February 26, 2013
We are thrilled to have our Autodesk Gallery exhibition, Public Interest Design: Products, Places, & Processes, on display this week at the 2013 TED Conference in Long Beach, Calif. The exhibition, guest-curated by our own John Cary and journalist Courtney E. Martin–in association with Autodesk Gallery team members Jason Medal-Katz, Matthew Tierney, and Roddy Wykes, among others–opened in October 2012, and was spotlighted here on the TED Blog yesterday, concluding with the following:
Ultimately, our aim was to communicate something not about design, per se, but about dignity. Environmental psychology tells us that the moment we are born, the world around us—the rooms we sleep in, the classrooms we study in, the outdoor spaces we have access to, the bureaucracies we see our parents wrestle with—signals something about our own identity, our own worth, what we can expect from life. In this way, we are a reflection of the design we experience in our lives. Which leads us to the critical question: how do we make a world that is more hospitable and healthy for all of us, that signals back to us that we belong, that we deserve beauty and functionality and dignity? And in instances where design, be that of products, places, or processes, is less than ideal, what changes can be made quickly, simply, easily, or painlessly?
Click here to read “Putting the public back in public interest design: The making of an exhibit at TED2013,” online at TED.com.
February 20, 2013
Jacqueline Novogratz, the acclaimed founder & CEO of Acumen Fund, a pioneer in social impact investing, took to the pages of The Huffington Post yesterday to talk about her recent travel and ongoing work with d.light. A social enterprise that spun out of the Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability program at the Stanford d.school, d.light is featured in our exhibition at the Autodesk Gallery and its founders are among our Public Interest Design 100, while Novogratz will grace our upcoming Global Public Interest Design 100.
As Novogratz explains, “1.6 billion people on earth lack affordable light. Imagine the virtual release of human energy if we truly lit the world together. We will do this not by handing a solution to the poor, but by crafting–and insisting on–opportunities in which everyone can participate. We are each other’s destiny. Within our interconnection lies the seed of our mutual sense of dignity–and ultimately, the world’s best chance to end impoverishment, material and spiritual.”
Click here to read “Dignity, Not Dependence While Living Under $1 a Day,” online at HuffintonPost.com.
December 14, 2012
In mid-November, Architecture for Humanity welcomed hundreds of its network members to the beautiful Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco for the third annual Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! event. The above is a three-minute video, produced by AV Media, showcasing some of the highlights from an event that AFH describes as “a hive of ideas-sharing and lessons learned on how to improve the world through the power of design.”
Click here to watch the Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! recap, online at Vimeo.com.
December 14, 2012
On Wednesday, we published the second in a three-part series of “year end” pieces on Architizer, our “Top 10 Public Interest Design Milestones of 2012.” The list looks beyond individual design projects and instead toward initiatives with far-reaching consequences for the field—and, in some cases, the world.
1. Architectural Record Publishes “Building for Social Change” Issue
2. IDEO.org and Gates Foundation Launch HCD Connect
3. Design Corps Debuts the First Four of Six SEEDocs
4. U.S. Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale Showcases “Spontaneous Interventions
5. The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Addresses “Designing for Impact”
6. “Public Interest Design” Exhibition Opens at the Autodesk Gallery
7. The Noun Project Launches New Website and Symbol Suites
8. The Gates Foundation Hosts Inaugural Toilet Festival
9. Grantmakers in Design Hosts Its Inaugural Meeting
10. Public Interest Design 100 Infographic Maps Movers & Shakers
Click here to read our “Top 10 Public Interest Design Milestones of 2012,” online at Architizer.com.
November 9, 2012
As profiled here yesterday, in Co.Exist‘s coverage of our new exhibition at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco, and in the exhibition itself, Home for Good is a remarkable example of process or systems design. An initiative of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the L.A. Chamber of Commerce, “the goal is to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles by 2016.” The program has a dedicated website with several videos explaining the work, including the one above.
Today, there are over 50,000 homeless people in Los Angeles, more than any other city in the U.S. And it costs us over $800,000,000 a year. But there is a solution–one that not only costs a lot less, but also moves us closer to ending homelessness in Los Angeles county, and is easier than you think.
Click here to learn more about Home for Good, online at UnitedWayLA.org.
November 8, 2012
Yesterday, Fast Company‘s Co.Exist publication offered up a piece and graphic slideshow, titled “Designing For More Than Just Looks: Inside Public Interest Design.” It showcases our new Autodesk Gallery exhibition as “product design and architecture that solves broader social and environmental problems.” As the title of the exhibition–Public Interest Design: Products, Places, & Processes–explains, there is a crucial third piece, beyond product design and architecture. We opted to call it “processes,” but it is more commonly known as service or systems design. A prime example is “Home for Good,” a partnership of Community Solutions, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Los Angeles, among others.
This Los Angeles program that has the ambitious goal of ending veteran homelessness in the city by 2016. A complex action plan includes increasing communications among city agencies, providing instant criminal background checks, and offering housing search assistance–all the things that a well-designed system for helping the homeless get off the street would have had in the first place (today’s system, of course, was cobbled together over many years). Home for Good has already slashed the number of days it takes to get homeless veterans off the street, from 168 to 93 days.
Click here to read “Designing For More Than Just Looks: Inside Public Interest Design,” online at FastCoExist.com. Caption: Graphic design by Megan Jett; courtesy of Autodesk.
October 20, 2012
Architecture for Humanity yesterday issued another update on its annual Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! conference, taking place November 12-13, at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. The two-day event is self-described as “The best Damn humanitarian design conference” and “the preeminent practitioners’ forum on humanitarian design and community development.”
Click here for more information or to register for Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE!, online at ArchitectureforHumanity.org. Caption: I Love Architecture for Social Change t-shirts, benefiting AfH, available for purchase here.
October 18, 2012
On Tuesday night, during a special event and ceremony in New York, Fast Company announced the top honorees of its 2012 Innovation by Design Awards. The 11 honorees were selected from a field of 1,700 entries, by a distinguished jury. Among the winners is a project near and dear to us (featured here at PublicInterestDesign.org several times and prominently in our new Autodesk Gallery exhibition), called Embrace, in the “Industrial Equipment” category.
Millions of preemies in the developing world die for lack of incubators, which can cost thousands of dollars. The $200 Embrace turns a 30-minute charge into six hours of stable warmth, due largely to space-age materials. “This is an example of design’s power when brought into the engineering process early,” noted the late Bill Moggridge, in the final days of his service as director of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.
Click here to learn more about Embrace and the other Innovation by Design Award honorees, online at FastCoDesign.com.
October 11, 2012
Just over a year ago, Michael Kimmelman was announced as the architecture critic of The New York Times. His debut article, profiled here, was a cover story on the Via Verde housing development in the Bronx–setting the tone for numerous other stories about design for the public good. Kimmelman’s latest piece, “Design as Balm for a Community’s Soul,” published yesterday, is yet another brilliant, beautifully detailed story in that same vein. It profiles two Bay Area housing projects–Tassafaronga Village in Oakland and Richardson Apartments in San Francisco–by the firm of David Baker + Partners.
Mr. Baker, who runs David Baker + Partners…has a reputation in and around the Bay Area for doing first-class housing for the poor and elderly, for mixed-income residences and for innovative green designs. When I said I had come to town to check out Mr. Baker’s work, everyone responded the same way. His firm has won many awards. He is a kind of local hero, with projects that represent what I think is a shift of priorities in the architectural profession.”
Click here to read “Design as Balm for a Community’s Soul,” online at NYTimes.com. The Richardson Apartments are one of 12 projects featured in our Autodesk Gallery exhibition, illustrated here. Caption: Photograph by Bruce Damonte Photography, courtesy of David Baker + Partners.
October 9, 2012
Accompanying the “Dignifying Design” op-ed that appeared in the print edition of The New York Times‘ Sunday Review section is an online slide show of related projects. Several of the projects appear in the new Autodesk Gallery exhibition, such as the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda by MASS Design Group (featured prominently in the article) as well as the Embrace Nest infant warmer and the ReMotion Knee by D-Rev: Design Revolution.
We are especially happy to introduce a few non-exhibition projects, including the gorgeous Windsor Farmers Market by the Studio H high school design/build program of Project H Design in North Carolina, the amazing Lions Park Playscape by Auburn University‘s Rural Studio students in Greensboro, Ala., and the stunning Masonic Amphitheater in Clifton Forge, Va., by Virginia Tech‘s design/buildLAB.
Click here to view the “Good, by Design” slideshow, online at NYTimes.com.