Resources: Publications & Websites
1% User's Guide
This document, compiled by Public Architecture's 1% program, introduces the concepts and principles of pro-bono design to architecture and design firms.
Nineteen cities will have a population of 20 million in the 21st century, according to 19.20.21, a planned five-year multimedia effort to improve understanding of the implications of population growth, especially in urban areas. Via the web, television, print, exhibits and seminars, 19.20.21 will report on how the megacity trend affects business planning and consumers throughout the world.
Afrigadget is a website celebrating ingenuity. Six editors manage submissions from a team of bloggers and readers showcasing projects designed in Africa with limited resources.
AIGA Center for Sustainable Design
Offers information to designers involved in sustainable business practices. Features news and articles, a discussion forum and a resources section including readings lists and a PDF library.
Wiki for collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development through the use of appropriate technology and the sharing of project information.
"Behance researches the most productive creative people and teams in the world, and then translates this knowledge, through the power of design, into products and services that help push ideas forward." Showcases creative portfolios and publishes an online magazine.
Catalyst: Strategic Design Review
CATALYST Strategic Design Review is a quarterly publication that was launched in May 2009 by students, faculty and staff of the Pratt Design Management program. The mission of CATALYST Strategic Design Review is to stimulate thinking and encourage conversation about the role of strategic design in defining and developing an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future.
Organization for creating a new type of media (using PDFs, blogs and the web) to replace mainstream news, which its members view as hasty and often one-sided. The website posts manifestos with the general theme of optimism and social progress.
Directed at industrial designers, Core77 publishes articles, discussion forums, an extensive event calendar, portfolios, job listings, and a database of design firms, schools, vendors and services.
Creative for a Cause
A resource for educators in visual communications. Emphasizes ways to teach students to incorporate social and ethical perspectives into their work. Provides case studies, relevant publications and funding sources.
This blog represents author Ann Thorpe's “reflections on the role of design as activism” based on her explorations of sustainable design, and in particular on her book The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability.
Design Can Change
Pro-bono initiative of the Vancouver-based smashLAB studio that offers information about sustainability in graphic design.
Published by global innovation firm frog design, design mind is a media platform that includes a print magazine, a website, videos, and events.
Written by frog designers, technologists, and strategists, design mind articles provide the design and innovation community with perspectives on industry trends, emerging technologies, and global consumer culture. design mind also features interviews with high-profile thought leaders, along with contributions from external writers, designers, and photographers.
The design mind Web site is regularly updated with fresh video, blog, and event content.
The print issue of design mind is published three times per year.
"Dropping Knowledge arose from an understanding of how provocative, challenging and entertaining questions, communicated by innovative multimedia, can inspire new thinking."
Engineering for Change
Engineering for Change is an online environment bringing together engineers and other problem solvers with NGOs and local communities to address basic quality of life issues such as access to clean water, electricity and proper sanitation.
Ethical Metalsmiths Blog
"Ethical Metalsmiths is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting people to responsibly sourced metals and gemstones. The purpose of this blog is to provide our supporters with timely news updates and to provide a discussion forum around mining related current events."
Channel of Fast Company magazine's website with articles about socially responsible and environmentally friendly business endeavors. ("Ethonomics" = ethics + economics.)
Program combating childhood obesity by offering lessons, activities and games that teach children about healthy eating and living. Designed by Carnegie Mellon University School of Design and UPMC Saint Margaret Family Health Centers.
Global Voices Online
"Community of more than 200 bloggers around the world who work together to bring you translations and reports from blogs and citizen media everywhere, with emphasis on voices that are not ordinarily heard in international mainstream media."
"Grist has been dishing out environmental news and commentary with a wry twist since 1999.... Now that green is in every headline and on every store shelf (bamboo hair gel, anyone?), Grist is the one site you can count on to help you make sense of it all."
"Dedicated to critical cultural production at the intersection of art and activism. We cover artists from around the globe whose work explores and realizes social change. Our goal is to provide a narrative about these activist efforts while simultaneously participating in them."
Human Centered Design Toolkit
This free, open-source innovation guide, which was developed by IDEO for NGOs and social enterprises working with impoverished communities, uses human-centered design to inspire new solutions to difficult challenges in the developing world.
New York City designer Jill Fehrenbacher founded this weblog in 2005 to present new materials, technologies and practices that are making architecture and home design more sustainable.
Jetson Green is an online magazine, updated daily, that publishes information about all aspects of green building, including sustainable architecture and eco-friendly development. The chief editor, Preston Koerner, began the site as an MBA student, and he is now also an LEED AP. Jetson Green’s aim is to get the reader obsessed with the issue.
"Website and blog bringing together the community of business leaders, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, policy makers and academics who want to explore the connection between development and enterprise....Our goal is to highlight the development and implementation of business strategies that open opportunities and improve the lives of the world's approximately 4 billion low-income producers and consumers."
Osocio is dedicated to social advertising and non-profit campaigns. It’s the place where marketing and activism collide. Formerly known as the Houtlust Blog, Osocio is the central online hub for advertisers, ad agencies, grassroots, activists, social entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans from around the globe.
Personal Democracy Forum
Webzine and social network that fosters discussion of the intersection between politics and technology, concentrating on social and political changes wrought by the internet. Issues calls to action through advocacy section. Hosts annual conferences in the U.S. and abroad.
"RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science. All posts are signed by the author(s), except ‘group’ posts which are collective efforts from the whole team. This is a moderated forum."
Social Design Notes
Social designer John Emerson's weblog is a "collection of notes on the built environment, graphic design, product design, architecture, the decisions we make and the impact they have."
Social Design Site
Online platform that showcases and moderates discussion of international social design projects. "We want SocialDesignSite.com to be that place where we can all observe, reflect and engage with the world we live in."
Stanford Social Innovation Review
"Strategies, tools and ideas for nonprofits, foundations and socially responsible businesses"
Taproot Foundation's Pro Bon Action Tank
A variety of best practices and tools to help you realize and maximize the true business value and social impact from your pro-bono efforts.
The Living Principles
The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action, celebrating and popularizing the efforts of those who use design thinking to create positive cultural change. This is the place where we co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for sustainable design across all disciplines.
The World Cup and CSR
A discussion on the intersection of the world’s most viewed sporting event (the FIFA World Cup), the opportunity and responsibility for trans-national corporations to support the continued growth of South Africa, the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and branding.
TrackerNews.net is an aggregator with a few twists. Its beat covers health issues, humanitarian work, technology that supports both and is broadly defined. "Health," for example, includes animal, plant and planetary health along with human health.
Every humanitarian crisis, of course, has a health component and vice-versa. It is all of a piece.
TrackerNews is about the mix and the match of news, research and innovation. It is a medium as well as a resource.
Website that is "the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. . . . We strive to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions and product information."
Channel of the website Media Bistro devoted to news about design.
Non-profit media organization made up of a global network of journalists, designers and thinkers looking for ways to create a green tomorrow.