"The BaSiC Initiative is a collaboration of faculty and students from the University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture. We support community partnerships through: housing solutions for Native Americans, housing and community services for migrant farm workers, schools and health clinics in central Mexico, etc. Each program draws upon the unique relationship of communities to their environment, finding solutions that embrace appropriate technologies while reinforcing local values to spur self-initiated development."
The Rural Studio
Auburn University program co-founded by the late Samuel Mockbee that engages students and a select pool of graduates from outside the university in the practice of community-based architecture in Alabama.
Austin Center for Design
Austin Center for Design exists to transform society through design and design education. This transformation occurs through the development of design knowledge directed towards all forms of social and humanitarian problems. The Center offers an innovative curriculum that repositions creative design education in the context of designing for the public sector.
More Academic Programs >>
Initiative to create the prototype for an innovative, sustainable urban community. At the heart of the process is a series of contests generating visionary ideas for what can and should be done in the design of urban space.
INDEX Design Challenge : Design for Education
The INDEX: Design Challenge asks design and business students, as well as cross-disciplinary student teams, to develop design solutions for better education and education environments in developing regions.
The challenge centers around three sub-themes: Improved Education Facilities; Sanitation and Hygiene; and Gender Parity in Education. As well, the contest features an open challenge. Participants from all design disciplines are invited to enter the challenge.
More Competitions >>
Fellowships & Prizes
Arteles Residency Program, Finland
It is an inspiring place to produce original work and collaborate with
other energetic and ambitious artists & creative professionals. We are
place that encourages experimentation and innovation - a place that
also gives voice to works that otherwise have nowhere else to be
produced or displayed.
There are lots of opportunities to connect with the locals and get
plugged into the contemporary art scene in Finland.
Besides fostering creativity, we also value partnering with
established institutions and influential figures to create a rich
network for artists to be embedded into. Our foreign collaborators
around the world value the selected group of Arteles artists and are
willing to offer working possibilities for fresh inspiring projects
and new creative people.
We see relationships with artists as ongoing and continue to work with
you even after you leave. We have new refurnished living and studio
spaces which are designed to support creative activities and social
You are also welcome to experience the extraordinary nature of
Hämeenkyrö Finland (European Union Landscape Award in 2009) where you
can soak in the fresh air, go for wandering walks in the deep forests,
swimming in the many lakes nearby, go skiing and skating at winter
time, do guided hiking and trekking trips in the nearby nature or have
daily relaxing in a traditional wood-fire sauna. And If you get lucky,
you can even get to know the fascinating and rich old culture of
Finland viewed through the Kalevala Epic, full of trolls, witches,
myths and its inherent ties with nature.
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems. It attracts bold, visionary, tangible initiatives focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Winning solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world's complex problems.
MacArthur Fellows Program
The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. The MacArthur Fellowship is a "no strings attached" award in support of people, not projects. Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $500,000 to the recipient, paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years.
More Fellowships & Prizes >>
San Francisco organization founded in 2002 by John Peterson that "puts the resources of architecture in the service of the public interest. We identify and solve practical problems of human interaction in the built environment and act as a catalyst for public discourse through education, advocacy and the design of public spaces and amenities."
All Day Buffet
An "incubator for social innovation" that hosts cross-disciplinary programs, often around meals. Its 2009 Feast Conference
will take place in New York City on October 1.
Aid to Artisans
"We blend a passion for the deep-rooted cultures and handmade traditions of the developing world with a commitment to building profitable businesses. Environmentally sound practices are at the foundation of our methodology. We recognize that we can only bring lasting economic growth if we provide an integrated approach to product development, business skills training, market access and eco-effective processes."
More Organizations >>
Programs & Initiatives
Charlottesville Design Marathon
The Design Marathon is an annual event held at the Charlottesville Community Design Center (CCDC) involving teams of area designers who each provide 12 hours of pro-bono design services to ten deserving area non-profit organizations. Each creative team includes a student pursuing a design-related degree.
DESIS Lab at Parsons
The DESIS Lab advances the practice and discourse of design-enabled social innovation toward more sustainable cities. The DESIS-Lab conducts applied research into the ways in which design can enhance community-led initiatives in the development of more sustainable ways of living and working. The DESIS Lab brings together faculty and students from across the disciplines at The New School, led by Parsons The New School for Design and Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy.
Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants
"Starbucks has a culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism. With the Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants, we use this spirit of innovation to inspire young people to take action to create positive solutions to real local needs they see in their neighborhoods. We believe that by supporting young people, we make real change in local communities and inspire additional individuals to take part in community service."
More Programs & Initiatives >>
Publications & Websites
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.
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.
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.
More Publications & Websites >>
UNESCO and the Japan-based company Felissimo are behind this network, which connects designers, businesses and nonprofits for the greater good and hosts competitions to create socially minded products and graphics.
"Social network that closes the digital divide, bringing together the 4 billion people at the base of the economic pyramid (the 'BOP') with the companies and NGOs that want to hire them and design products and services for them."
Open Architecture Network
An online, open-source community founded by Architecture for Humanity
. Offers a place where designers can share ideas and projects and host or participate in competitions
More Social Networks >>