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91 | Designing with Love

One of the enduring challenges within the field of social design is how to connect willing designers with communities in need. The process isn’t always smooth. For 17 years, Enterprise Community Partners has worked to bridge this gap through their Enterprise Rose Fellowship.

91 | Designing with Love

At the helm has been Katie Swenson – a nationally recognized design leader, researcher, writer and educator. Under her leadership, Swenson has recruited and mentored 52 fellows who have gone on to be the next generation of leaders in architecture and community development. The Enterprise Rose Fellowship has been showcased at Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the New York Center for Architecture and the National Building Museum and recognized by the American Institute of Architects for its groundbreaking work.

More generally, her work investigates how design can be used socially to promote economic and social equity, environmental sustainability, and healthy communities.

Earlier in her career, Swenson founded the Charlottesville Community Design Center and has since received numerous design and social innovation awards.

Swenson is currently undertaking a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she studies the role of love as an animus for design – asking how our cities and neighborhoods might look if we accepted love as the primary motivator of design.

We had a chance to talk to Katie on Social Design Insights about both the Rose Fellowship and her research. Have a listen at the link below.


Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our Producer and Sound Engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Leah Freidenrich, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation. Our theme music for 2018 is "Alright With Me" by Reggie Young from his album "Young Street." The break music for this episode is "C'mon a My House" by Bette Midler from her album "Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook."