Coming out of our Happylab experimental class last year, we have a book for sale here and a downloadable version here.
It features the 18 students experiments in what design might or might not be able to offer, or what actually we could add to the mix in amplifying what people do already.
We started it as an exploration, and found we had to put in our perspective to create some structure for it to happen - so we developed the notion of amplifiers - things people do already, that can be amplified by some kind of design trigger, designed activity, or designed context.
So that's what they explored. Simple experiments about the things we love to to, that make us feel connected, allow us to take care of something, make us feel like we have something to offer, make us feel like we belong to something. It's classic meaningful things taken with a design twist. Some of it works, and some does not, but it was an interesting thing to do. Some things made the students happy, like the street games session, but the early starts most definitely did not.
This area has been rinsed by civic boosterish activities and ambitions, but it still hold a fascination for me in the quest to be authentic in inverting some of the negative products of design (to borrow Allan Chochinov's perfectly conceived language for the kinds of impact design has. His new program launches very soon.)