Public Interest Design
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April 1, 2014

PPL Seeks Multimedia Journalist Fellow


Nonprofit service design organization Public Policy Lab is seeking a multimedia journalist fellow to join their team in New York City for a short term assignment. The role entails capturing visual and audio content and creating stories across a range of multimedia platforms while working closely with the public and project teams. The fellowship includes a $2,000 stipend for working approximately 2 days a week over a 4-week period beginning in May 2014. If you’re interested in joining their team, download the complete fellowship description here and apply by April 8, 2014.

Public programs are how our society invests in citizens. Too often, however, public services don’t feel very friendly, or even very useful. Here at the Public Policy Lab, we think the solution lies with the people themselves: when services are thoughtfully designed to serve the needs of their users, to be engaging and easy to use, then they’re more satisfying for citizens, as well as more effective and cost-efficient for government.

Click here to read more and apply for the Multimedia Journalist Fellowship by April 8, 2014, online at

April 1, 2014

Attend the First-Ever PID Global Event April 18-19


There are 17 days left to register–for FREE–to the first-ever Public Interest Design Global symposium at Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, France. On April 18th and 19th, the international convening will include presentations by the six 2014 SEED Award Winners along with notable moderators–Cindy Cooper of Impact Entrepreneurs, Maggie Stephenson of UNHabitat, Raul Pantaleo of Studio TAMassociati, Deanna VanBuren of FOURM Design Studio, and Vinay Venkatarman of Frugal Digital. The talent, ideas, and discussions are sure to spark much more cross-pollination across the pond(s).

The two-day symposium will provide participants from a wide range of international expertise–architects, agronomists, conservation ecologists, business, economists, public health officials, members of government–with a chance to study how design can add value and momentum as communities tackle myriad problems. Design can help defend equity by bringing creative solutions to real priorities, but only if we work in extraordinary interdisciplinary teams and across networks.

Click here to register for FREE to PID Global, online at

April 1, 2014

Profile: INCLUDED Community Centers


We were recently introduced to the brilliant work of nonprofit INCLUDED, who work with migrant communities and slums in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, Dhaka, and London. As seen in ArchDaily, the organization’s recently completed community center in Shanghai was built using shipping containers to achieve ”an affordable, mobile, scalable, and highly flexible center to serve the marginalized migrants”–a credit to their staff architect and project manager Matt Mueller, who also happens to be a Rural Studio alumnus. He describes the project aims:

All aspects of this project were designed with the goals of safe, sustainable, and dignified space for migrant children and their families. INCLUDED believes that good design with a continuing community presence can create a lasting difference for these underserved communities. So little of good design, architecture, technology, urban planning, products, and systems is being focused on migrant slums today. Up to 1 in 3 of us will soon live in one. With a little extra thought, our slums can become brighter, organized, more life-giving places to live with better access to better products.

Click here to read more about INCLUDED online at, or click here to read more about the Community Cube Center in Shanghai online at

March 31, 2014

Apply to SVA Social Design Courses by April 1st


Applications are due tomorrow, April 1st, for the School of Visual Arts and Design Ignites Change’s popular 6-week Impact! Design for Social Change summer studio and the new 1-week intensive studio Implementing Impact! the Business of Social Design. The 6-week studio will run from July 7 – August 15, 2014 and incorporate classes on strategy, concept development, partnerships, and funding.


The 1-week intensive studio will run from June 22-27, 2014, with a focus on the business of social design by “exploring critical topics in hands-on modules ranging from analysis, marketing, management and operations to funding models.”

Click here to apply to either or both SVA Social Design Summer Studio, online at

March 31, 2014

Reminder: Apply to MICA Social Design Program


Tomorrow (April 1st) marks the last day to apply to the 1-year intensive Master of Arts in Social Design at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Situated in the heart of Baltimore, the graduate program offers a “human-centered, experiential, and interdisciplinary approach to understanding and addressing the challenges facing society.” As seen in previous projects, the 2015 class is sure to embark on relevant and interesting social issues.

Grounded in a philosophy of practice-based learning, the curriculum introduces students to a broad framework for social design, exposes them to a variety of methods and models for social impact, and prepares them with a core set of skills necessary to pursue professional opportunities upon graduation.

Click here to apply for the MICA Social Design Program, online at

March 28, 2014

Registration Closes 3/30 for’s HCD Course

Have you had your eye on learning human-centered design? Registration ends this Sunday, March 30th, for and +Acumen’s popular Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation course. 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. If you don’t have team members yet, you can find and join teams near you on MeetUp. The course begins Monday, March 31st, so act quickly!

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

March 27, 2014

Scenario 4: ‘Building the Urban Forest’

Scenario 4

Scenario Journal–formerly known as Landscape Urbanism–has just released the latest issue ‘Building the Urban Forest.’ A total of 15 articles from a number of disciplinary perspectives address issues on the idea and the practice of building the urban forest. As our cities get denser, the moments to connect with nature could become squeezed; however, articles such as ‘Roundabout Vancouver’ and ‘Constructing Native Urban Forests As Experiments To Evaluate Resilience’ offer unique solutions to help urban forests thrive. Co-editors Stephanie Carlisle, Nicholas Pevzner, and Max Piana write:

The forest carries deep cultural significance. Within the urban landscape, this ecologically complex, spatially layered, dynamic system is also understood to perform a wide range of essential ecosystem services. As an increasing number of projects and programs concern themselves with shaping, managing and advocating for a new generation of urban forests, we see an outpouring of ideas and techniques about how our urban forests are to be designed, planned and managed.

Click here to read Scenario 4: Building the Urban Forest, online at

March 27, 2014

Job: bcWORKSHOP Seeks Assistant Director


Texas-based nonprofit buildingcommunityWORKSHOP is seeking an Assistant Director to take up the ‘second-in-command’ position. As part of the management team, this role entails directing day-to-day managing of the staff of bcWORKSHOP and liaising with the Dallas CityDesign Studio. This is a rare opportunity to join an organization that is making great strides in the Lone Star State, as we’ve seen with recognition from the 2014 SEED Awards, 2013 Rudy Bruner Awards, and 2013 AIA Dallas Awards.

The buildingcommunityWORKSHOP is a Texas nonprofit community design center seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. We enrich the lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to areas of our city where resources are most scarce. To do so, the bcWORKSHOP recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic, and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work.

Click here to read more about the role of Assistant Director at bcWORKSHOP, online at To apply, email interest letter, resume, and work samples to Trena Lechleitner at with the subject line “bcW Assistant Director.”

March 26, 2014

Clean Conscience Dirty Hands Conference

Clean Conscience Symposium Poster edit

International social and humanitarian architects are invited to attend the ‘Clean Conscience Dirty Hands’ conference at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, Scotland on April 11th and 12th. Focused on the themes of live build community projects, alternative routes into practice, and participatory community building, attendees and speakers will engage through a series of lectures, debates, and workshops. With an impressive line up of notable international organizations–including MASS Design Group, TYIN Tegnestue, Architecture for Humanity, Assemble, SSoA Live Projects, Orkidstudio, and many others–the two-day symposium is bound to be filled with practical and inspiring discussions, ideas, and actions.

The ‘Clean Conscience Dirty Hands’ symposium recognises the limited resources intrinsic to the provision of social and humanitarian architecture and the impact of such scarcity on the ability of organisations to ‘harness’ the learning from each built project through documentation, discussion and dissemination. As such it seeks to provide both a locus and a forum for like-minded organisations engaged in social and humanitarian building projects, in order to capture and disseminate good practice in both a UK-based and international context.

Click here to register to attend for one or both days of Clean Conscience Dirty Hands, online at

March 26, 2014

2014 Sustainable Cities Design Academy Grantees


Following up on the Sustainable Cities Design Academy training opportunity, the American Architectural Foundation announced the eight public-private development teams that have been selected for the 2014 cycle. The teams–consisting of city leaders, developers, and design professionals–will join AAF’s national sustainable design team of experts for one of two intensive, three-day design charrettes in Washington, DC, either May 21–23 or October 29–31. Watch the conversations and outcomes on SCDA’s page.

East Bridgeport Development Corridor, Bridgeport, CT
Cemetery Resaca Restoration, Brownsville, TX
Prices Fork Adaptive Reuse Project for Lifespan Housing, Montgomery County, VA
Swift Factory Community Hub Development, Hartford, CT
Boone / Collins Train Station Redevelopment Plan, Hillsborough, NC
Saw Mill Run Integrated Watershed Management Study, Pittsburgh, PA
Kalispell Core Area Redevelopment Plan, Kalispell, MT
West Palm Beach Transit Village, West Palm Beach, FL

Click here to read more about the 2014 Sustainable Design Academy Grantees, online at

Image: Swift Factory by Flickr user Jonathan Haeber

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