Public Interest Design
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July 11, 2014 Announces 2015 Class of Global Fellows


Human centered design nonprofit have announced four diverse and dynamic Global Fellows who will be joining the 2015 cohort. Hailing from Malawi, Ireland, Indiana, and the UK, the fellows–William Kamkwamba, Rebecca Hope, Jessie Wild, and John Collery–were selected from a pool of 656 applications. With experience in global health, entrepreneurship, network building, and invention, this group will work, learn, grow and innovate together to make the world a better place.

Click here to learn more about the 2015 Global Fellows, online at

July 10, 2014

South of North: A Network for Nordic Architects


As seen with well-known organizations like Architecture for Humanity, MASS Design Group, and Design Impact, many impactful design projects take place across foreign borders and continents, leading to a cross-pollination of ideas, methods, and means. A group of designers from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark who work on humanitarian projects around the world have created the South of North network for “sharing knowledge and analyzing the phenomenon.” Initiated by architects Inari Virkkala of Komitu Architects and Pilvi Vanamo of Lönnqvist Vanamo Architects, the Nordic design network has organized two events to share their conversations and work. From September 5th to 14th, twelve practices will be presenting their work at an exhibition during Helsinki Design Week. Following the exhibition, South of North will head down to the Venice Biennale to host a Nordic-African discussion entitled “Mouthful of Meetings” on September 19th.

South of North is a collaboration project between Nordic architects working in the non-profit sector in developing environments, currently active with an exhibition and a seminar series. During the last decade, emerging Nordic architect practices have been using their professional skills to support the less privileged communities. Interestingly, the South of North teams aim to involve the use of local and traditional techniques and customs during the planning and construction process. However, all the projects, despite being built in different locations all over the world, do share common elements.

Click here to learn more about South of North, online at

July 10, 2014

Code for America Fellowship Applications Due 7/15

Five days remain to apply for the 2015 Code for America Fellowship. Pairing teams of developers, designers, researchers and project managers with City Halls across the country, the 11-month opportunity offers an experience to use “design thinking to solve the challenges in our cities,” as 2014 Fellow Ainsley Wagoner describes. Submit applications for this transformative experience by July 15, 2014.

The Fellowship is Code for America’s best known program and consists of a one year residency placing developers, designers, and researchers within local governments. Over the course of the program, fellows and local governments to work together to build apps, foster new approaches to problem solving, and tackle social issues that have a significant impact on the community.

Click here to read more and apply for the 2015 Code for America Fellowship, online at

July 9, 2014

IPA “Total Reset” Exhibition & Workshops Open


Following up on our post about the announcement for the Institute for Public Architecture’s inaugural fellows, the recently launched organization has partnered with No Longer Empty and Broadway Housing Communities to host the a series of public workshops and an exhibition to accompany the “Total Reset” residency program. The first public workshop takes place tomorrow evening from 5-8pm ET at the Sugar Hill housing development designed by David Adjaye Associates. If you can’t make it to tomorrow’s workshop, a second public workshop will take place on July 23rd and the “If You Build It” exhibition will be on display until August 10th.

On No Longer Empty’s 5-year anniversary of presenting site-specific art, No Longer Empty’s exhibition “If You Build It” takes root in Sugar Hill—the legendary epicenter of the Harlem Renaissance. The project is inspired and presented in partnership with Broadway Housing Communities at their newest site, designed by architect David Adjaye. “Total Reset” features public workshops with Sugar Hill community members, housing experts, and designers. At each workshop, Institute for Public Architecture Fellows will present their work-in-progress and IPA executive director Karen Kubey will moderate a discussion.

Click here to read more about the “Total Reset” program of events on, or click here to read more about “If You Build It” on

July 9, 2014

MAKE Magazine Cover Girl Emily Pilloton


Project H founder and hands-on learning champion Emily Pilloton graced the cover of MAKE Magazine’s 40th Issue on ‘Makerspaces.’ With initiatives like Camp H, a design and building program for girls ages 9-12, Studio H, a design/build public school curriculum, and Workshop H, a boot-camp training program for teachers, leaders, and organizations, MAKE could not have picked a better person to represent the makerspace movement.

From TechShops to Fab Labs, makerspaces are popping up around the country and the world, helping makers gain experience, develop support networks, and build bigger and better than ever before. Volunteer-run or professional, membership- or employee-based, non- or for-profit, theyʼre offering tools, education, and space to makers who donʼt have a home shop or who want to go beyond it.

Click here to learn more about MAKE 40: Makerspaces, online at

July 9, 2014

Kresge Announces Climate Resilience Initiative

The Kresge Foundation–a private foundation dedicated to creating opportunities for low-income people–has announced an initiative to assist community-based nonprofits with climate resilience projects. Under the Environment Program, the Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative will award planning grants of up to $100,000 to as many as 20 nonprofit organizations with “a record of effective work in low-income communities and an interest in deepening their involvement and leadership in local and/or regional climate-resilience efforts.” Interested organizations are required to submit a Statement of Qualifications by July 31st, 2014, and qualified organizations will be invited to submit applications.

The Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative is focused on improving the resilience of low-income, urban communities in the face of climate change. Through this initiative, The Kresge Foundation seeks to strengthen the capacity of community-based nonprofit organizations to influence local and regional climate-resilience planning, policy development and implementation to better reflect the priorities and needs of low-income people in U.S. cities. This strengthened capacity will lead to the development of more effective climate-resilience measures in multiple venues within communities.

Click here to read more about Kresge’s Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative, online at

July 8, 2014

PUBLIC Journal Summer 2014 Issue Released


The second issue of the recently-launched PUBLIC Journal is now available for purchase in both digital and print formats. As the first magazine dedicated to humanitarian and public interest design, the team of architects, designers, and writers (including a few of our team members) are sharing the stories of individuals and organizations who are improving lives through design. The Summer issue features projects by Sharon Davis Design, design/buildLAB, Jensen Architects, and Tulane City Center, along with articles on business, practice, and education. For anyone interested in in-depth articles on this evolving movement, this is a must-read magazine.

PUBLIC Journal provides an unprecedented platform for the expanding Public Interest Design movement; where the world of architecture intersects the voices of activism, exposing a determination to provide good design for those that need it most, but most often do not get it. PUBLIC tells stories of like-minded individuals attempting to make a difference and celebrates their challenges and successes, one project at a time. Today’s growing Public Interest Design movement deserves to be exposed and archived.

Click here to subscribe to PUBLIC Journal and receive Issue #2, online at

July 8, 2014

Design’s Future is Social


The 2014 Design Futures Student Forum united 60 young designers and 20 public interest design leaders from across the U.S. and around the world for a five-day intensive ‘school’ experience at the Tulane School of Architecture in New Orleans. From in-depth, three-hour courses, to evenings indulging in New Orleans’ rich culture, this unique ‘un-conference’ fostered new insights, learnings, and connections amongst attendees. Industrial design student Mauricio Urueña shares his thoughts and takeaways from his experience.

In early-June, I had the chance to participate in the Design Futures Student Forum hosted by Tulane University in New Orleans, thanks to one of four full-ride scholarships made available through the Autodesk Foundation. As a Master of Industrial Design student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, it was an incredible opportunity for me to meet students, professors, and professionals who share my passion and enthusiasm for public interest design.

Nearly a month later, one of the ideas that sticks in my head is a quote from Thomas Jefferson, which Tulane professor Maurice Cox shared during one of the sessions: “Design activity and political thought are indivisible.” Growing up in Colombia, I view political activity as something inherently social, which led me to an ‘a-ha moment’: design is inherently social. I heard – and experienced – this idea throughout the conference. Read the rest of this entry »

July 8, 2014

MASS in TIME’s “The Smarter Home” Issue


If you happen upon a newsstand this week, pick up a copy of TIME Magazine’s recent issue “The Smarter Home” to see MASS Design Group’s Butaro Doctors’ Housing project. Along with MASS’s stunning project in Rwanda, the double issue for the weeks of July 7th & 14th features a wide range of housing from around the world, including the Abod pop-up shelters, the communal Home-for-All, and the Bosco Verticale apartment building for trees and people, amongst other news on gadgetry and construction materials.

Click here to read more about the recent issue on “The Smarter Home,” online at

July 7, 2014

Apply for AzuKo’s Research Associate Role by 7/14


The last day to submit applications for the Research Associate position at London-based AzuKo is Monday, July 14th. As a recently established public interest design charity, the role offers an individual interested in human centered design, humanitarian aid, and international development an opportunity to work on projects in Kenya and Bangladesh along with developing organizational operations. The selected candidate will begin September 1st, 2014.

Click here to learn more and apply for AzuKo’s Research Associate position by Monday, July 14th, online

Autodesk Foundation is an evolving resource of the Autodesk Foundation, a first-of-its-kind foundation focused on design for a better world.



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