searching for connections between design and social change

this week’s reads: austin, haunted by the past and bellagio

I had a lot of fun with these in the last hour. For some reason, they were all published between yesterday and today, and they’re all great. So there you go, I hope you enjoy reading them.


Filed under: interesting reads

event: “sustainable futures” and “urban africa” at the design museum

Image graciously screengrabbed from Emerge Studio’s flickr photostream.

London’s Design Museum seems a hot destination right now – two highly sustainability-charged exhibits will be on view until September 5th. They are all about change.

The Puma sponsored “Sustainable Futures” features products organized around five themes – Cities, Energy and Economics, Food, Materiality and Creative Citizens. It aims “shows the changing role of the designer and reveal how design can make a difference”. The Design Museum has organized a series of discussions, seminars and professional conferences on sustainable design to go along with the exhibit. Another display of products in the void? So it seems to be by the flickr depictions, but I shall have to go there and see in order to form an opinion…

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Filed under: event, , , , , ,

event: a video (and a bag) for puma

This blog’s FIRST EVER video post!

I love it how new products are always presented with a cool little video. The new Puma bags were designed by Yves Behar and launched during the Salone 2010 week, maximizing press focus on Mr. Behar, who scored not one, not two, but three different product launches that week; read more about another of them, eco-underwear at In the Pitch.

Anyway. I decided to feature this little video here for a couple of reasons. One. Granted, this bag starts Puma’s sustainable corporate initiative, but how many hours did some designer waste making that video? Two. Is it all about the PR? Can’t you just do a good thing and then not sell it to the world, announcing it as if you were some sort of world-savior?

Or, you can just ignore what I just wrote and watch the video, if you haven’t yet.

Filed under: event, heard/read, , , , ,

heard/read:’s new quarters at stanford

Image graciously screengrabbed from Fast Company. And they have the rights to it.

Today, Fast Company starts a series of posts about the new space designed – by students and faculty – of the at Stanford. The design thinking school is officially known as the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, and since 2004 has had three iterations – the first a double trailer in the campus’ fringe. The new designed space is the result of six years “figuring out how to tweak an environment to make it a more fertile breeding ground for ideas”.

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Filed under: heard/read, , , , , ,

hype tracker: iridescent, icograda’s new journal

Icograda’s new peer-reviewed journal is named Iridiscent, and defends that “Innovative research, like an iridescent surface, reveals new points of view.” They aim to collect papers with innovative design research, and gather it in a journal that will “fulfill the vision of the Icograda Design Education Manifesto“. Omar Vulpinari, Icograda VP for the period of 2009-2011, states that

By attracting original content across all design disciplines and setting a standard for innovative research, Icograda hopes to inspire and encourage new and unconventional approaches to design research.

This is yet another front in the Design Education revolution. But these principles, interestingly enough, were first announced in Seoul way back in 2000.

Filed under: hype tracker, , , ,

heard/read: earth day has become profitable, in the nyt

The New York Times reports today that Earth Day has strayed off from its original purpose when it was first celebrated, forty years ago.

To many pioneers of the environmental movement, eco-consumerism, creeping for decades, is intensely frustrating and detracts from Earth Day’s original purpose.
“This ridiculous perverted marketing has cheapened the concept of what is really green,” said Denis Hayes, who was national coordinator of the first Earth Day and is returning to organize this year’s activities in Washington. “It is tragic.”

Tragic indeed, it has been happening also with social change. The core activists remain true to their principles, but most others have figured out social change is a profitable business model long ago.

[At 40, Earth Day Is Now Big Business, by Leslie Kaufman on The New York Times]

Filed under: heard/read, interesting reads, ,

What dovetailing talks about

Dovetailing searches for connections between design and social change.

The design discipline is generative and problem-solving. In the last few years the design field has grown outwards, its methods -design thinking- applied to business strategy and, by consequence, to social change and innovation. This blog tracks down connections, players and projects in the field of design for social change, analyzing the findings in a skeptical, assertive light. Unclouded by optimism, this blog searches for action upon our surroundings, and change in processes, systems and ideas that don't work.

What’s on your mind?

Have an interesting read, project or person I should know about? Send me the heads-up here! I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting things; tips and suggestions are always appreciated.