The end of November is a unique time to connect with family and friends and reflect on what matters most. Taking time to cook with loved ones, share a big Thanksgiving meal, and verbally recognize why you’re grateful is a grounding experience. It’s a 180-degree shift from days filled with emailing, commuting, cleaning, and checking Instagram.
This year we hosted Thanksgiving for a group of expats and Brits at our flat in East London. Being surrounded by old and new friends from a variety of backgrounds made me appreciate all that we as humans have in common.
We each took a moment to share what we were grateful for this year, and mine was time dedicated to exploring two new areas of life: becoming a parent and working on this new phase of Design Affects.
The same day we gathered together with friends for a Thanksgiving meal, I shared an idea for a course with you. In this post, I asked if you were interested and what you wanted to work on.Continue Reading
This question continues to pop-up from people who are interested in working and participating in the field, yet there aren’t too many resources on how to do this. Part of the issue is social impact design doesn’t have the same structure and clear career path as other design professions like architecture and design. It’s nascent and this is both exciting and daunting.
Based on my nine years working within the field, here are a few pieces of advice on how to begin to define your own path.Continue Reading
Over the past two months, I’ve been fortunate to attend three conferences on humanitarian and social impact design, each in relatively different locations around the world—Glasgow, Paris, and New Orleans. Each one has brought a slightly different perspective to the evolving field of design for impact, from practitioners focused on learning by doing, to in-depth conversations on moving practice and projects forward, to providing an intensive, 5-day ‘school’ experience. One commonality between each of these events was the large amount of young designers eager to use their skills for good, who were all asking the same question: how do you begin?
What happens between obtaining an architecture degree and a practicing license typically goes one of three ways: work, return to a university for post-grad studies, or abandon the profession altogether. However, this window of opportunity has the potential to be much more exploratory, both creatively and professionally. Coming out of school, graduates are brimming with excitement, full of ideas, skills, and hopes for how to change the world one building at a time. Soon thereafter however, reality settles in and the creative, gravity-defying 3D models draped in mesh surfaces give way to monotonous drawings of restrooms, elevator shafts, and staircases. (Don’t get me wrong—service and circulation spaces are some of the most important elements of a building.) But how might someone bridge the gap between education and practice by continuing creative interests and grounding oneself in the practicalities of design and building?
Maybe it’s just the conversations I’m involved in, but it seems like everyone is talking about social impact entrepreneurship, projects, and organizations. But what about for those who are just joining the conversation? Where do you begin? Or perhaps you’re looking to switch up your activity list. In any case, check out these actions below and choose one to take up this week!Continue Reading