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“The Pedreiro and the Master Planner” Airs Today

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In the concluding episode of the Rebel Architecture series on Al Jazeera English, filmmaker May Abdalla travels to Rio de Janeiro to meet up with “The Pedreiro and the Master Planner” in Rocinha, Brazil’s largest favela. Ricardo de Oliviera is a Brazilian “pedreiro” – a self-taught informal builder and real rebel architect. He has built over one hundred houses with no formal training and few resources in his local community. The episode explores how Ricardo struggles with his government’s own plan for the future of favelas.

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Hans Sauer Social Design Award Call for Entries

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Hans Sauer Stiftung–a 25-year-old German foundation dedicated to supporting science, research and inventions–is accepting entries for the 2015 Award for Social Design. Open to European individuals and teams, the three-part competition is organized to assist with the development of new ideas and concepts that aim to have “long-term, measurable effect and sustainable implementation.” Entries for the first stage are due October 15, 2014, and 20 selected finalist projects will move on to Stage II in November.

The Hans Sauer Foundation has been active for 25 years in the non-profit support of science, research and inventions. Its award honors outstanding research and practice in the field of technological and social innovations. It is for the people behind the ideas and innovations. And it is a contribution to bring new ideas and concepts from expert circles to the public to create social impact.

Click here to read more and apply for the Hans Sauer Social Design Award 2015, online at HansSauerAward2015.com.

New Design for Social Impact Graduate Program Launches

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The University of the Arts in Philadelphia–a 138-year-old university solely dedicated to visual and performing arts and design education–recently announced the launch of a new graduate program in Design for Social Impact. The two-year Master of Design (MDes) in Design for Social Impact is structured around a balance of classroom learning, reflection, and real-world application of design practice. The program partners with businesses, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community groups to create projects that “put learning into practice.” Applications for the 2014 Fall semester are now being accepted.

Design is a leading agent of social change, instrumental in fostering strategic creativity, organizational learning, and community engagement. Our graduate students engage in partnerships with local organizations and businesses through projects that stress dialogue and co-design with stakeholders. We promote a design process that facilitates collaboration across disciplines, and that produces actionable models and scenarios to create sustainable change. Our process is hands-on, action-oriented, and highly visual. The needs and desires of people exist at the center of our work.

Click here to learn more about The University of the Arts Master of Design (MDes) in Design for Social Impact program, online at MID.UArts.edu.

Attend Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! 2014

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The fifth annual Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE!Architecture for Humanity’s yearly humanitarian design conference–will take place this year in New York City on October 9th to 11th. As part of Dwell on Design NY, the three-day event will bring together innovators, designers and experts to explore issues surrounding designing for a more resilient world. A key feature of the conference is Design Open Mic, a rapid-pace, back-to-back PechaKucha presentations for emerging and established designers to share their projects. Project submissions for the open mic session on Saturday, October 11th are being accepted now through September 25th.

Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! will highlight how design can and does make a lasting impact on society – improving the health, environment, economy and overall well-being of communities now and into the future.  Inspiring presentations and engaging discussions will be held during the conference, further pushing humanitarian design into the mainstream.

Click here to learn more and register to attend Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE! 2014, online at ArchitectureForHumanity.org.

“Reconciling the Supply Demand of Good Intentions”

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Our founding editor John Cary recently took to the pages of Stanford Social Innovation Review in “Reconciling the Supply Demand of Good Intentions.” In the article, he cites volunteer pledge programs like massive LinkedIn for Good and growing The 1% that have robust membership numbers–2 million people and 1,309 firms, respectively–yet struggle to find matching numbers in nonprofit partners. With risk of losing these enthusiastic volunteers, Cary offers up a solution to a program that has access to hundreds of thousands of nonprofits worldwide where volunteer services could help.

So why do programs like these have such difficulty reaching or attracting organizations that need help? Because building demand is a high-touch affair; it requires significant relationship-building. These sectors are very segregated in general, so there aren’t a lot of authentic relationships between contrasting cultural boundaries. There are also considerable differences in how, when, and why nonprofits seek out services—most often when needs arise, though that’s something these programs could capitalize on.

Click here to read “Reconciling the Supply Demand of Good Intentions,” online at SSIReview.org.

2014-2015 Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships Awarded

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The 19-year-old Worldstudio AIGA Scholarship Program announced 14 talented and dedicated art and design students who will receive tuition grants for the 2014-2015 academic year. This year marks a huge milestone for the program–a grand total of $1 million in scholarships have been awarded to 651 students from minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds not only to realize their artistic dreams, but also to give back to their communities. AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé noted, “The profession thrives on the creativity and perspective of young designers from diverse backgrounds, particularly those committed to making a real difference in the human experience, using creativity to defeat habit.”

Yathrib Ragsdale mentors minority, first generation, college bound students. Myles Thompson educates his college campus about African American art and culture. And Kawing Ng manages a Meetup group called VolunteerNY to bring together people who share a common goal of giving back to the community. These talented and dedicated students are among 14 recipients of the 2014–2015 Worldstudio AIGA Scholarships, awarded each year to art and design college students who demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility.

Click here to read more about the scholarship program and awardees, online at AIGA.org.

 

Apply Now for NEA Art Works Research Grants

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The National Endowment for the Arts is now accepting applications for grants to support research projects that “generate new findinging that will inform the public about the value and/or impact of the arts in American life.” As part of the Art Works Research program launched in 2012, twenty grants ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 are available for the 2015 cycle. Applications are due October 21, 2014; however, they strongly encouraged to submit at least 10 days in advance.

The NEA’s Office of Research & Analysis will make awards to support research that investigates the value and/or impact of the arts, either as individual components within the U.S. arts ecology or as they interact with each other and/or with other domains of American life… By providing financial support to deserving projects, the NEA anticipates that this program will spur growth in the number of people experienced in and knowledgeable about arts-related research in the U.S.

Click here to learn more and apply for an Art Works Research Grant, online at Arts.gov.

“Trading Parking Lots for Affordable Housing”

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“What is the solution to affordable housing in New York?” questions New York Times reporter Michael Kimmelman. One potential answer? “Trading Parking Lots for Affordable Housing,” as proposed by Institute for Public Architecture fellows Miriam Peterson, Sagi Golan and Nathan Rich in their project “9 x 18” for the Total Reset residency and exhibition. Working with the standard dimensions of a parking space, the proposal unlocks 20.3 million square feet of street-level parking spaces on housing authority lots for mixed-use structures for housing, shops, services, and play areas. Although this calls for citywide reform and faces financial challenges, the “’9 x 18′ plan is rough, but a start,” writes Kimmelman.

I’m intrigued by their proposal, “9 x 18,” because it’s about more than apartment buildings plopped onto vacant land. It considers how parking spaces — mandated in outmoded zoning regulations, prolific at public housing sites — might be leveraged into something more ambitious, something that encourages a mix of housing in active neighborhoods with accessible transit, public services and lively streets. In effect, the proposal trades asphalt for housing and amenities.

Click here to read “Trading Parking Lots for Affordable Housing,” online at NYTimes.com.

Autodesk Foundation Proudly Announces 5 Grantees

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At “Design Gone Good” Night earlier this month, the Autodesk Foundation announced five new grantees to receive support from our new foundation. We have furthered our commitment to accelerating the work of impact designers by deepening our investment in two current grantees, D-Rev and MASS Design Group, and making new investments in several additional design-driven nonprofits. We are providing training, technology and software grants to Gearbox, Kenya’s first open makerspace for technologists, designers, and makers; Proximity Designs, whose agricultural products and services serve rural Myanmar; and Build Change, which aims to strengthen housing in developing and earthquake-susceptible countries through training and capacity building.

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FastCo Innovation by Design Finalists Announced

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With one month left until Fast Company’s illustrious Innovation by Design Conference in New York City, the finalists in the running for top brass in 10 award categories were announced last week. Chosen from 1,587 boundary-pushing entries, the 53 finalists feature littleBits Space Kit, a themed set of circuitry for building miniature space-exploration tools in Products;  PillPack, an online pharmacy that ships your drugs in individually sealed single-dose packets in Experience and Health; and, Mapdwell Solar System, a web-based platform that helps users design at-home solar energy systems in Data Visualization. Along with these innovative projects, the six finalists in the Social Good category were worthy of a repost, especially with Autodesk Foundation’s Executive Director Joe Speicher announcing the winner in this category at the award ceremony on October 15th, 2014. More