Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about doing work that matters. I love doing design for small businesses and artists! Love, love, love it! But it would be nice to also be able to incorporate some socially responsible design projects that makes a positive impact on people’s lives; design that raises awareness, that makes individuals THINK. Especially now, when design is so embedded in our culture and everyday lives, designers have a responsibility to be ethical and mindful in what they design, who they design for, the message(s) they are portraying. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to incorporate all of this AND pay the bills? I started researching a bit, joined a few groups online, and came across Impact! Design for Social Change intensive workshop at SVA. Wow! This seems like such a great program, and so important. I have no idea who is accepted into the program, and at this time it doesn’t even seem feasible but I’m so happy to see that this program exists! It’s on my radar and I plan to follow the progress of the program and the designers who are involved. I’ll keep you posted!
Side note: The day after I told my husband about this program he found out that one of the instructors is going to be organizing a workshop in his department (he’s an art professor at East Stroudsburg University)! I’m definitely hoping I can get in on it!
The ideas and practice of ethical and responsible design were sparked while I was listening to a Design Matters (with Debbie Millman) interview with Alissa Walker, an inspirational design writer and blogger. She does a lot of work for GOOD Magazine (if you live under a rock and don’t know what GOOD is, please go immerse yourself in it out NOW!) as well as many other interesting and creative endeavors. During the interview, one of the things that she focuses on is how designers can make a difference and how much of an impact they can have on society and the way we all view the world around us. I really recommend listening to the interview! I also came across a page on the AIGA site which is fabulous and I can’t wait to really explore the links they offer. It’s a page called Design for Good: Ways to Get Involved – check it out! There are tons of design resources for non-profits and the like. I’m off to go dig in right now!