Does design have, or have to have, a social value?
If designs purpose is, through products to improve tasks to make them easier, from peeling potatoes to travelling from A-B, no task is really social, in the past tasks may have been done in a social group (women washing clothes together etc) but that was not because of design - that was almost because of a lack of it.
If design is a conduit for technology ie. the packaging that houses the mobile phone, then it's not the design that has a social value, it's the technology. In many instances this technology rather than unite us is distancing us. The young and old technology devide. The social networking sites, that rather than keep you in touch allow you to stay more distant etc.
If a designer creates a piece of public infrastructure - park bench etc does it have a social value? People sit on the floor, throw down a picnic blanket, sit on rocks. The fact that someone placed a piece of design in a convinient meeting area, does not suggest that that man made object has a social value better than any other object.
If design makes an object look beautiful, you see someone using it and it allows you to spark up a conversation with that person, because you also have one or want one and want to know what it's like etc. Is it the design or the fact that marketeers have made you believe that this is a must have etc? If you wanted to spark up a conversation, you could have chosen anything 'Hey, you have a beard like mine! I haven't seen that on a woman before'....
I'd argue that design might not have a social value - just my two cents.