Resilient Design. A synoptic framework


  • Claudio Germak Polytechnic of Torino



resilient design, sustainable design, systemic design, design by components, design culture


Design, the planning discipline targeted at products, services, and processes, has developed, in recent years, behaviours that are more aware of increasingly rapid changes, which concern both the models of production and consumption and those that regulate ecosystems – composed of individuals and communities. It acts to benefit ‘sustainability’ and ‘resilience’ on different scales and in multiple sectors, thanks also to its own identity, which distinguishes it as a kind of knowledge that connects humanities and technologies. It has learned to plan for what can place the system in crisis, developing collaborative actions to adapt to the internal causes such as exceeding the limits of development, migration, ageing, as well as mitigation regarding those external causes, such as natural disasters, even if these often depend on the first causes. This essay is intended to provide a wide panorama, almost a synoptic framework, of the contribution that Design can offer society in terms of ‘resistance’ and ‘resilience’, also considering critical events as an opportunity to evolve its orientations and practices.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Metrics Graph

Author Biography

Claudio Germak, Polytechnic of Torino

Architect and Designer, he is a Full Professor of Design at the DAD Architecture and Design Department and the President of SID Italian Design Society. He is an expert of production systems, both in the field of industry and handcraft. Today he leads the UXDPoliTO Team of evaluation techniques HCD, UXD, HMI and ID for the sectors of transportation systems, roboEthics and service design for the cultural heritage and museums.


Bistagnino, L. (2016), Systemic Design – Designing the production and environmental sustainability, 2nd edition, e-book, Slow Food, Bra.

Bistagnino, L. (2008), Il guscio esterno visto dall’interno | The outside shell seen from the inside, CEA, Milano.

Capra, F. (1996), The Web of Life – A new scientific understanding of living systems, Anchor Books, New York.

Germak, C. (ed.) (2008), Uomo al centro del progetto – Design per un nuovo umanesimo | Man at the Centre of the Project – Design for a New Humanism, Umberto Allemandi & C., Torino.

Haimes, Y. Y. (2009), “On the definition of resilience in systems”, in Risk Analysis, vol. 29, n. 4, pp. 498-501. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 1st December 2019].

Haug, A. (2016), “Design of Resilient Consumer Products”, in Lloyd, P. and Bohemia, E. (eds), Proceedings of DRS2016 – Design + Research + Society – Future-Focused Thinking, vol. 10, the Design Research Society, London, pp. 3873-3888. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 1st December 2019].

Lanzavecchia, C. (2012), Il fare ecologico [nuova edizione aggiornata da Tamborrini, P. and Barbero, S.], Edizioni Ambiente, Milano.

Lilly, B. W. and Gill, C. (2006), “The Challenge of Sustainability: Designing for Resilience”, in Rothbucher, B., Kolar, M., Ion, W. and Clarke, A. (eds), Proceedings of E&DPE 2006, the 8th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, 7-8 September 2006, Salzburg, Austria, pp. 233-238. [Online] Available at: DPE+2006%2C+the+8th+International+Conference+on+Engineering+and+ Product+Design+Education%2C+Salzburg%2C+Austria%2C+07.-08.09.2006 [Accessed 1st December 2019].

Lotti, G. (1998), Il progetto possibile – Verso una nuova etica del design, Edicom Edizioni, Monfalcone (GO).

Manzini, E. (2015), Design, When Everybody Designs – An Introduction for Social Innovation, MITpress, Cambridge (US).

Mascitti, J. (2018), Bio-inspired Design – Le prospettive di un Design per la sostenibilità ambientale guidata dalla natura, Altralinea, Firenze.

Papanek, V. (1985), Design for the Real World – Human ecology and social change, Academy Chicago Publisher, Chicago.

Ryan, A. J. (2014), “A Framework for Systemic Design”, in FORMakademisk, vol. 7, issue 4, pp. 1-14. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 1st December 2019].

Selloni, D. (2015), Ezio Manzini – Design per l’innovazione sociale. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 25 May 2015].

Thorpe, A. (2015), “Designing Conditions for ‘Active’ Redundancy Or, the difference between people and phone boxes”, in Manzini, E. and Till, J. (eds), Culture of resilience – A Project from across the University of the Arts London, Hato Press, London, pp. 29-33.

Food Action Project, action for food resilience, which adapts to the habits of new homeless migrants with new products, sensorial and durable (credits: Food Action, Innovation Design Lab, AGATHÒN 06 | 2019




How to Cite

Germak, C. (2019) “Resilient Design. A synoptic framework”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 6(online), pp. 26–35. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/632019.