus promoted positive social capital.

Author Biography

Gheysa Caroline Prado, Federal University of Paraná

Department of Design - SACOD






Reviews and maps design responses and citizens' needs