“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

Designmatters at Art Center is where art and design education meets social change.

OUR VISION

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.

OUR MISSION

Through research, advocacy and action, Designmatters engages, empowers and leads an ongoing exploration of art and design as a positive force in society.

OUR SCOPE

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.

OUR BUILDING BLOCKS

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.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

“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

OUR FOUR THEMESThe Designmatters portfolio of projects, and the learning outcomes of the DM Concentration, focus on the following areas of inquiry as they intersect with art and design:

DM Blog Subscribe to RSS feed

leap blog_feat image 2_jen may

Reflecting on LEAP: One Year Later

October 7, 2014

In the following blog post, Designmatters Associate Director, Jennifer May reflects on the first LEAP Symposium one year later.

READ MORE

Twitter Feed Follow Us on Twitter

DM in the News

santi3

Recent Project Development: Coaniquem

The President of Coaniquem, Dr Jorge Rojas Zegers recently visited Art Center and updated us on the success of the Coaniquem Healing Cloud Project implementation in Chile.  Check out the link below to read more about these exciting developments!

CLICK HERE.

About the Coaniquem Project: In Spring 2013, Art Center Students applied their multi-departmental skills to create a global campaign with a twofold focus: to develop positive burn prevention messages, and to increase awareness and support for children burn victims.

unicef-logo

Made to Break: Designing Technology for Development

UNICEF Stories
October 2014
By Tina L. Zeng

MDP Field Track Graduate Student, Tina L. Zeng shares some of her experiences working with the UNICEF Innovation Lab.

Read Article

national-geographic-logo

Biocultural Conservation: the Antidote to Nihilism?

National Geographic
September 2014
By David Braun

National Geographic article written by our friends at the (NTBG) National Tropical Botanical Garden. The piece features our joint project “Garden in the Sea,”  a short documentary film about the NTBG created by Designmatters Fellows and Art Center Alumni Olaolu Jegede, Jonathan Augustavo and Jorge Sandoval.

Read Article