"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."
Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Program in Social Entrepreneurship
Program at New York University for educating and inspiring a new generation of leaders in public service. A select group of undergraduate and graduate NYU students are chosen annually to learn cross-disciplinary skills for producing sustainable and scalable solutions to demanding social problems.
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.
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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.
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.
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Fellowships & Prizes
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Project for Public Spaces
New York-based non-profit dedicated to creating and sustaining vibrant community spaces. Since its founding in 1975 has served 2,000 communities in 26 countries.
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.
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Programs & Initiatives
An intensive summer program founded in 2003 by designer John Bielenberg to persuade young graphic designers, writers, photographers and other creative people that their work can have a positive and significant impact on the world.
The Mayors' Institute on City Design
National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored program that helps mayors to be the leading urban designers of their cities. Every year, the institute holds half a dozen two-and-a-half-day sessions attended by mayors and development professionals.
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.
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Publications & Websites
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.
"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."
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.
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"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
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.
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