Social design's implications for the IS field

Dane A. Dell, Murali Venkatesh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Social design is the collective task of developing an artifact for the public good. These projects are managed by community member volunteers who all have a shared conception of the public interest. In this paper we address the lack of attention social design has received in the Information Systems design research community. The paper focuses on the social organization of the design collective and outlines the threat social dilemmas pose to these projects. Throughout this discussion we challenge traditional models of action which do not support the collective action of social design. The constitutive design model is presented as a way of addressing social dilemmas in social design projects. How these social dilemmas are handled can significantly affect the form of the artifact being developed. Finally, we propose an academic curriculum for teaching the principles of social design in Information schools geared towards producing more socially conscious technical practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2012 iConference
Subtitle of host publicationCulture, Design, Society, iConference 2012
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 iConference: Culture, Design, Society, iConference 2012 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Feb 7 2012Feb 10 2012

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Other2012 iConference: Culture, Design, Society, iConference 2012
CityToronto, ON


  • IT artifacts
  • collective action
  • commons
  • community based projects
  • constitutive design model
  • governance
  • information systems design
  • institutional design
  • institutionalism
  • models of action
  • social design
  • social dilemmas
  • technology as a public good

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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