Co Create

Design and Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific Network (DESIAP)

Funder: AHRC

Team: Joyce Yee, Rachel Clarke, Cyril Tjahja, Viola Petrella (Northumbria University); Yoko Akama (RMIT).


Timeframe: 2015 –

Design and Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific (DESIAP) is a network of researchers and change-makers co-founded by Joyce Yee (Northumbria University) and Yoko Akama (RMIT University) in 2015. The network’s aim is to enable researchers and design and social innovation practitioners in the region to share and develop their understanding and experience in design and social innovation (D&SI) practice and support collective capacity building. The network was set up in response to the growing practice of using design approaches to create and deliver novel ideas that addresses social problems. The Network has been built on a series of gatherings, workshops and public symposia supported through the DESIAP website: These activities have helped identify and raise awareness of design and social innovation practices across the Asia-Pacific, specifically in Australia, Cambodia, China, Japan, Myanmar, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Our network partners work across health, education, poverty, social justice, sustainable income and entrepreneurship, which satisfies several other SDG Goals. However, their main approach to delivering impact is through capacity building. Examples include delivering innovative teaching programmes (Point B, Myanmar), enhancing school-level learning with technology (Learn Education, Thailand), supporting the introduction of Design Thinking in schools through the DesignforChange programme (Impact Hub Kuala Lumpur) and providing access to social innovation and entrepreneurship programmes (Impact Hub Phnom Penh and Yangon).

------- CoCreate members working on this project:

------- Publications related to this project:

Akama, Y. & Yee, J. (2019) Special Issue: Embracing Plurality in Designing Social Innovation Practices. Design and Culture 11(1), DOI: 10.1080/17547075.2019.1571303


Yee, J., Raijmakers, B. & Ichikawa, F. (2019). Transformative Learning as Impact in Social Innovation. Design and Culture11(1).


Tjahja, C. and Yee, J. (2018). “Social Hierarchy in Design and Social Innovation: Perspectives from Thailand”. In: Proceedings of DRS2018: Catalyst. Design Research Society, Loughborough, UK, pp. 704-716. ISBN 9781912294176


Yee, J., Akama, Y., Lawson, R., & Tjahja, C. (2017). Design and Social Innovation Research Network: Bridging the UK and Asia-Pacific Practices. DESIAP Research Network.


Tjahja, C., Yee, J., & Aftab, M. (2017). “Objects of Design: Activity Theory as an analytical framework for Design and Social Innovation”. In E. Bohemia, C. de Bont, & L. Svengren Holm (Eds.), Conference Proceedings of the Design Management Academy 2017: Research Perspectives on Creative Intersections (Vol. 3, pp. 931). (Conference Proceedings of the Design Management Academy; Vol. 2514-8419). The Design Society.


Akama, Y., & Yee, J. (2016). Seeking stronger plurality: Intimacy and integrity in designing for social innovation. Paper presented at Cumulus Hong Kong 2016.


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