Design Affects inspires, teaches and connects people involved and interested in social impact design. We believe that design has the ability to improve the world we live in and make a more equitable, healthy, and positive future for generations to come.
We also believe that we deserve–and need–to make a sustainable living. In order to create a lasting field, we need to build sustainable business models that can support current and future generations, both in the work we do and in the services we provide.
My name is Katie Crepeau, and I’m the founder and editor of Design Affects.
I’m an architect married to a fellow architect, a California native living in London, and a practitioner of social impact design.
Here’s a bit more on my journey into the field.
I studied, trained and followed the typical path to get my architectural license. By working at small firms in New Orleans, New York City, and San Francisco, I completed my IDP and passed all of the architectural exams to officially call myself an ‘architect.’ I learned what we are supposed to do to be an architect, but I wasn’t fulfilled and saw a lot of holes.
By way of a community design course at Berkeley taught by Matt Miller of Project H, I became enthralled with social impact design. Since then I’ve worked for Free Design Clinic, Architecture for Humanity, Urban Matters Design Lab, Commonplace, Impact Design Hub, and AzuKo. I’ve led numerous projects; built organizations; worked in close partnership with community members; hosted a dozen workshops; and written millions of words on the topic.
Through all this work, I understand the importance and need for each and every one of us to create this field together. Whether it’s designing buildings, writing articles, managing projects, hosting debates, or speaking to a friend, each of our unique contributions is needed.
This site aims to provide you the nitty gritty details of the what, how, and why of social impact design. We look at what effects projects have had, how organizations and individuals operate, and why we should create this industry. If we’re going to build a sustaining design movement, we need to lean on each other, learn from one another, share our trials and tribulations, and celebrate our successes.
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