William Drenttel | Event-Education

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


Winterhouse Institute, the organization founded by William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand, is hosting a symposium at the Winterhouse studio in northwest Connecticut October 17–19, 2010. This symposium will be an invitation-only gathering of fourteen educators to explore the teaching and practice of social design in undergraduate and graduate design education. The event is a part of a larger Winterhouse initiative around design and social innovation funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Previous events have been held in Aspen, Colorado, and Bellagio, Italy.

This symposium will bring together leading educators at the intersection of design and social change from institutions throughout the United States as well as from abroad. The goal is to discuss strategies for teaching and practicing social design in the classroom and the field. This symposium also aims to foster collaborations among the participants and to build partnerships with the larger design community in effecting school-based solutions to social problems. The symposium proceedings will be published on Change Observer, the Design Observer channel devoted to design and social innovation.


Winterhouse Symposium on Design Education and Social Change will foster direct, detailed exchanges on four themes:
• Case studies of effective design projects for social change based in academic institutions
• Recommendations for transforming design school curricula to better accommodate such models
• Exploring the roles and opportunities for new centers of design research and practice housed within academic institutions
• Exploring the relationship between educators and outside partners and clients in facilitating social design projects


Mariana Amatulo, director, Design Matters, Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles
Charlie Cannon, associate professor and director of the Innovation Studio,, RISD, Providence
Allan Chochinov, partner, Core77; associate professor, Pratt Institute and SVA, New York
Kriss Deiglmeier, executive director, Center for Social Innovation, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Palo Alto
William Drenttel, editorial director of Design Observer; senior faculty fellow, Yale School of Management, New Haven
Jessica Helfand, senior critic, Yale School of Art, New Haven
Jamer Hunt, director, Interdisciplinary Graduate Initiatives, Parsons The New School for Design, New York
Terry Irwin, head, School of Design, Carniege Mellon University, Pittsburgh
Debera Johnson, academic director of sustainability, Pratt Institute, New York
Jon Kolko, associate creative director, frog design; director, Austin Center for Design, Austin
Julie Lasky, editor, Change Observer; visiting critic, School of Visual Arts, New York
Jeremy Myerson, director, Helen Hamlyn Centre, Royal College of Art, London
Dori Tunstall, organizer, National Design Policy Initiative; associate professor, Design Anthropology, Swinburne University, Melbourne


Winterhouse Institute acts as catalyst, coordinator and champion of an initiative in the public sphere to develop collective action and collaboration for social impact across the design industry; it also creates communication platforms for conferences and gatherings, including an editorial website to monitor and report on developments. Funding for this work is through the Rockefeller Foundation. William Drenttel directs the Winterhouse Institute and is editorial director of Design Observer.

Posted in: Education , Social Good

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