Support Within Formal Cities on Indiegogo by 8/14

The crowdfunding campaign for the “Within Formal Cities” project–created by North Carolina State University architecture graduates Abe Drechsler and Brian Gaudio–ends this Thursday, August 14th, 2014, at 11:59 PT. Supported in part by the Duda Traveling Fellowship, the duo is raising an additional $7,000 to help produce a short documentary series and online publication of their research into informal South American communities. With $4,000 raised thus far, every donation–no matter how big or small–will help produce valuable outcomes from their research.

Our goal is to share stories and designs from informal communities in 5 cities in South America: Bogota, Colombia; Lima, Peru; Santiago, Chile; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. We will document everything from self-built houses in the favelas of Rio, to government projects designed by world famous architects. Along with drawing and photographing the buildings, we will interview designers, professors, and community organizers to bring to light the creativity in which South American cities are dealing with the global housing crises. We will also create a short documentary series and online publication and present our work through a physical exhibit and lecture to bring awareness to these issues. Through this work we can challenge the next generation of architects and designers to do more, to bring good design to those who need it!

Click here to support the project on Indiegogo.com by August 14th, 2014, or click here to learn more about the project on WithinFormalCities.org.

Join Autodesk "Design Gone Good" Night Sep 4th


Located in Autodesk‘s San Francisco office overlooking the Bay Bridge, the Autodesk Gallery hosts ‘Design Night‘ each first Thursday of the month to explore how tech is transforming different industries. On the evening of September 4th, 2014, the event will focus on impact designers and projects under the banner “Design Gone Good.” Along with an interactive design fair, D-Rev‘s Krista Donaldson will headline the evening to speak about how design is transforming communities and changing lives. Tickets–which typically sell out within a few hours–will go on sale Monday, August 11th, at noon PT so be sure to act quickly!

Design isn’t just streamlined furniture, shiny gadgets, and sleek cars. It also has the capacity to do good—to have a deep and profound impact on peoples’ lives. From cleaner portable stoves in Africa to low-cost housing in rural America, impact design aims to tackle and solve social, environmental, and economic challenges. Whether on a small scale or a grand stage, designers are finding new and innovative ways to make a difference.

Click here to learn more and purchase tickets to “Design Gone Good” Night on September 4th, 6-10pm PT, online at Autodesk.com/Impact.

2014 Core77 Design Award Winners Announced

Saajhi Stepping Pump

The 2014 Core77 Design Awards announced 34 winners that exemplify the “richness of the design profession and the brilliance of its practitioners.” Amongst the 17 categories, we were naturally drawn to the Social Impact Award, which was judged this year by leading Denmark-based design and social business leaders–Leapcraft’s Vinay Venkatraman, The Social Business Company’s Naima Yasin and Tania Ellis, Danish Design Centre’s Nille Juul-Sørensen, and Stoic’s Anand Vengurlekar.

The 2014 Social Impact Professional Award went to Saajhi Stepping Pump, a field-serviceable, stepping pump that leverages human weight and gravity to move water and irrigate crops, created by Sam Rulli and Xylem, Inc., for smallholder farmers. Young designers Christian Bremer and Erik Ohlson took home the 2014 Social Impact Student Award for Walter – Alter the Wheelchair, a low-cost, active manual wheelchair with rough terrain features and the ability to alter the center of gravity and reduce falling backwards on inclines, created with Chalmers University of Technology. A few other notable winners were: Blastproof, a hands-on exhibition about humanitarian mine removal, created by Chris Natt; Sustainability Treehouse designed by Volume Inc. with Studio Terpeluk; and the 3D Printed Personal Ekso developed by Gustavo Fricke, Scott Summit, 3D Systems, and Ekso Bionics.

Click here to learn more about the 2014 Core77 Design Award winners, online at Core77DesignAwards.com.

Feature: Expanding the Impact Design Movement


In 2011, John Cary launched PublicInterestDesign.org with a simple goal: to fill a communication gap for the burgeoning public interest design movement. Over the past three years, PublicInterestDesign.org has become the go-to resource to read, watch, and learn about people, events, opportunities, and projects aimed at designing a better world. Interest and readership has steadily increased each year which has led to a demand for more in-depth information. This is why we are expanding upon the paramount work of PublicInterestDesign.org with the new Impact Design Hub to encompass a broader spectrum of design for positive social, economic, and environmental impact. More

SSIR: "Pop-Up Housing" on the Y:Cube


The hip and colorful Y:Cube is a new ‘plug and play’ affordable housing concept being tested in London where rents are amongst the highest in the world. Andy Redfearn, director of housing and development for the YMCA London South West, teamed up with architects from Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSH+P) and contractors from Insulshell to design and build a lightweight, modular, and stackable single-occupancy housing unit. Journalist Suzie Boss recently reported on the Y:Cube in Stanford Social Innovation Review, noting not only the design features but also the business model behind the housing scheme–the true test of longevity and success for the concept.

The Y:Cube business model also aims for innovation. Low construction costs lessen the need for grant funding. “The whole scheme gets paid off through rents in 10 to 15 years,” Redfearn says. Four impact investors are backing the pilot project with support that includes the purchase of land. Redfearn expects future projects to attract banks and private lenders along with impact investors.

Click here to read more about the Y:Cube, online at SSIReview.org.

CUP Reveals 9 Public Access Design Fellows


Following up on our post about CUP’s call for Public Access Design Fellows, the urban design and policy nonprofit recently announced nine designers who will be collaborating on projects in 2014-2015. With interests in typology, history, and dreamscape fantasies–to name a few–the new cohort is sure to bring fresh thinking and creative methods to unravel complex urban issues for New Yorkers.

Public Access Design projects are short, intensive collaborations of CUP, an artist or designer, and a community organization that is working to break down a complex policy or planning issue that affects its constituents. The collaboration results in a visual tool that meets an advocate’s organizing needs as they arise—getting information directly to communities where they are, and when they most need it. The goal is to put more, and more kinds, of powerful visual tools in the hands of people working on critical social justice issues.

Click here to read more about the Public Access Design Fellows, online at WelcomeToCUP.org.

Urban Urge Awards Announce 22 Finalists


The Urban Urge Awards have announced 22 finalists that will be moving onto the final round of review by an esteemed jury panel of Bjarke Ingels of BIG, Margaret Newman of the Municipal Arts Society, David van der Leer of the Van Alen Institute, and Mabel O. Wilson from Columbia University GSAPP. In honor of architect, educator, community advocate and urban designer Mojdeh (Moji) Baratloo, the awards are small project grants to fund physical and programmatic interventions seeking to have a positive community, urban or environmental impact. Selected from entries representing 14 countries and 6 continents, nine of the 22 finalists will be awarded an Urge, Emerge, or Seed grant in September 2014.

The Urban Urge Awards honor the legacy of architect, educator, community advocate and urban designer Mojdeh (Moji) Baratloo (1954-2013).  Through the lens of architecture, installation, and urbanism, Moji’s work addressed challenges of climate change, energy, education, post-industrialization, public space,  public policy, technology, waste, and water to the modern urban environment. The Urban Urge Awards are designed to push urban and design ideas to have a realized impact in urban communities.

Click here to read more about the 22 Urban Urge Award finalists, online at UrbanUrge.org.

Reader Survey Ends Wednesday… Plus Win a Book!


Our first reader survey is quickly coming to a close this Wednesday, August 6th at 11:59 PST. We have already had an immense amount of ideas, thoughts, and insights pouring in to help transition PublicInterestDesign.org to the new Impact Design Hub. As a thank you, the Autodesk Foundation is offering up a prize to three lucky participants–a copy of either Imagine Design Create by Tom Wujec or The Power of Pro Bono by own founding editor John Cary. If you haven’t participated yet, we’d love to hear from you and put your name in the hat for a book!

Click here to participate in the survey by Wednesday, August 6th at 11:59 PST, online at Bitly.com/InterestToImpact.

CIRD Announces 2014 Rural Design Awards


The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design–a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Project for Public Spaces, the Orton Family Foundation and the CommunityMatters Partnership–has announced the four organizations selected to host the 2014-2015 rural design technical assistance workshops. Selected from a pool of 48 applicants, the four recipients will bring together local leaders, non-profits, community organizations, and citizens with a team of design, planning, community and economic development specialists to address design challenges within their community. The four organizations selected are: More

Design Impact: New Team Members & Website


Along with a brand new, dynamic website, non-profit social innovation firm Design Impact has expanded their team to include four new members. Social innovation specialist Rashid Owoyele, communications and design coordinator Biz Young, and summer interns Lila Englander and Amy Untch have joined D-Impact to further expand the organization’s mission to “incubate projects that transform communities, equip leaders with social innovation tools, and advance methods of creative community change.”

Click here to explore Design Impact’s new website and learn more about the team, online at D-Impact.org.