"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."
Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability
Academic course hosted by the Stanford Institute of Design involving graduate students from all seven schools at Stanford University. Multidisciplinary student teams work to create innovations that lie at the intersection of business, technology and human values. The class is project-based, and all projects are done in close partnership with a variety of local and international organizations.
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.
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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.
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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.
iida - Incheon International Design Award
“iida 2010”, a Korean sustainable design award, seeks fresh and new design proposals to be made by designers with green hearts, being aware of the environment. They welcome active participation of competent world designers to "iida 2010" with the goal of opening possibilities for sustainable life through design. Applicants can enter until August 25, 2010.
The Lemelson-MIT Awards for Invention and Innovation
The Lemelson-MIT Awards honor both established and rising inventors for their ingenuity, creativity and contribution to invention and innovation. The awards recognize the profound impact that inventors can have on economic and social well-being.
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Intelligent Mobility International
Seeks to help the estimated 300 million disabled people in the developing world. Programs include IMI Wheels, which produces innovative mobility devices suitable for the terrain in developing countries, and IMI Seeds, which promotes economic independence for those with disabilities.
Project H Design
Charitable venture founded in 2008 by Emily Pilloton that champions design as a tool for social improvement, especially in the realm of products. "A nonprofit coalition of hundreds of designers worldwide who work locally and globally to develop and implement product design solutions for Humanity, Habitats, Health, and Happiness."
The desigNYC collective was formed by group of designers and design advocates with the mission of helping nonprofit and community groups in need of design services connect with professional, pro bono design resources. desigNYC was inspired by President Obama's and Mayor Bloomberg's Service initiatives and other groups doing great work in New York City and beyond.
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Programs & Initiatives
Design Ignites Change
A collaboration between Adobe Youth Voices and the New York-based Worldstudio, Design Ignites Change works with participating college, university and high school groups to encourage students to use design thinking to solve pressing social problems. Financial awards are given to students and initiatives "with the most powerful and provocative solutions."
Based at the Interaction Research Studio in the department of design at Goldsmiths, University of London, Material Beliefs unites scientists, engineers, designers, social scientists and members of the public in an investigation of emerging biomedical and cybernetic technologies that blur the boundaries between materials and the body.
Impact! Design for Social Change
To remain competitive, corporations are looking for innovation and impact in the area of social change as it relates to their businesses. The non-profit world is seeking new ways to support their constituencies through design strategy. This six-week summer intensive will introduce participants to the growing field of design for social advocacy.
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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.
Wiki for collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development through the use of appropriate technology and the sharing of project information.
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.
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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.
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
"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."
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