• Special issue on decentring design: crafting shifts, in and through fashion
    Vol. 5 No. 1 (2024)

    While findings from our research point towards the invaluable lived experience of refugees and what it truly means to be human, we hope that the papers included in this Special Issue will inspire you – the reader – with multiple ways in which design and fashion can be used to challenge perceptions and narratives around marginalised groups and to engage in participatory and decolonised processes aimed at fostering cultural sustainability and community resilience. We would like to invite you to join us on a collaborative journey to develop practices of resistance to the hostile environment in which we live, nurturing ethics of care and repair and contributing towards unlocking people’s freedom to express their shifting identities and their abilities to access resources, representation and power – in and through fashion.

    Guest editors: Francesco Mazzarella, Seher Mirza

  • Autumn Issue
    Vol. 4 No. 2 (2023)

    Autumn Issue

  • Spring

    Spring Issue
    Vol. 4 No. 1 (2023)

    In this issue of Discern, we present four submissions and a book review. The first article deals with the lack of awareness among fashion entrepreneurs in South Africa of sustainable fashion supply chain operations and sustainable garments. The second paper investigates how mobile technologies can assist towards the integration of migrants into the wider support systems of the host country. The third paper uses a case study to elaborate on a theoretical framework that explains place-making and its relation to social innovation processes. As the author argues, individuals concentrate on intervening places to deal with their longing for home while creating a sense of belonging through a series of rituals in an urban context. The fourth describes a project that addresses the lack of digital skills among unemployed young people and school leavers in the transition to work, who are not embedded in a supportive framework. Finally, we provide a book review whose theme covers tens of case studies to draw conclusions on how social innovation can be sustainable. The editorial team thanks all authors and reviewers for their contributions towards Discern.

  • Autumn leaves and blue sky

    Autumn issue
    Vol. 3 No. 2 (2022)

    This issue, the fifth issue of DISCERN, is published just before COP27 is held in Egypt. As the world confronts worsening climate change, the need to make both small and large changes is increasingly obvious. Design for social change has a vital role. In this issue, we welcome contributions from Cyprus, Italy, New Zealand, the Philippines, the UK and the USA.

    The articles cover design for social change to engage communities to combat the opioid epidemic in the USA, consumer attitudes towards eco-friendly packaging in the Philippines, domestic violence in New Zealand, a proposal for a benevolent future for fashion collaborations for a social purpose, graphic design principles for social cause advertising and design storytelling toward societal transformation and mutual learning in co-design.

    Editorial Team
    November 2022

  • Spring Issue
    Vol. 3 No. 1 (2022)

    This is the fourth issue of DISCERN and once again we received a variety of articles dealing with diverse aspects of social design and innovation. Inevitably, the pandemic caused delays to the reviewing process for which we offer our apologies to the authors. As always, we seek reviewers whose first language is English to help with the review process.
    Enjoy the Sping 2022 issue of DISCERN.

    Editorial Team
    May 2022

  • Autumn Issue
    Vol. 2 No. 2 (2021)

    As we reach the third issue of DISCERN, there are two worthwhile points to mention. First, this online journal is now listed with the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the editorial team is pursuing further listings with additional directories. Second, the reviewers for this issue come from a wide range of countries, including New Zealand, Italy, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, Botswana and Germany. This attests to the international appeal of the contents. As always, we seek reviewers whose first language is English to help with the review process.
    Enjoy the Autumn 2021 issue of DISCERN.

    Editorial Team
    October 2021

  • Spring blossom

    Spring issue
    Vol. 2 No. 1 (2021)

    Welcome to the 2021 Spring issue of ‘DISCERN, International Journal of Design for Social Change, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship’. 

    It is an objective of this journal to seek submissions not only from academics and scholars but also from postgraduate students and new researchers who are engaged with the broad area of social design and innovation. There are not many opportunities for this group of authors to publish and disseminate their academic outputs through a peer-review process. And to do so, they require mentoring, feedback and assistance. This has been a challenging and time-consuming task and credit is due not only to the respective supervisors of the individual authors but also to the reviewers of this issue who dedicated a considerable time in providing their feedback.

    The deadline for the Fall issue of DISCERN is the 1st of September 2021. For the 2021 Fall issue of DISCERN we encourage submissions that relate to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), although all other submissions are welcome too.

    Editorial Team
    April 2021

  • Inaugural issue
    Vol. 1 No. 1 (2020)

    Welcome to the inaugural issue of ‘DISCERN, International Journal of Design for Social Change, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship’. It is said that mighty oaks from little acorns grow…

    For this first issue, the Editorial team did not seek to focus on a special theme but instead sought contributions from a broad spectrum of interests encompassed in social design, an area that is multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted. The eight articles in this issue represent this width of interests coming from cross-sectoral authors, including postgraduate students.

    This issue starts with an article that describes a design framework under development to promote circular and sustainable products and services. The author – a doctoral student – elaborates on the three aspects that comprise the model, that is design management, project development and the business perspective.

    The second article is a case study on how design thinking was applied in remote villages of India that are confronted with a lack of employment opportunities and migration of residents. The author emphasises the value of her community-based participatory approach in seeking to develop a deeper understanding of the issues confronted by the locals that would allow for possible design interventions.

    The focus of the third article is on the educational needs in cultural and arts entrepreneurship of women from marginalised backgrounds. It is part of a European-funded project under Erasmus+ to develop a social design intervention comprising the development of a framework for adult education for the creative and cultural sectors across Europe.

    The toolkit described in the fourth article was developed from a participatory conference and through a series of workshops with the aim to come up with a prototype toolkit – the Toolkit for Designing Actions in Times of Multiple Crisis. The authors describe both how the toolkit was developed and how to use it towards preferred rather than probable or possible outcomes.

    As the title reveals, the fifth article is timely in comparing methods of transport in the age of social distancing. As the authors state, they seek to open the discussion on the opportunity offered by the pandemic to redesign and rethink our mobility in a more adaptive and sustainable way.

    The sixth paper introduces a novel application of design thinking in the form of the Anti-Oppressive Social Work Design (AOSWD) framework that integrates the principles of anti-oppressive social work practice and Human-Centred Design (HCD).

    Another novel approach to social design is described in the second-last article of this issue. The authors employed participatory action research and combined it with an ethnographic co-design approach in the context of a group sharing a walk. The aim was to develop among the members of a social enterprise team responsive and empathetic attitudes among themselves.

    Lastly, this inaugural issue ends with an article that explores the complexities of the Circular Economy and elaborates on the role of the designer in the multifaceted process.

    The Editorial team reminds you that the next issue of Discern is due in March 2021, and – consistently with the themes of the journal as described in the ‘About’ section – we seek both contributions and reviewers to help us grow.

    Editorial Team
    November 2020