February 28, 2014
The 2014 ArtPlace Grantee Summit–a platform to engage in conversations about the “who,” “why,” “how” and “what for” of creative placemaking–will take place at the beginning of next week in Los Angeles. Starting on Monday, March 3, 2014, at 2pm PST (5pm EST/10pm GMT), ArtPlace has partnered with HowlRound.TV (a global, commons-based livestreaming and video archive project) to bring the event to a global audience on a livestream channel. Covering a range of topics including community identity, capital projects, regional placemaking, intentions and outcomes, the discussions are sure to elicit a plethora of ideas about the intersection of arts and place.
During the Grantee Summit, attendees share their knowledge and best ideas for putting the arts at the center of a set of strategies to transform the character of communities… Attending the Summit via webcast offers an unprecedented opportunity to understand the range of work happening around creative placemaking across the country. By learning and sharing collective victories, challenges, and issues with a group of like-minded colleagues and peers, we grow knowledge and understanding of the field.
February 27, 2014
The founders of the Young Designers Lab and Women in Design–the group behind the Change.org petition for Denise Scott Brown’s Pritzker Prize recognition–have merged together to form Designers Assembly in New York City. Recognizing the overlap in shared interests and goals, founders Masako Ikegami, Alda Ly, and Nora Yoo created Designers Assembly “to advocate for young designers who are identifying and solving problems in need of design-driven solutions, and figuring out how to do that in an efficient, savvy way.” The group has ambitious plans in the works, beginning with a 3-part course on core financial and strategic skills beginning on this Saturday, March 1st.
Designers Assembly works to empower young designers through building recognizable value for good design. We are working to provide a forum where we can come together and build financial and strategic literacy while also following our dreams for a better world by design. Through the building blocks of workshops, panel discussions, lectures, and information sharing events, we aim to construct the base for a new and improved way to practice as designers.
Click here to read more about Designers Assembly, online at DesignersAssembly.org.
February 27, 2014
Studio H–Project H’s in-school design/build program–and REALM Charter School in Berkeley just launched “X Space” on Kickstarter and have already surpassed a third of their fundraising goal of $75,000 in just 2 days. This campaign is about bringing to life a school library designed and built entirely by Studio H’s 108 8th grade students using ‘STAX.’ The X-shaped ‘STAX’ units were designed by the students and will be fabricated using Autodesk’s tools, services, and time–thanks to CEO Carl Bass’s support. Here’s what you can do to help and make X Space a reality for REALM’s 8th graders:
The entire library will be made up of hundreds of these X-shaped shelves designed by the students, called STAX (like library stacks). The STAX units are incredibly beautiful and are probably the smartest designed shelf you’ve ever seen (especially by 8th graders!). If 200 STAX are pledged on Kickstarter in 30 days, the entire library will be built. What’s even cooler, is that every time you pledge a STAX for the library, you get a STAX, too.
Click here to read more and donate to “X Space” for some awesome rewards, online at Kickstarter.com.
February 26, 2014
Service design non-profit Public Policy Lab has just released a project storybook on “Understanding NYC School Choice.” In partnership with the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and the Office of Student Enrollment, the team conducted interviews with dozens of policymakers, school staff, parents, and 8th and 9th graders. After this ‘discovery’ phase, they identified four key needs that everyone in the process shares and proposed more than 30 opportunities to design services that respond to those needs–ready for implementers to take charge!
Each year more than 75,000 students navigate the admissions process to apply for seats at New York City’s 700+ public high school programs… Ultimately, we hope that the discovery process outlined in this document will inform the design of supports that assist students — particularly those from high-need and non-English-speaking families — in making more informed and confident decisions when applying to high school.
Click here to download and read “Understanding NYC School Choice,” online at PublicPolicyLab.org.
February 26, 2014
Hugh Whalan, CEO of Persistent Energy Ghana, took to the pages of Fast Co.Exist to address the infatuation with gadgets that undermines the supply chain and logistics challenges that ultimately determine success. In his article “Hip Gadgets For The Developing World Won’t Solve Global Poverty: Stop Making Them,” Whalan cites examples of overly publicized products–Playpumps and Soccket–along with examples of businesses focused on supply and production–Honey Care Africa and One Acre Fund. As we’ve seen recently with the Gates-funded toilet and D-Rev’s Brilliance lamp, manufacturing, supply and distribution are as necessary to ‘design’ as the product itself.
Many entrepreneurs (incorrectly) think the biggest challenge is actually making the product. They are so pleased they have invented a widget that is more efficient or lower cost or fancier than the other widgets on the market. Since there are 1 bazillion people whose life would be immeasurably improved by getting access to their widget, and their widget is the best, success is a sure thing. Wrong! Actually, virtually none of these widgets ever get to their intended customers because of supply chain and logistics challenges.
Click here to read “Hip Gadgets For The Developing World Won’t Solve Global Poverty: Stop Making Them,” online at FastCoExist.com.
February 26, 2014
Hacker and community manager Catherine Bracy, who serves as the director of community organizing at Code for America, provides a look into the history and development of civic hacking in the TED City2.0 talk “Why good hackers make good citizens.” From Benjamin Franklin and the Wright Brothers to Steve Jobs and Anonymous, Bracy makes the case that “hacking has always been at the foundation of American democracy.”
Hacking is about more than mischief-making or political subversion. As Catherine Bracy describes in this spirited talk, it can be just as much a force for good as it is for evil. She spins through some inspiring civically-minded projects in Honolulu, Oakland and Mexico City — and makes a compelling case that we all have what it takes to get involved.
Click here to watch “Catherine Bracy: Why good hackers make good citizens”, online at TED.com.
February 25, 2014
Registration for IDEO.org and +Acumen’s popular Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation is now open. The second iteration of this 7-week online/offline course requires teams of 2-6 based anywhere in the world, but preferably all team members in the same location. The last day to register is March 30, 2014, for the course start on March 31, 2013.
You will learn the human-centered design process by applying it to a real world design challenge. Each week you will explore the main human-centered design concepts through readings, case studies, and short videos. Then you’ll be expected to meet in-person with your design team to get your hands dirty practicing the relevant human-centered design methods.
Click here to read more and register for the Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation course by March 30, 2014, online at PlusAcumen.org.
February 25, 2014
A team of Caltech engineers and Kohler designers have been hard at work developing a self-cleaning, solar-powered toilet that turns human waste into hydrogen and fertilizer. The recent Fast Company Co.Exist article provides an inside look at the progress and ongoing challenges the team has faced since winning the Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge in 2012. Although the team’s focus has been on the mechanics of the toilet, their vision has expanded out to look at the spatial design, manufacture, and ongoing maintenance that will contribute to the true measure of success–affordability, use, and longevity of the product.
In some ways, the toilet is a tough sell. Why create such a high-tech, expensive system, you could argue, when many places just need basic toilets?… But if Caltech can get the cost down to a price point where the toilet is truly affordable, there’s may be no reason why developing countries shouldn’t have the opportunity to leapfrog us in toilet technology, much like they already have with cell phones, skipping the landline infrastructure entirely.
Click here to read “Take A Seat On This Gates-Funded Future Toilet That Will Change How We Think About Poop”, online at FastCoExist.com.
February 25, 2014
Our friend Mariana Amatullo, Vice President of Designmatters at Art Center College of Design and Host Curator of the 2013 LEAP Symposium, recently wrote a blog post about her PhD research on “how we might better articulate and translate what I like to refer to as “the return on design” (ROD) in the public sector.” The past three years of studying at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University has led Amatullo to launch a survey that “builds on important work in the design management literature about the concept of “design attitude”… and in turn connects this concept with key activities and dynamics that characterize design in the social innovation context.” She invites all designers to take part in the 15-minute survey, which ends March 3, 2014, to help her glean insight and refine her central hypothesis for her PhD:
My central hypothesis is that by gaining a better understanding of the factors that are at play in these emergent situations, we may indeed be better positioned to harness design’s contributions to the field of social innovation overall, and articulate ROD with new confidence.
February 24, 2014
This year SFI 14 will take place from March 22-23, 2014, at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City on the theme “Broadcast. Forecast.” Along with panel discussions and presentations by 2014 SEED Award Winners, the weekend will include workshops and breakout sessions for attendees to address “What is the future of Public Interest Design?”
Click here to secure a place at SFI 14 by February 28, 2014, with the Early Bird Registration prices of $150 for General Admission and $50 for Students, online at DesignCorps.org/SFI14.
PIDI Training in New York City will begin right after SFI 14, occurring March 24-25, 2014, at the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the City College of New York. The curriculum is formed around the SEED metric and will “provide design and planning professionals with in-depth study on methods of how design can address the critical issues faced by communities.” The two-day course will include presentations from Design Corp’s Bryan Bell, Enterprise Community Partners’ Shola Olatoye, UPSTATE Director and Syracuse University Professor Marc Norman, J. Max Bond Center’s Esther Yang and Toni L. Griffin (see her TED City2.0 talk here), and Shed Studio’s Rashmi Ramaswamy.
Click here to register for PIDI Training NYC by February 28, 2014, with the Early Bird Registration prices of $400 for Standard Registration, $250 for Professional Association members, and $200 for Students, online at PublicInterestDesign.com/NYC.
If you are considering attending both SFI 14 and PIDI NYC, there is a combination price available at $300 for Professionals and $150 for Students, online at DesignCorps.org/SFI14.