Think back to when you first discovered social impact design. Your head buzzed with excitement. You enthusiastically told your friends, family and anyone with a willing ear about this new area of work you want to dedicate yourself to. You Googled (or even dug through the–gasp!–library records) to research people, projects, theory, and history on it. You read magazines, books, blogs, anything you could get your hands on about it.
But that just whet your appetite.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
Community engagement, participatory design, co-design, community-led design, human-centered design and more methods to incorporate end users needs are increasingly becoming a part of the early stages in the design process. The myriad tools and tactics are extensive: workshops, surveys, interviews, focus groups, observational studies, analogous situation research, expert interviews, and many more. With the variety of options, how do you know which one will result in an effective and meaningful results that will help lead to an outcome that suits all parties involved?Continue Reading
A few nights ago my stomach was rumbling as I chopped vegetables for a quick dinner before I went back to the computer. The day had been full of writing, responding to emails from friends and colleagues, and capped with a long project meeting before I made my way home. I thought to myself, “Life is really good right now. I’m happy with work. I’m healthy. I’m getting to cook tonight and eat a good meal. And, I’m doing all this while living overseas—a dream that I’ve had since my first trip out of the US at 16 years old.” At that moment I realized how content I am. This is exactly where I want to be. Nowhere else, just right here.
The beckoning call for those of us born in 1980 and after sounds like this: Find your Purpose! Pursue your Passion! Follow your Dreams! Millennials—myself included—are undertaking an ambitious, idealistic lifestyle change where play and work become one—the life of “Do What You Love. Love What You Do.”Continue Reading
I’m an addict for good ideas. I love hearing about what social enterprises and social entrepreneurs are creating. I salivate for new initiatives to improve neighborhoods and social impact design firms working on difficult problems. But sometimes these initiatives appear to ignore the most important component: the people.Continue Reading