Hardesign vs Softdesign


  • Raffaella Fagnoni University of Genova
  • Chiara Olivastri University of Genova




service design, social innovation, co-design, design as a process, product-service


Our thought on innovation starts from the dichotomy between the strong and the light design’s components: on the one hand opposed, on the other complementary. Hard is the process based on the consumerist model, Soft is more sustainable. Hard is the dimension of possession, Soft is that of access and sharing. Hard is the top-down process and Soft is the bottom-up process that values social innovation. The project tools are not records to be applied. They must adapt, be customized to the needs expressed by the people who are activating themselves in the structuring of answers. The role of designers today is to face our time challenges, to which the models used in the last century are unable to respond. It is to answer to the world’s change by performing the change in the project.


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Author Biographies

Raffaella Fagnoni, University of Genova

Associate Professor of Design at the Department Architecture and Design, she is the Coordinator of the Master Degree in Product and Event Design and of the Curriculum in Design of the Doctorate in Architecture and Design. The areas of activity and research: themes of a social nature, territory and identity, reuse and circular economy, events for the enhancement of the territorial cultural heritage.
E-mail: raffaella.fagnoni@unige.it

Chiara Olivastri, University of Genova

Architect, PhD in Design and Research Fellow at the Department Architecture and Design. Her research activity is focused on the themes of service design and social innovation, investigating strategies, actions, processes of co-design in reality and contexts to be enhanced.
E-mail: chiara.olivastri@arch.unige.it


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How to Cite

Fagnoni, R. and Olivastri, C. (2019) “Hardesign vs Softdesign”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 5(online), pp. 145–152. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/5162019.



Design | Essays & Viewpoint