EXPLORE OUR DIGITAL SOCIAL DESIGN DIRECTORY
LEARN ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND PRACTICES WHO USE DESIGN AS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Rural System. Jalisco. Image Credit: Cate Cameron Isla Urbana Can DIY harvesting of rainwater solve a water crisis? Isla Urbana is a project dedicated to contributing to water sustainability in Mexico through rainwater harvesting. Can DIY harvesting of rainwater solve a water crisis? Suzanne Lacy Suzanne Lacy What is the role of art in engaging the public in social justice issues? American artist and activist Suzanne Lacy tackles gender violence, segregation and other social justice issues. Her work evokes discussion and debate and often engages audiences directly, outside of institutional structures. What is the role of art in engaging the public in social justice issues? A 2 storied building with people hanging out in the corridors on each floor Slum Redevelopment How can a designer build trust among residents under a constant threat of eviction? The residents of a Ahmednagar slum live under a constant threat of eviction. CDA is focusing on trust building, empowering residents to take on development and construction of their homes. How can a designer build trust among residents under a constant threat of eviction? El Trébol: cultural community space. Self-construction. Bogotá, 2015. Credits: Arquitectura Expandida Arquitectura Expandida Should designers be outlaws? Founded in 2010, Arquitectura Expandida (AXP) is a design collective based in Bogota, Colombia focused on building structures for and with communities that cannot afford to go through official channels for design and construction. Should designers be outlaws? Sergio Palleroni Sergio Palleroni Can social impact design be taught? Professor Sergio Palleroni has been a long-standing leader, thinker, practitioner and educator in the field of social impact design, with a career that predates the term ‘public interest design.’ Drawing inspiration from educator/philosophers like Paolo Freire and Ivan Illych, Palleroni began working in the 1980’s in Nicaragua, working for the Sandinista government in the aftermath of the Nicaraguan revolution. From there, his work took him to Mexico, where he worked on reconstruction after the Mexico City earthquake. These experiences became the basis of a revolutionary pedagogy begun in the late 1980s. While the idea of a design/build studio, or a studio abroad program, was not new, the philosophy at the core of Palleroni’s teaching was a watershed in architectural education. In 1995, Palleroni founded the BASIC Initiative, a groundbreaking educational program between Portland State University and the University of Texas at Austin which sought to move students out of the design studio and into communities. It supports a range of projects working with poor and underserved constituencies. For example, housing and community services for migrant farm workers, housing for Native Americans and schools and health clinics in central Mexico. These programs combine appropriate technologies with reinforcing local values to inspire self-initiated development. Palleroni also developed and implemented the U.S.’s first academic certification for those wishing to pursue a career in public interest design. The certification requires coursework and field work addressing diverse issues including: non-profit management, urban poverty, ecology and citizen participation. Certification is open to both graduate students and working professionals interested in entering the field of social design. Along the way, Palleroni has trained and mentored generations of public interest designers who continue to influence the field in their own way. As a leading member of the Design for the Common Good Network, a network of design consortiums from around the globe, Palleroni has worked towards creating spaces for new work in the field of social design to find a growing audience and greater support and engagement through biennial conferences and exhibitions. He has succeeded in being a revolutionary for the past thirty years and shows no signs of stopping. We had an opportunity to speak with Sergio Palleroni about his thirty year career in Social Impact Design on Social Design Insights. Listen to the episodes below. Can social impact design be taught?

Prize Winners

Learn about our Prize Winners, Grantees, and Design Circle.

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Podcasts

Social Design Insights podcast. Conversations with the leading voices of the social design movement.

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Videos

Short, inspiring films about social design pioneers around the globe.

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Initiatives

Community Design Agency collaborates with communities to use architecture and design to create sustainable change

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CSF’s Mission is to empower the practice of community-driven social design

The Curry Stone Design Foundation supports groups and individuals using design to build healthier, more vital communities. Over time, this support has taken the form of an annual prize, a podcast, grants, and an honorary circle. Currently, resources are being focused on Community Design Agency

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Community Design Agency, an initiative of Curry Stone Design Collaborative, is an architecture and design agency that collaborates with diverse communities in need to create sustainable change.

CDA envisions an inclusive world where every human enjoys access to vibrant, safe and healthy spaces to live, work and play. Its mission is to work alongside communities, drive social and spatial improvements through participatory planning, community-driven design and architecture, advocacy and consultation for those in need.

Learn more about CDA and our process of community driven social design here.

Social Design Insights is a weekly podcast of conversations with leading designers who discuss innovative projects and practices that use design to address pressing social justice issues.

Hosted by Eric Cesal, Produced by Baruch Zeichner.

Listen to the latest episode of Social Design Insights here.

IN MEMORIAM

Jockin Arputham dedicated his life to working with slum dwellers to build representative organizations into powerful partnerships with governments and international agencies for the betterment of urban living.

Mr. Jockin Arputham

We are saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend, colleague and incredible humanitarian Mr. Jockin Arputham.

Jockin dedicated his life to working with slum dwellers to build representative organizations into powerful partnerships with governments and international agencies for the betterment of urban living. Arputham was the president of the National Slum Dwellers Federation which he founded in the 70s and of Slum Dwellers International which is now a network of slum and shack dweller organizations and federations from over twenty countries across the world.

The National Slum Dwellers Federation works closely with Mahila Milan, a collective of savings groups formed by homeless women and women living in slums across India, and with SPARC, a Mumbai-based NGO that was awarded the Curry Stone Design Prize for their instrumental work in supporting tens of thousands of the urban poor access housing and sanitation throughout India.

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