“Designmatters allows us to look at the world as a classroom with an eye toward changing it for the better. We aspire to redefine and expand the role of the artist and designer into one who is a catalyst for social change and innovation.”Mariana Amatullo, Vice President, Designmatters Department
An engaged mode of art and design education that forms creative leaders, Designmatters provides the know-how and aspiration to shape the futures we truly desire for a more sustainable and equitable world.
Through research, advocacy and action, Designmatters engages, empowers and leads an ongoing exploration of art and design as a positive force in society.
Designmatters is integrated across all the educational departments at Art Center College of Design. Activities are organized at 3 key levels:
As an educational magnet and research division for the college, we conceive of projects for the curriculum, oversee the DM Concentration at the undergraduate level, and partner with Graduate Media Design Practices in the MDP/Field Track;
As an agent for social impact educational projects, we are a guarantor for implementation and assessment of projects led by students, faculty and alumni;
As an external relations center for strategic partnership building, we leverage art and design education as tool for positive change in the world.
As Art Center’s social impact department, Designmatters is where local, national and global issues are encountered head-on. Participants are in the world, with the world.
Values that are embedded into the department are filtered into the curriculum, programs and projects. These values represent the spirit of Designmatters, and consist of:
Commitment: We are dedicated to looking at, confronting, researching and addressing real-world issues, and we endeavor to innovate through art and design.
Relevance: We strive to be a model for relevancy in education. We open doors for organizations to engage with artists and designers and see them as key contributors to their mission.
Engagement: We look at the world as our classroom, with an eye toward changing it for the better. Our students engage in experiential learning, giving them an insider’s awareness of the challenges confronting communities around the block or around the world.
Collaboration: We view art and design as a space that invites collaboration with other disciplines, such as: development, science, business, engineering, and anthropology. It is in the intersection between distinct areas of inquiry that we often find the most opportunity for innovation.
Empathy: We believe that artists and designers can be uniquely compassionate as how they relate to the lives of others, and with that comes great responsibility.
Action-led outcomes: We see art and design students as having the gift of creativity and the skills to execute a vision, and when immersed in a real-world context, they can be empowered to become changemakers.
“Turning outward is key to the future of higher education in art and design. Designmatters provides the platform where that can happen.”Lorne M. Buchman, President, Art Center College of Design
At the environmental, social and economic levels, this pillar addresses global challenges by meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future.
With a focus on mobilizing decision-making and provoking change at the policy level, this pillar explores communication tactics and advocacy strategies.
Touching on health issues that impact global populations, this pillar creates the designs of environments, products, systems of delivery, and communication portals.
Using innovative, market-based approaches to create social and environmental impact, this pillar guides a new generation of innovators who want to do well by doing good.
In this blog post, Erika Katrina Barbosa (MDP+Field) reflects on her recent trip to Milan for the Cumulus, Design To Feed the World Exhibition, where she along with her fellow designers Josh Bookman, Nan Tsai and Elaine Cheung showcased their forkCHESTRA project.
Erika Katrina Barbosa is a designer and multimedia anthropologist. She works across disciplines with an emphasis on communication and experience design and the creation of multimedia ethnographies. Her media installations have dealt with the psychological affect of urban-waterway infrastructure, and the embodied experience of social constructs such as race, gender, and class. She is currently experimenting with performance art and motion capture in East Africa and Los Angeles to explore the subjective experience of travel. Her work has exhibited in Los Angeles, Manchester, Calgary and Milan. Follow her here. See her stuff here. Or get in touch.
Calientamigos, a project outcome of the award winning Safe Agua Colombia studio has been selected to participate in the 2015 Village Capital Accelerator Program. Team Calientamigos (Mariana Somma, Della Tosin, Kevin Chang and Tianyi Sun) will attend three intensive, four-day workshops over three months, during which Village Capital will provide the entrepreneurs with business development training to develop their financials, pitch and sales pipeline.
The Calientamigos system allows impoverished families living without hot running water to heat and pressurize water for bathing, cooking and cleaning.
Village Capital puts entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and stakeholders side-by-side, so they can solve problems together.
The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design recently announced the review panel for the 2015-2016 iteration of the World Design Impact Prize. Designmatters Vice President, Mariana Amatullo, along with 4 other international experts from various fields will determine the shortlist on which Icsid Members vote in order to select the winner
The World Design Impact Prize recognizes and encourages industrial design driven projects that benefit society and reflect the expanded field of industrial design.