Doing Good, Better: New Initiative Will Support Socially Focused Designers Doing Good, Better: New Initiative Will Support Socially Focused Designers
Design

Doing Good, Better: New Initiative Will Support Socially Focused Designers

by Alissa Walker

October 25, 2011

From a story about Occupy Design's infographic kits to a challenge asking readers to redesign the report card, GOOD features designers using their talents to improve their communities almost every day. But the triumph of solving a social challenge often comes at great cost: Most of this work is done without pay and during overtime hours, which can strain a designer's business. "Designers say, 'I'll take my own time and my own resources and try and solve a problem alone,'" says Manuel Toscano, principal of the corporate identity firm Zago. "That's wrong."

A new initiative by AIGA, one of the country's largest design associations, hopes to support designers in their quest to create social change in a way that doesn't threaten their practices. The group launched a new initiative, Design for Good, at its biennial conference, Pivot, last weekend in Phoenix. Toscano, AIGA's national director of social engagement, says the project could shift the traditional role of socially focused design. "It's a transformation from a singular individual working alone to a community working in groups toward solutions that are not driven by the ego, but by the needs of a community," he says.


A farmers market in Bertie County, North Carolina built by high school students as part of Project H, a social design program cited by Design for Good

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Doing Good, Better: New Initiative Will Support Socially Focused Designers