The Editors | Projects

Change Observer Project Reports: A Summary

by Maria Popova
Report on Alex Bogusky and Rob Schuham's COMMON project marrying capitalism and social change.

Give a Minute
by Jonathan Schultz 
Report on Local Projects' Give a Minute initiative to improve urban life.

The Age of Coworking 
by Maria Popova
Report on the new (golden) age of coworking.

Charging Double by Phil Patton
Comparing two new electric-car chargers: Blink and WattStation.

MSC Greenhouse Project
 by Julie Lasky

On learning about science, nutrition and politics at the Manhattan School for Children.

Ripped from the Headlines
by Julie Lasky

Johnny Selman is a third of the way through his year-long project to graphically enliven the news.

Out of Sight: Qatari Workers' Housing by Constantin Boym
Constantin Boym reports on efforts to improve the living conditions of Qatar's migrant workers.

Sustainable Christmas Trees by Adam Harrison Levy
From artificial firs to rented spruces, a report on alternatives to the chopped-down Xmas tree.

Acumen Sexy Sanitation Challenge by Julie Lasky
Acumen Fund announces winners of its "Sexy Sanitation" challenge.

Cards of Change by Ernest Beck
Unemployed workers retrofit their former business cards to send hopeful messages.

CEOs for Cities Community Challenge: Robust Public Life by Maria Popova
A CEOs for Cities conference held in Detroit in November 2010 sought to define and quantify the magnetic force of a metropolis.

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

Conflict Kitchen by Meena Kadri
Report on Conflict Kitchen, a project by artists affiliated with Carnegie Mellon to foster cross-cultural understanding through food.

Solo Kota Kita by Jonathan Schultz
Report on a design-oriented sysem for providing information about community resources in Indonesia as an aid for budgeting.

Safe Agua by Ernest Beck
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.

The Utility Collective by Kaomi Goetz
Report on the Utility Collective, a furniture business that emphasizes local materials and production.

Renewing the Riverfront by Jane Margolies
Report on an exhibition showcasing efforts to revitalize a derelict patch of Brattleboro, Vermont.

132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE by Dana Thomas
The latest material (and sustainability) adventure from the great Japanese fashion designer.

Food Not Bombs by Mimi Zeiger
Report on Food Not Bombs, an activist network, now about to turn 30, that distributes free vegan meals.

Somali Documentary Project by William Underhill
Report on the Somali Documentary Project.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Electric Car by Phil Patton
Review of Mitsubishi's i-MiEV electric car.

Bellagio Museum Symposium: Abstract by Ernest Beck
In April 2010, 22 participants 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 an abstract summary of the final report of their discussions.

Reasons Not to Be Pretty: Symposium on Design, Social Change and the “Museum” by Ernest Beck
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.

Map Kibera by William Underhill
Report on the Map Kibera project to provide navigation and information on Nairobi's massive informal settlement.

The World as Our Studio by Ernest Beck
Report on Worldstudio's hybrid business model for collaborating with for-profit and not-for-profit clients (while supporting a foundation).

Murray T.25 City Car by Phil Patton
Report on Gordon Murray's conversion from revolutionary race car designer to creator of one of the greenest city cars ever.

Boatanic by William Underhill
In the Netherlands, designer Damian O'Sullivan conceives of floating greenhouses converted from tourist boats.

New Visions of Home by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson
Report on new housing models for the elderly.

India's Epic Head Count by Meena Kadri
The enormous task of conducting India's 2010 census is aided by a newly designed form.

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

Teach For All by Ernest Beck
Report on Teach For All, an $8.6 million program to expand educational opportunities throughout the world created by Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America, and Brett Wigdortz, founder of Teach First in the U.K.

Catapult Design: How to Run a Design Firm for Social Change by Ernest Beck
Catapult Design’s nonprofit model offers a new way to think about how designers can engage social innovation projects.

How to Green an Embassy by Zara Arshad
Working at the British Embassy Beijing with zero budget means that even straightforward solutions, such as implementing a recycling system, pose a challenge.

Design for Change Contest by William Drenttel
Kiran Bir Sethi is a designer, teacher, principal, advocate and social entrepreneur. Now her “Design for Change Contest,” a recent initiative that swept India in 2009, is expanding globally.

Design Thinking Comes to the U.S. Army by Roger Martin
Design is almost overnight the centerpiece of military doctrine and the U.S. Army has gotten design thinking quite right. The struggle to get design thinking ensconced in Army doctrine, though, is no easy feat.

Austin Center for Design
by Kaomi Goetz
Report on a new school, launched by Jon Kolko, to help designers build economically viable careers working for social betterment.

One World Futbol by Jonathan Schultz
Report on an effort to provide durable, affordable soccer balls to young athletes in South African townships, produced by Hope Is a Game-Changer.

The Laugh Bug by Jane Margolies
Is Volkswagen's Fun Theory campaign anything more than a turbocharged marketing stunt?

Es Tiempo by Ernest Beck
Report on a campaign designed to encourage Hispanic women in Southern California to seek annual screenings for cervical cancer.

One Car Per Family by Phil Patton
Report on Yves Béhar's design for a new "people's car."

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

Better Living Through Artistry by Jessica Helfand 
SEWA, a cooperative textile manufacturing company in Ahmedebad, India, is a network of self-employed women.

The Cotton Club by Ernest Beck 
Report on the complex, and sometimes muddled, standards for certifying organic cotton.

DesigNYC by Julie Lasky
Report on a grass-roots organization to match socially minded designers with nonprofits.

GlobalTap by Ernest Beck
Report on a prototype for water refilling stations.

State of Shelter by Ernest Beck 
Relief organizations still rely on the same basic options for emergency housing, but new ideas are taking hold.

Rising Currents by Jane Margolies
Report on an exhibition of New York City design solutions to the flooding predicted by climate change experts, which will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art through August 9, 2010.

O Tannenbaum! by Adam Harrison Levy
People are talking differently about Christmas trees this year. They’re downscaling or simplifying their annual rite.

St. Augustine School Chicken Project by Jane Margolies
Report on the sustainability program at a parochial school in New York's South Bronx.

Bigshot Camera by Julie Lasky
Report on a camera that children assemble to learn about science and engineering principles. Updated here on 12.01.10.

EyeWriter by Jonathan Schultz
Report on a software system that allows graffiti artists suffering from ALS to continue working merely by moving their eyes.

CO2 CUBES by Julie Lasky
Report on a multimedia installation created for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Conference of the Parties (COP-15), held in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Chicago Welcomes You by Jennifer Ehrenberg
Report on an educational kit that teaches Karen refugees from Myanmar how to manage life in Chicago.

DESIS by Jonathan Schultz
Report on the Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability project's latest home at New York's New School.

Kick4Life by Jonathan Schultz
Report on how AIDS education mixes with soccer in plans for a new Lesotho stadium.

88Bikes by Julie Lasky
Report on a foundation that distributes bicycles to children in the developing world.

Medellín, Colombia by Ernest Beck
Report on the city officials who turned around a notorious drugs-and-murder capital, winning the 2009 Curry Stone Design Prize for Transformative Public Works.

Sustainability Posters by William Drenttel
Report on a poster series by six leading designers presenting the word Sustainability.

Float House by Bradford McKee
Report on a floating house designed by Morphosis and UCLA architecture students for the Make It Right Foundation.

Emergency Response Studio by Ernest Beck
Report on artist Paul Villinski's mobile studio, which he converted from a trailer of the type used by FEMA to house victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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

Better Place by Jonathan Schultz
Report on Better Place, winner of the 2009 INDEX Award in the Community category.

Freeplay Fetal Heart Rate Monitor Andrea Codrington
Report on the Freeplay fetal heart rate monitor, which won the 2009 INDEX award in the Body category.

Peepoobag by Ernest Beck
Report on Peepoobag, a new self-sanitizing, single-use, biodegradable container for human waste.

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

Pig 05049 by Jane Margolies
Report on Pig 05049, a book cataloging all of the products made from a single pig, which won the 2009 INDEX award in the Playful Learning category.

Chulha Stove by Ernest Beck
Report on the Chulha stove designed by Philips to reduce indoor air pollution in developing countries.

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

Pizza Farm by Julie Lasky
Report on Project M at Winterhouse's event in rural Connecticut to raise awareness of local produce.

Emergence by Allison Arieff
Report on a new massively multiplayer online game that fosters diplomatic skills.

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

FLAP Bag By Alec Appelbaum
Report on a multipurpose messenger bag for developing-world populations.

Question Box by Julia Galef
Report on a project that puts the developing-world poor just a phone call away from an internet search.

Climate Change Chocolate by Ernest Beck
While environmentalists debate the ethics and effectiveness of carbon offsets, designers work to make them appealing. Updated here on 09.02.10.

Once More with Feeling: A National Design Policy by Bradford McKee
Reviewing the history of efforts to create a federal design policy.

Ripple Effect by Ernest Beck
Report on a project launched by IDEO with the Acumen Fund to help communities in India with the arduous process of transporting water. Updated here on 08.10.10.

Camel Mobile Clinic by Ernest Beck
Report on Art Center's Design Matters program to prototype a system for transporting medicine on camel back to remote communities in Kenya. Updated here on 07.28.10.

A Related Set of Reports:

Aspen Design Summit by Ernest Beck, William Drenttel and Julie Lasky.
A series of reports on projects at the Aspen Design Summit in November 2009. Hosted by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the 2009 Aspen Design Summit invited 64 designers, educators, researchers and representatives from NGOs, foundations and businesses to collaborate in addressing large social problems.

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