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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


Designmatters
Educational program founded in 2001 at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, to advance the discussion of design education’s role in today’s world. Focuses on global health care, public policy, social entrepreneurship and sustainable human development. Manages three to five major projects per term across multiple disciplines.

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.

Studio H
Studio H is a one-year high school program for the Bertie County School District in rural North Carolina that combines design thinking, vocational trade skills training, and community citizenship to equip low-opportunity teenagers with critical creative problem solving skills for life. An innovative pedagogical approach, Studio H will empower struggling students through highly collaborative hands-on learning, engage educational capacities to the fullest, and provide a diverse skillset for the next generation to access broader job markets, improve their community and excel academically in the state’s poorest and most racially polarized county.

More Academic Programs >>

Competitions


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.

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


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.

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  
exchanges.

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.


INDEX:awards
The INDEX:Award is the main driver of INDEX:'s mission to generate more Design to Improve Life of higher quality all over the world. The award receives nominations from all over the globe – and from these nominations, the INDEX: international jury selects the best as finalists, and the very best as winners of the biennial award, amounting to a total sum of 500,000 euros. Each of the five winners represents one of the INDEX:Award categories – Body, Home, Work, Play and Community – that together span the spectrum of human activity and are relevant and understandable to people all over the world.

More Fellowships & Prizes >>

Organizations


D-Rev
D-Rev is a nonprofit design firm and technology incubator that develops market-driven products to improve the health and incomes of people living on less than $2 per day. Their mission is to start a design revolution in the way products are designed, marketed and distributed. They enable new sources of income and improved healthcare for people who represent the "other 90%” of the world.

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.

desigNYC
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.

More Organizations >>

Programs & Initiatives


Material Beliefs
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.

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.

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.

More Programs & Initiatives >>

Publications & Websites


Afrigadget
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.

Design Activism
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.

More Publications & Websites >>

Social Networks


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.

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."

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 >>




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