DCODE is a European network and PhD program. We rethink design's role in the digital transformation of society. We break new ground by positioning agency as foundational to digital design today, just like function was critical to industrial design. 

Our network brings together a consortium of world-class universities and design institutes with partners from industry, government and civil society in seven countries across the EU and the UK.

DCODE external website


"We are living in the midst of a digital transformation of society. The industrial revolution happened, and it's over. Yet, design practice is stuck in the past and struggles to reconcile human values and algorithmic logics into socially, economically and politically sustainable models. We lack the knowledge, skills and roles within companies or organisations to design for interaction with autonomous technologies in ways actually beneficial to humankind, and thus to responsibly anticipate and steer this transformation. Imagining and manifesting alternative futures has to be a proactive effort. It's time to rethink design and create new pathways to the future", Elisa Giaccardi, DCODE Project Lead and Supervisor


INCLUSIVE DIGITAL FUTURES - Anthropologists, data scientists and engineers need to be better integrated in the fuzzy front end of the design process, so that early steps can be made in designing algorithms that are conducive to sustainable digital futures. How do we understand human-machine relations and shape the desired interaction between algorithms and humans? Work with anthropologists, engineers, and computer scientists across the EU and the UK.

TRUSTED INTERACTIONS - Designing for interaction with and across decentralised systems requires new ways to navigate and negotiate concurrent and conflicting needs, and the potential imbalance in the relationship between people and predictive systems. How we achieve that human interaction across decentralised systems remains appropriate, in the interest of people and society at large? Work with designers and researchers with tech backgrounds across EU and UK.

SUSTAINABLE SOCIO-ECONOMIC MODELS - Data-driven technologies are enabling business models and economies that are far from fair. How can we conceptualise and promote the currency of alternative values, and sustain more transparent and inclusive socio-economic models in the digital society? Work with designers and economists across the EU and the UK. D

DEMOCRATIC DATA GOVERNANCE - Contracts between service providers, users and third parties are often problematic in terms of how flows of data are generated and shared. How can we enable more democratic forms of digital sovereignty and deliberation for how data and algorithms are governed? Work with designers and other professionals with a background or active interest in policy making.

FUTURE DESIGN PRACTICES - The responsible and sustainable digital transformation of society will require new postdisciplinary and cross-sector design practices, upholding anticipatory, deliberative and responsive innovation approaches. How can we bring together the learning of the DCODE prototeams, and identify best practices?