A simple definition of social impact design is “design that seeks to solve humanitarian issues such as improving living conditions for its beneficiaries.”
But this both answers the question and raises more: Isn’t all design social? Should social design be humanitarian-focused, politically charged or both? What is the role of community “service” or the meaning of “collaborative”? Will “Designers with a capital D” swoop in to the developing world with well-meaning but externally imposed “solutions?” Should ideas be directly replicable on a mass scale? (After all, aren’t there billions of people living in poverty?)
Most of all, we support people who are using design to improve lives and promote human vitality. We showcase their work to inspire designers, activists, community leaders and anyone else looking to address social problems, especially in places where design has been traditionally unavailable or inaccessible.