Social Impact Design Report Recommendations


As helpfully summarized in a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) press release on Thursday, the 2012 Social Impact Design Summit, held February 27 of last year, “brought together public-interest architects, industrial designers, planners, civil-society designers, landscape architects, engineers and inventors from Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.” The resulting white paper, Design & Social Impact: A Cross-Sectoral Agenda for Design Education, Research, & Practice, includes the following five recommendations, distilled from the summit:

1. Expand networks, as there is much that members of this diverse, global community can learn from one another and from the constituents they serve.

2. Emphasize storytelling to more effectively communicate social impact design’s value and how design can play a significant role in creating social change.

3. Build a culture of evaluation with better tools to demonstrate the long-term impact of design projects and initiatives.

4. Form intelligent coalitions with dedicated social impact design programs within universities as well as informal teaching environments, both physical and online.

5. Create alternative funding strategies to enable innovative and ongoing support.

Click here to read the NEA’s press release, along with a link to the complete report, online at

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