February 7, 2013
Nearly a year to the day of the Social Impact Design Summit, which took place on February 27, 2012, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum will hold an evening event to mark the launch of a white paper on the summit. Moderated by Cynthia Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design at the Cooper-Hewitt, “the evening will focus on progress and developments in the field of social impact design over the intervening months.” What’s being called “Intelligent Coalitions: Design and Social Impact,” the event will take place Thursday, February 21, 2013, from 6:30-8pm, in New York City.
Panelists will discuss the white paper’s recommendations and proposals for how best to move forward and develop this burgeoning field. Join panelists, including Mariana Amatullo of Designmatters at Art Center College of Design, Bryan Bell of the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network, Krista Donaldson of D-Rev, and Ezio Manzini of the Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) Network, in a discussion about what is new and what is next for this growing area of design.
Click here for more information on the “Intelligent Coalitions: Design and Social Impact event,” online at CooperHewitt.org.
January 31, 2013
Design Corps has just announced that the Social/Economic/Environmental Design (SEED) Network will be conferring its first “Community Organizer Award” to the individual who can recruit and register the most new SEED members by February 28, 2013.
The winner will receive airfare, registration, and four nights hotel in advance of and during the Structures for Inclusion conference, part of Public Interest Design Week, March 19-24, 2013, hosted by the University of Minnesota College of Design. Interested registrants must simply list their referrer’s name on the Pledge page of the SEED-Network.org website.
Click here for the official announcement from Design Corps.
December 10, 2012
As just announced, this coming spring, March 19-24, 2013, the University of Minnesota College of Design will host a first-of-its-kind Public Interest Design Week. The week will attract to the College of Design an array of people and groups working at the intersection of design and service. Framing a range of lectures, panels, film screenings, and workshops, highlight events of Public Interest Design Week include:
Shelter: connect workshop, led by filmmakers Richard Neill and Lee Schneider, which builds participants’ storytelling skills–historically underemphasized within the field and design education generally;
Public Interest Design Institute (PIDI), led by Bryan Bell of Design Corps, which employs the Harvard Case Method to showcase projects that exemplify the Social/Economic/Environmental Design (SEED) principles;
Affordable Housing Design Forum, led by Katie Swenson of Enterprise Community Partners, which will convene leaders on the frontlines of affordable housing design and community development;
Structures for Inclusion (SFI) conference, now in its 13th year, which will feature presentations and discussions about products, places, and processes designed or redesigned for the public good; and
Social/Economic/Environmental Design (SEED) Awards presentations during SFI will recognize and showcase six finalist projects from Kenya, Indonesia, Sudan, and several states within the U.S.
November 16, 2012
The Social/Economic/Environmental Design (SEED) Network celebrated its seventh birthday yesterday with a call for donations to support Design Corps, which administers the network. SEED has its roots in a meeting of 30 community design practitioners, hosted October 28-29, 2005, by the Loeb Fellowship program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The title, “SEED,” was coined by Kimberly Dowdell the preceding summer during an internship with the General Services Administration (GSA), which played a crucial role in the adoption of LEED, the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program of the U.S. Green Building Council.
August 16, 2012
Design Corps and the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network–in conjunction with the University of Minnesota College of Design–today announced their third annual SEED Awards program. Through a competitive jury process, 6 projects will be selected for presentation during the thirteenth annual Structures for Inclusion (SFI13) conference, March 22-24, 2013, to be hosted by the University of Minnesota and chaired by our own John Cary. Student, professional, and DIY projects from anywhere in the world are eligible and will be judged based on the following criteria:
Participation: How and to what extent have community members and stakeholders been involved in the design and planning processes?
Effectiveness: How and to what extent does the project address the community’s needs and challenges?
Excellence: How and to what extent does the project achieve the highest possible design quality, relate with its context, and dignify the experiences of those it touches?
Inclusiveness: How and to what extent does the project promote social equity as well as reflect a diversity of social identities and values.
Impact: How and to what extent are the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the project known and being measured?
Systemic: How and to what extent might the project or process be scaled up to have a broader impact?
Click here for more information or to register for the SEED Award via the DesignCorps.org website.
June 25, 2012
The second and latest “SEEDoc,” posted online June 15, today topped 100,000 views, thanks in no small part to a profile this past Friday on the widely-read ArchDaily.com. Commissioned by Design Corps, it is the second of six short films profiling the winners of the annual Social/Economic/Environmental Design (SEED) Awards for Excellence in Public Interest Design.
The film features the Grow Dat Youth Farm in New Orleans, a partner of the Tulane City Center, with the project itself profiled here. The films are produced by The Uptake and supported by the Fetzer Institute, whose mission is to foster awareness of the power of love, forgiveness, and compassion.
Click here or on the image above to watch the second SEEDoc on the Grow Day Youth Farm.
May 18, 2012
As we speak, Cannon Design is holding its annual Open Hand Studio Forum at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Started just a few years ago in what is now the firm’s Chicago office, Open Hand Studio has come to represent Cannon’s firm-wide commitment to socially responsible design.
Guest speakers for the day-long Forum included Kimberly Dowdell, co-founder of Social/Economic/Environmental Design (SEED) Network; Erinn McGurn, co-founder of SCALEAfrica; Elizabeth Blazevich with the Sustainable Cities Design Academy of the American Architectural Foundation; and PublicInterestDesign.org‘s own John Cary. An anticipated outcome of the Forum is publication of the inaugural “Open Hand Studio Annual Report,” which we look forward to passing along in the coming weeks.
Click here to learn more about Cannon Design’s Open Hand Studio.
May 18, 2012
Today marks the official release of the first of six “SEEDocs,” part of an exciting, new, short film series, showcasing the winners of the annual SEED Awards. Those awards, and thus the films, recognize design work distinguished in terms of its economic, environmental, and social sustainability. This first film features the Owe’neh Bupingeh Rehabilitation Project, in New Mexico. Five additional SEEDocs will be released online every other month following this initial launch.
The films are commissioned by Design Corps; produced by The Uptake; and supported by a major funding partnership from the Fetzer Institute, whose mission is to foster awareness of the power of love, forgiveness, and compassion. The Fetzer Institute is also a funding partner of PublicInterestDesign.org.
Click here or on the image above to watch the first SEEDoc.
May 9, 2012
In his latest column for The Huffington Post, titled “SEEDing a New Kind of STEM,” Thomas Fisher, Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, takes a look at efforts to grow and expand the “STEM” disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan frames it in terms “to ensure our competitiveness.” John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design, meanwhile, is leading a national effort to expand STEM to STEAM, with the added “A” integrating art and design. Fisher, however, turns to another acronym, SEED, short for Social, Economic, Environmental Design–a term coined by architect Kimberly Dowdell and adopted by a network of like-minded professionals.
We should do all we can to encourage students to imagine science that enables us not only to understand nature, but also to steward it; to innovate technology that helps us improve the quality of life not only of the wealthy, but also of the world’s poor; to engage in engineering that allows us to do things not only more efficiently, but also in more culturally and climatically appropriate ways; and to devise mathematics that facilitates our ability to work not only smarter, but also more sensibly and sustainably.
Click here to read Thomas Fisher’s “SEEDing a New Kind of STEM” in at HuffingtonPost.com.
March 23, 2012
Today rounds out Day 2 of Bryan Bell‘s Public Interest Design Institute training program at the University of Texas at Austin, with Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group, Maurice Cox of the University of Virginia, Katie Swenson of Enterprise Community Partners, and former Rose Fellow Jamie Blosser of the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative taking the podium. The two-day affair will culminate with what Bell calls the “SEED Certification Test,” when the 50+ participants will be examined on their familiarity with the principles and practice of the Social Economic Environmental Design Network.
This evening, Bell will kick off the 12th annual Structures for Inclusion conference, also being hosted by and at UT-Austin. Many of the speakers that partook in the above training program populate the conference roster, with several additions, including the likes of Emilie Taylor of the Tulane City Center, Coleman Coker of buildingstudio, and Gail Vittori of the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems. But first, Bell will screen a cut of the first “SEEDoc,” profiled here previously. That video will hopefully be available online shortly, and we’re told that a live-stream of Structures for Inclusion may be as well. So stay tuned.
Click here to learn more about Structures for Inclusion 12 on the Design Corps website.