show

Observed
Charity Ball
04.30.14

A short film about Ethan King, a 15 year old from Michigan whose dream is to give soccer balls to kids all over the world.

Rob Walker
Hale County Revisited
01.18.14

An in-depth look at Hale County, Alabama, an accidental social-design laboratory.

Liz Gerber
The Trifecta of Feedback
12.19.13

The value of feedback and a proposal for the best ways to receive it.

John Thackara
Ecuador, Open Knowledge, and ‘Buen Vivir’: Interview With Michel Bauwens
12.17.13

John Thackara interviews Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation, is to lead a strategic policy project for Ecuador’s government called Free/Libre Open Knowledge (FLOK), also known as the social knowledge economy project.

Paul Polak, and Mal Warwick
How to Solve India’s Poverty Crisis
11.12.13

A new look at how to end poverty in India.

William Drenttel, and Michael Mossoba
Winterhouse Fourth Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Final Report
11.08.13

An review of the Winterhouse Fourth Symposium on Design Education and Social Change.

Mariana Amatullo
Mariana Amatullo on Honesty
11.07.13

On this episode of Insights Per Minute, Mariana Amatullo speaks on honesty.

Alexandra Lange
Where We Work
10.21.13

A Kickstarter for co-working space Makeshift Society points to the light, space and tools creative freelancers need to be productive.

Andrew Shea
Shaping Design Education at LEAP Symposium
10.07.13

A review by Andrew Shea of the recent, September 19-24, 2013, LEAP symposium at Art Center College of Design.

Observed
Welcoming Dr. Paul Polak
04.08.13

Welcoming Dr. Paul Polak as a Design Observer contributing writer.

John Thackara
Cycle Commerce: The Red Blood Cells of a Smart City
02.04.13

Dehli's many millions of bicycle and rickshaw vendors embody the entrepreneurship, sustainable mobility, social innovation and thriving local economies, that a sustainable city needs. How can that be traslated to European cities?

Mariana Amatullo
If You Believe You Can Fly
11.21.12

A report on the Social Enterprise World Forum.

Scott Boylston
Designing Design into Society
09.11.12

A report on the Design Ethos 2012 DO-ference.

William Drenttel, and OBlog
Design + Craft: The Brazilian Path
05.28.12

Adélia Borges, a Brazilian curator has now published a remarkable book on the intersection of design and craft, artisanal objects and social innovation.

William Drenttel, and OBlog
Update: Design For Change Goes Global
05.18.12

Design For Change, the international design project that gives young people a chance to make a design contribution in their villages and cities has now reached 34 countries, launched a new website and conference, as well as school and communities challenges.

John Thackara
It’s Not Just The Bags
03.20.12

Design + Craft: The Brazilian Path by Adelia Borges explores the complex relationship between designers from the Northern hemishphere and indigenous artists in the Southern hemisphere, specifically craft communities in Brazil.

William Drenttel
Designing for Social Change
03.20.12

Designing for Social Change is a toolkit of strategies, case studies, and stories, offering new opportunities for approaching social design in our communities.

Nancy Levinson
Design Indaba 2012
Courtney Drake, William Drenttel, and Deirdre Cerminaro
Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography
10.27.11

This bibiography surveys the literature of social design — the spectrum from design process and thinking to the zones of social innovation.

William Drenttel
Winterhouse First Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Program Description
10.25.11

This symposium, sponsored by the Winterhouse Institute, was held October 17-19 2010 in Falls Village, Connecticut. This was the initial information shared with participants.

William Drenttel
Winterhouse Second Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Participants
10.25.11

The Winterhouse Second Symposium on Design Education and Social Change, was held August 14-16, 2011 in Falls Village, Connecticut.

William Drenttel
Winterhouse Second Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Program Description
William Drenttel, and Julie Lasky
Winterhouse Second Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Final Report
Ernest Beck
San+Co
06.21.11

A pilot project developed for India provides santiation and electricity in a single venture.

Ernest Beck
Benefit Corporations
04.27.11

The B Corp designation ensures that companies adhere to triple-bottom-line standards.

Maria Popova
Coffee Common
04.07.11


Ernest Beck
GlobalTap Update
02.10.11

GlobalTap water station update.

Edited by Julie Lasky
Social Design in Three Dimensions: Four Examples
01.20.11

A business-school case study inspires MFA design students.

Maria Popova
Rise of the Micro-Medici
12.23.10

On the value of microfunding creative ideas that stem from a single mind.

Constantin Boym
Out of Sight: Qatari Workers' Housing
12.14.10

Constantin Boym reports on efforts to improve the living conditions of Qatar's migrant workers.

Renna Al-Yassini
Roudha Center
11.12.10

Report on Roudha Center, a proposal for a one-stop hub for Qatari women to learn the nuts and bolts of launching a business

William Drenttel, and Julie Lasky
Winterhouse First Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Final Report
11.11.10

The final report from a symposium held in Connecticut, October 17–19, 2010, where 13 educators from a variety of design and business programs discussed the challenges and objectives of social-change initiatives within their schools and universities.

William Drenttel
Winterhouse First Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Participant Case Studies
10.15.10

Participants of Winterhouse Symposium on Design Education and Social Change, October 17-19, 2010, each contributed case studies of a class, project or program that bridges design and social innovation.

William Drenttel
Winterhouse First Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Participants
10.15.10

This outlines the participants of the Winterhouse Symposium on Design Education and Social Change, which was held October 17-19 2011, in Falls Village CT.

Ernest Beck
Safe Agua
10.11.10

The first collaboration between Designmatters at Art Center College of Design and Chile’s Un Techo para mi País creates fresh ideas for water usage in a Santiago slum.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit: Update 09.25.10
09.25.10

Dateline Aspen. An on-going report on progress on the six projects developed at the Aspen Design Summit in November 2009.

William Drenttel
Case Study Use: Teaching History and Notes for Educators
08.23.10

A record of where case studies in Design and Social Enterprise series from Yale School of Management have been used or taught.

Ernest Beck
SELCO: Case Study Synopsis & Teaching Objectives
08.23.10

This case study about SELCO, a solar energy company in India, provides an opportunity to examine the strategy of a business with a social purpose and a heavy reliance on innovative design.


Ernest Beck
Design and Social Enterprise: A New Model for Case Studies
08.23.10

Not many business school case studies have considered the role of design in social innovation or social enterprise management. Yale School of Management, in collaboration with Winterhouse Institute, has created a series focusing on Design and Social Enterprise, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect Update
08.10.10

Update on the Ripple Effect initiative launched by IDEO, Gates Foundation and Acumen Fund to distribute fresh water in the developing world. Originally published July 30, 2009.


William Drenttel, and Julie Lasky
Reasons Not to Be Pretty: Symposium on Design, Social Change and the “Museum”
08.03.10

In April 2010, 22 designers, historians, curators, educators and journalists met at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy to discuss the museum’s potential role in relation to design for social change. This is a report on their conversation.

Robert Fabricant
In Defense of Design Imperialism
07.15.10

Weighing in on a controversy, frog design's Robert Fabricant supports global design interventions.

William Underhill
D-Rev Blue Star Jaundice Treatment
06.23.10

Report on Blue Star, D-Rev's affordable jaundice treatment for newborn babies in the developing world.

Krista Donaldson
The Real Cost of Free
06.17.10

Do you give the poor farmer a pump if you know it will transform her crops and move her family from just scraping by into the middle class? It’s hard to say no, isn’t it? But you should.

Ernest Beck
Catapult Design: How to Run a Design Firm for Social Change
06.10.10

Catapult Design’s nonprofit model offers a new way to think about how designers can engage social innovation projects.

Kaomi Goetz
Kopernik
03.10.10

Report on Kopernik, a new website for funding technology to assist populations in the developing world.

Jessica Helfand
Better Living Through Artistry
02.17.10

SEWA, a cooperative textile manufacturing company in Ahmedebad, India, is a network of self-employed women.

Meena Kadri
Finding Innovation in Every Corner
02.08.10

Interview with management expert Anil Gupta, who seeks to reduce poverty by finding, broadcasting and nurturing examples of innovation among India's poor.


Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: UNICEF Menstruation Challenge
11.30.09

At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the UNICEF Menstruation Challenge Project proposed an “eco-system” whereby sanitary pads became a linchpin for local economic growth, for educational programs about health and hygiene and for research into materials that could be adapted to other countries.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: Sustainable Food and Childhood Obesity
11.24.09

At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the Sustainable Food Project focused on accelerating the shift from a global, abstract food system to a regional, real food system via a robust portfolio of activities — including a grand challenge and a series of youth-engagement programs.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: CDC and Healthy Aging
11.23.09

At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the CDC Healthy Aging Project began with the initial premise to enhance the ability of public health entities to determine whether adults 50 and over have received recommended preventive health services. The Project developed a “5 over 50” concept and brand name, and a new goal: to double the current number of people who are “up to date” with these preventive measures.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: Hale County Rural Poverty Project
11.23.09

At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the Hale County Rural Poverty Project conceived of a socio-economic model of resource allocation through an online platform for accelerated regional development in the Black Belt counties of rural Alabama.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit: Participants
11.23.09

The Aspen Design Summit, November 11-14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, involved 64 participants — designers, experts, researchers, educators, and representatives of NGOs, foundations and businesses. This the complete attendee list of participants.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit: Initial Report
11.20.09

Initial report on the 2009 Aspen Design Summit, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute.

Julie Lasky
88Bikes
10.30.09

Report on a foundation that distributes bicycles to children in the developing world.

Jane Margolies
Skin
09.28.09

Report on maternity clothes made in Colombia with local labor. (No seamstresses under the age of 50 need apply.)

Project
Kiva
09.09.09

Report on Kiva, the pioneering microfinance site, which won a 2009 INDEX award for humanitarian design.

Allison Arieff
WeCommune
09.03.09

WeCommune offers a technology platform for people who want to share resources and build community within particular subcultures.

Ernest Beck
PACT Underwear
08.20.09

Report on PACT, an underwear company that embraces green manufacturing and donates a portion of its revenue to nonprofits.

Julie Lasky
When Worlds Collide
07.30.09

Report on TEDGlobal 2009, held July 21–24 in Oxford, England.

Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect
07.18.09

IDEO launched Ripple Effect in India to help communities with the arduous process of transporting water.



Creative Opportunities
  • Twitter Facebook Google+
    Tumblr Pinterest RSS

    Design Observer
    social media à la carte
  • Newsletter signup