Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Change Observer

About
Submissions
Contact


Departments

Audio
Bibliography
Case Studies
Collections
Dialogues
Essays
Event-Aspen
Event-Bellagio
Event-Education
Gallery
Interviews
Miscellaneous
New Ideas
Opinions
Primary Sources
Projects
Report
Reviews
Slideshows
Video


Topics

Advertising
Aid
Architecture
Art
Books
Branding
Business + Industry
Cities + Places
Community
Craft
Culture
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Disaster Relief
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Fashion
Film + Video
Food
Geography
Global + Local
Graphic Design
Health + Safety
History
Housing
Ideas
Illustration
India
Industry
Information Design
Infrastructure
Interaction Design
Internet
Journalism
Landscape
Media
Motion Design
Museums
Nature
Obituaries
Peace
Philanthropy
Photography
Planning
Politics + Policy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Preservation
Product Design
Public Art
Religion
Science
Shelter
Social Enterprise
Sports
Sustainability
Technology
Theory + Criticism
Transportation
TV + Radio
Typography
Urbanism
Volunteerism
Water


Resources

This page offers regularly updated lists of organizations, opportunities, and events related to social change. Click on the following categories for more information.



Upcoming Conferences


All Conferences & Events >>

Academic Programs


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.

The Design High School
Learning to think like a designer gives the students the experience and skills they need for productive decision-making. At the Design High School, a free public charter school in LA, the concepts and practices of design will be used to deliver a rigorous and relevant college preparatory and career oriented curriculum.

BaSiC Initiative
"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."

More Academic Programs >>

Competitions


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.

Re:Vision
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.

More Competitions >>

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.

Curry Stone Design Prize
The Curry Stone Design Prize honors an individual or group for developing and implementing a visionary design innovation. These emerging projects address critical issues such as access to clean air, food and water, shelter, health care, energy, education, social justice and the promotion of peace. Winning projects engage communities at the fulcrum of change, raising awareness, empowering individuals and fostering collective revitalization.

Gigaton Awards
The mission of the GIGATON AWARDS is to inspire and challenge businesses to make a difference to climate change and global sustainability. The awards will honor businesses for outstanding performances as defined by measurable carbon reductions and quantifiable steps toward sustainability. There will be a number of prizes awarded, including awards for relative reductions in CO2e (normalized against revenue) by business category and a prize for the most innovative plan to reduce emissions. The Awards ceremony will culminate in the presentation of the Gigaton Prize, which will go to the company that has demonstrably reduced emissions by the largest absolute amount on an annual basis.

More Fellowships & Prizes >>

Organizations


Public Architecture
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."

Ashoka
Named for a leader who unified the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century B.C., Ashoka is a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship. Operates in 60 countries through a fellowship program that has supported more than 2,000 participants.

The Association for Community Design
Established in 1977 as a national network and voice for those involved in community-based design and planning. Seeks to broaden the field of community design through more than 40 centers in the U.S. and an annual conference.

More Organizations >>

Programs & Initiatives


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.

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.

Echoing Green
Fellowship program that has distributed $28 million to more than 450 social entrepreneurs and organizations to tackle society’s most difficult problems.

More Programs & Initiatives >>

Publications & Websites


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.

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.

Behance
"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.

More Publications & Websites >>

Social Networks


BOP Source
"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."

Design 21
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

More Social Networks >>




DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS





Resources

Academic Programs
Competitions
Conferences & Events
Fellowships & Prizes
Organizations
Programs & Initiatives
Publications & Websites
Social Networks