Should designers be outlaws? Eric Cesal and Emiliano Gandolfi, co-hosts of Social Design Insights, are interviewed by SDI Producer Baruch Zeichner.
Should designers be outlaws? Arquitectura Expandida discusses its approach to working in informal communities alongside (and sometimes around) government.
Should designers be outlaws? Santiago Cirugeda - Spain’s 'Guerrilla Architect’ - explains how he challenges urban authority and makes neighborhoods work for everyone.
Is the right to housing real? The Asian Coalition for Housing Rights is a large broad-based coalition of like-minded groups fighting for housing advocacy throughout Asia; they share with us their strategies.
Can design challenge inequality? John Peterson and Emily Pilloton share their practices and discuss how design can subvert structural inequality.
The Narrative of Design & Activism Pedestrian Activist Alissa Walker joins us to talk about the walkability of cities, sustainable transportation and development.
The Narrative of Design & Activism Jerome Harris is an American graphic designer and educator whose research focuses on omitted narratives of African American designers in the field of graphic design.
The Narrative of Design & Activism Aaron Seward is editor of Texas Architect magazine, where he curates, writes and produces an ongoing dialogue about architecture & urbanism.
The Narrative of Design & Activism Diana Budds is a producer and design writer based in New York City. She writes on all facets of design and how designers affect and reflect culture.
The Narrative of Design & Activism Spencer Bailey of Phaidon publishing joins us to discuss concepts of ‘slow’ media, and how to be more conscientious about the media we consume.
The Narrative of Design & Activism Asad Syrkett is the Deputy Editor at Curbed, where he directs a portfolio around architecture, decor, urbanism, technology, fashion, art, travel, and issues of race and gender in the design world.
The Narrative of Design & Activism Amanda Baillieu is the founder of architecture platform Archiboo, which organizes talks and networking events, as well as the annual Archiboo Web Awards.
Engaging + Reframing the 'Refugee' Crisis The Refugee Academy is a Berlin-based non-profit that creates learning spaces for refugees seeking to assimilate.
Can design challenge inequality? Active Social Architecture is a Kigali-based architecture practice that designs and builds contemporary re-elaborations of vernacular Rwandan architecture.
Can design prevent disaster? Dr. Elizabeth Hausler of Build Change details a homeowner-driven approach to rebuilding after disaster.
Can design prevent disaster? Mohammed Rezwan of Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha details his designs for floating communities.
Can design prevent disaster? Geohazards International shares their groundbreaking methods for disaster mitigation.
Can we design community engagement? Project Row Houses is a neighborhood based nonprofit art and cultural organization working on grassroots development in Houston’s 3rd ward.
Can design reclaim public space? Ecosistema Urbano & Interboro share their stories about how they shaped a practice around public space.
Can we design a slum-friendly city? Anshu Gupta of Goonj discusses his unique methodology for community development: clothes as currency.
How do we design with scarcity? Ashok Gadgil speaks to us about simple, low cost solutions to global public health.
How do we design with scarcity? Dean Still of Aprovecho talks to us about the history of Aprovecho and their work to improve cookstove technology.
What can design do to promote peace? Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal introduce their work on statelessness and human rights.
What can design do to promote peace? Isella Ramirez of Hester Street discusses their strategies for making communities be heard.
Can a city work as an ecosystem? Gail Vittori and Pliny Fisk introduce our hosts to their work, thinking at multiple scales about how to live & work ecologically.
Does design create politics or vice versa? Lorenzo Romito of Stalker discusses the ‘territory’ of architecture and how it can be expanded.
Does design create politics or vice versa? Vera and Ruedi Baur of Civic City discuss how graphic design can be a tool of political change.
Does design create politics or vice versa? Kalle Lasn discusses ‘culture-jamming’ and political resistance.
How do we democratize design? John Fetterman of Braddock, PA, shares his thoughts on how to imagine a new future in a post-industrial landscape.
How do we design resistance? Cliff Curry and Delight Stone join Eric and Emiliano to discuss the first year of Social Design Insights and look to what’s ahead.
How do we design resistance? John Cary is an American connector, writer, speaker and curator focused on social change.
How do we design resistance? Ronald Rael is an applied architectural researcher, design activist, author, and thought leader in the fields of additive manufacturing and earthen architecture.
How do we design resistance? Deanna Van Buren and Raphael Sperry join us to discuss the architecture of incarceration, and how their respective work campaigns for reform.
How do we design resistance? Suzanne Lacy talks to us about the role of art in the pursuit of social justice, and how to navigate the lines between art, activism, design and space.
How do we design resistance? Bryan C. Lee Jr. and Sue Mobley of Colloqate Design join us to discuss how design can support or deconstruct systems of institutional oppression.
How do we design resistance? Laura Kurgan of the Center for Spatial Research joins us to talk about how data and the design of data systems can be applied to social justice.
How do we design resistance? Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency Architecture reveal their global projects on urbanism and resistance.
Can design education promote social justice? Sergio Palleroni and Jane Anderson offer a history of the collective effort to establish a global network of social design teachers and practitioners.
Can design education promote social justice? Peggy Deamer and David Langdon of the Architecture Lobby discuss how cultures in education shape problems in the profession.
Can design education promote social justice? Dr. Barbara Brown Wilson discusses the Design Futures Student Leadership Forum and how it seeks to train tomorrow’s leaders of public interest design.
Can design education promote social justice? Dr. Jonathan Massey talks about the future of design education, and what radical experiments are underway.
Can design education promote social justice? Hosts Eric Cesal and Karen Kubey visit with Coleman Coker, of the Gulf Coast Design Lab, and Sarah Curry, of AIAS to discuss the evolution of social design.
Can design education promote social justice? Doina Petrescu is an architect and educator who currently serves as the Chair of Architecture and Design Activism at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield.
Can design education promote social justice? Christian Benimana is Rwandan architect dedicated to addressing the rapid growth and urbanization of Africa’s population.
Can design education promote social justice? Dr. Sharon Egretta Sutton, FAIA is an activist educator and public scholar who promotes inclusivity in the cultural makeup of the city-making design professions.
Can design education promote social justice? Black in Design is a student-led biennial gathering which confronts issues of race and equity throughout the design professions.
How can cities be reimagined by their citizens? Two central figures in public art and community building unveil how they help communities take control of their own futures.
Is Resilience Still Relevant? Zander Rose of the Long Now Foundation speaks with us about how designers can design better by thinking differently about time.
Who Designs the Designers? Jason Schupbach is the director of The Design School at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. There, he’s undertaking an ambitious effort to ‘redesign design school,’ looking for ways to create a design school for the 21st century.
Who Designs the Designers? 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.
Who Designs the Designers? For twenty years, the Prince Claus Fund and the Prince Claus Award has supported cultural development and practice in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. The Fund supports artists and practitioners from many different fields, ranging from artists, to architects and cartoonists.
Who Designs the Designers? Orkidstudio is a social enterprise based in Nairobi, Kenya, which focuses not only on the design of great buildings, but on the design of design & construction processes in ways that promote equity, inclusion, and social development.
Who Designs the Designers? Kyle Reis is widely known throughout the philanthropic world as a champion of social design.
Who Designs the Designers? Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York, New York, and President of the design lab CommonWise.
Who Designs the Designers? Katie Crepeau joins us to talk about the challenges of starting and growing a social design practice.
Who Designs the Designers? Emiliano Gandolfi and Eric Cesal reflect on a full year of Social Design Insights.
Does school design have value beyond creating a place to educate children? Kigali based Active Social Architecture (ASA) builds schools. Its designs contribute to the child’s growth and stimulation and the schools are conspicuously situated, providing symbolic value for the entire community.
Does Design Create Politics or Vice Versa? Adbusters seeks to "advance the new social activist movement of the information age." Its activities include a magazine challenging consumerism, anti-consumeristic spoof ads and inspiring and/or launching subversive public awareness campaigns.
Can design increase civic engagement? The Alliance of Community Trainers works with communities to create a shared vision and to empower communities with tools for problem solving, conflict resolution, alternative technology, environmental sustainability and more.
Is sustainability about working within scarcity or finding natural abundance? Studio Anna Heringer is a leader in architecture using low-tech, natural materials, often in collaboration with local community craftspeople. The resulting structures are beautiful, resilient and sustainable.
Are open source, global standards for clean, efficient cook stoves possible? Cooking with wood and charcoal causes health and climate challenges. US based Aprovecho pioneers designs for clean, efficient stoves and develops open source technology and testing used around the globe.
Should designers be outlaws? Arquitectura Expandida is a design collective based in Bogota, Colombia that builds structures of public assembly for communities which cannot afford to go through official channels for design and construction.
How can global practices and individuals share ways to effect change within the built environment? Arquitecturas Colectivas is a massive, open-source network interested in the participatory construction of the built environment. The common thread is a willingness to manipulate the fabric of the built environment.
Can low cost, simple designs be implemented at scale? Engineer Ashok Gadgil designs low-cost technologies for the vulnerable. Whether they eliminate arsenic from ground water or make cooking safer for refugees, Gadgil’s solutions are simple and broadly implementable.
Is the Right to Housing Real? The Asian Coalition is a broad coalition of grassroots organizations, NGOs, architects and engineers currently working in 215 cities across Asia.
How can a women-led culinary school promote peace and understanding? Bait al Karama, Palestinian Nablus’ first women’s center, combines a culinary social enterprise with cultural activities. Translated as “House of Dignity,” it is located in an area devastated by conflict.
How can design support community development? Blue Star Studio works with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to discover creative solutions to develop and protect their land.
How is consideration of the full life cycle of products a means to achieve sustainability? The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems designs systems that identify and utilize the full life cycle of products, buildings and regions resulting in smarter and more sustainable practices.
Can design increase civic participation? The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) uses design and art to increase civic engagement. Collaborating with artist /designers, community advocates and policymakers, CUP creates simple, accessible visual explanations for civic issues.
Can graphic arts be an agent of political change? The team of Vera & Ruedi Baur / Civic City are widely credited with launching a wave of political activism within the fields of graphic design and its allied professions.
Can a museum help people face and resolve conflict? The Conflictorium is a participatory museum that addresses the theme of conflict. It uses art and interactive exhibits to neutrally address how conflicts begin and how they can be resolved.
Can high quality, low cost medical equipment be broadly available to the world’s poorest? D-Rev, a San Francisco based nonprofit product development company designs and distributes radically affordable, world-class medical products to some of the world’s poorest citizens.
How can design address colonization and displacement? Palestine based Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) is an architectural studio and residency program that combines spatial interventions, theoretical writings and collective learning to address colonization, conflict and displacement.
Can social change be taught? Design for Extreme Affordability is a graduate course offered by Stanford University where students are asked to design products and services which will change the lives of the world’s poorest citizens.
Can design education promote social justice? Sergio Palleroni and Jane Anderson offer a history of the collective effort to establish a global network of social design teachers and practitioners.
Can improving the built environment in impoverished neighborhoods transform a city? Fajardo and Echeverri implemented a bold program in Medellín. By training architects to build parks and public buildings in impoverished neighborhoods, Medellin was transformed from “world’s deadliest city” into a vibrant, livable place.
Why is all architecture social? Colombian architectural firm El Equipo Mazzanti blurs the lines between “social design” and traditional practice. In Medellin, its work was part of the extensive renewal known as the “Medellin Miracle.”
Can rejuvenation through art transform a forgotten town? Farm Cultural Park is an organically conceived art-driven revitalization of the formerly abandoned center of Favara, Sicily. Visitors explore galleries, shops and cafes. Building exteriors are canvases for artists.
Can an online puzzle game crowdsource solutions to preventing and curing disease? Foldit is an online game where players contribute to scientific research via an addictive puzzle game. Crowdsourcing is Foldit’s success: the creative problem-solving of thousands of people refines complex computations.
Can SMS technology be harnessed as a powerful information dissemination tool? Frontline SMS is software that acts as an information dissemination service for text messages. It uses cell service not internet access to create communication networks and exchange information.
Can best practices in seismic safety be employed in the developing world? GeoHazards International (GHI) is a California based non-profit which works to bring the best practices in seismic safety from the developed world to the developing world.
How can donated clothing be translated into community renewal? Goonj is a non-governmental organization based in Delhi. It barters clothing and other donated items to pay laborers from the community to carry out development projects in poorer areas.
How can neighborhoods be shaped by the people who live in them? Hester Street works to ensure neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live in them. They offer planning, design and community development assistance to community-based organizations, government and other agencies.
Can video games form the basis of a school curriculum? Founded by game designers in New York City, Institute of Play pioneers new models of learning and engagement rooted in the principles of game design.
What happens when traditional and modern design techniques are blended? Inteligencias Colectivas focuses on the ‘fringe’ of construction practice. Between highly mechanized construction and ancient methods are blended practices with their own wisdom. Inteligencias Colectivas¬ collects, collates and shares these.
How can designers create a more inclusive space? Interboro is an architecture, urban design, and planning firm based in Brooklyn, New York. Interboro works across scales and take a participatory, place-specific approach that builds consensus around complex projects.
How can a disaster be a catalyst for new visions? After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed their home, the founders of Ishinomaki 2.0 came together with the goal of rebuilding humble Ishinomaki into the ‘most interesting city in the world’.
Can art mend neighborhoods? Artist Jeanne van Heeswijk’s work centers on the relationship between public space and urban renewal. She embeds herself in communities, working with them to improve neighborhoods and design their futures.
How can a town decimated by globalization be revitalized? John Fetterman is an American politician who, as Mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, led the urban rejuvenation of a post-industrial city.
Can a community be built with sand? Luyanda Mpahlwa is part of a vanguard re-envisioning South Africa’s post-apartheid architectural landscape. Mpahlwa pioneered a new style of architecture, integrating and elevating African-inspired design in rural and urban settings.
How can we democratize currency? Means of Exchange is working on the reinvention of exchange currencies using local community currencies, shared resource platforms, crowdfunding and more.
How can design help flood prone communities to function when facilities and resources are under water? Mohammaed Rezwan and his organization Shindulai Swanivar Sangsthata operates a fleet of floating schools, libraries and health clinics that help people overcome the challenges of living in flood-prone northwest Bangladesh.
Can a former salami factory be a home, gallery, film set and a commentary on eviction? Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove di Metropoliz is simultaneously a gallery, film project, home for 200 displaced people and a profound social and political commentary on a common problem: eviction.
How can education be supported through design? Myna Mahila Foundation charges women to speak about menstruation and empowers them through education and micro-entrepreneurship.
Can design increase civic engagement? Open Architecture Collaborative works through participatory engagement and by fostering grassroots design coalitions to build power within underserved communities.
How do we design with scarcity? James Mitchell and Tatu Gatere are designers and social entrepreneurs at Orkidstudio, a multi-disciplinary firm at the intersection of design, business and social good. Tatu and James discuss their innovative approach to designing the process of social impact design.
Can design challenge inequality? Project H Design is a Berkeley-based design education non-profit focused on developing leadership skills for youth through design-build courses.
Can artists create solutions instead of just social commentary? Located in Houston’s Northern Third Ward, Project Row Houses believes artists can catalyze social change and that art community are integrally linked– neither is viable without the other.
What is the role of parent education in the healthcare of autistic children? Qigong Sensory Therapy is a revolutionary approach to treating autism developed by integrating Western and Chinese medicine.
How can citizens take planning into their own hands? Santiago Cirugeda is the founder and principal of Recetas Urbanas (Urban Recipes), a design & advocacy collective of architects, lawyers and social workers based in Seville, Spain.
Can refugees be a national asset? Berlin’s The Refugee Academy responds to the influx of refugees into Germany. Their work is about designing new ways to think about migration.
Can restoration work in Palestine reinforce cultural identity? RIWAQ Centre for Architectural Conservation documents Palestinian heritage through restoration of the built environment. For Riwaq, conservation and historic restoration are tools for advancement; creating spaces where contemporary communities thrive.
Can schools address development challenges? Semillas para el Desarrollo Sostenible “Seeds for Sustainable Development” is a Peruvian nonprofit confronting development challenges, especially a lack of schools, in the Peruvian Amazon.
Can the product-to-consumer supply chain be made more equitable? Slow/d is an Italian organization seeking to disrupt traditional supply chains in design by connecting designers, consumers & artisans directly.
What can slum dwellers teach design professionals? SPARC organizes, legitimizes and advocates for India’s urban poor, seeking improved living conditions and advancements in rights. SPARC believes that with structural support, the urban poor can make their destinies.
Does design create politics or vice versa? Stalker is a collective of artists, architects, activists and others whose work focuses on the margins of the city.
What are the limits of architectural practice? STEALTH.unlimited challenges notions about architectural practice by connecting arts, urban research, cultural activism and interventions. They have a particular focus on ‘common’ spaces shared by both the private and the public.
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.
Can we design community engagement? Theaster Gates is an artist, curator, urbanist and facilitator. His projects catalyze social engagement and political change. Gates’ studio practice works in tandem with urban interventions integrating art and community regeneration.
Can better human services be co-designed? London-based Thinkpublic is a social design agency helping improve services of public sector and nonprofit organizations. Thinkpublic’s collborative “co-design” approach identifies and addresses problems which may not have been apparent.
How can designers address poverty in American cities? Architect Wes Janz focuses on the potential of informal settlements and camps housing 1 billion of the world’s poor. He sees these as a utilitarian beauty wrought of necessity.