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Computer-Aided Design Meets Human-Centered Design

There I sat, surrounded by dozens of classmates, staring up at a hulking computer monitor, pecking away at a beige keyboard. We were buried...

There I sat, surrounded by dozens of classmates, staring up at a hulking computer monitor, pecking away at a beige keyboard. We were buried in our “Introduction to AutoCAD” final project and I dare say that we all believed that a little computer know-how was the ticket to scoring a job when we graduated architecture school.

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Best of 2013: The Top Nine Public Interest Design Milestones

Building on our review of PublicInterestDesign.org’s 2013 predictions for the public interest design field, today we’re highlighting the milestones from this past year. The list looks beyond individual design projects and instead toward initiatives with far-reaching consequences for the field—and, in some cases, the world.

Building on our review of PublicInterestDesign.org’s 2013 predictions for the public interest design field, today we’re highlighting the milestones from this past year. The list looks beyond individual design projects and instead toward initiatives with far-reaching consequences for the field—and, in some cases, the world. From a glossy magazine that dedicated an entire issue to good design, to a glossary that cuts through the jargon, to several groundbreaking events and a new bar for training the next generation in the art and science of human-centered design, here are our top 10 public interest design initiatives of 2013.

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A Look Back at our Public Interest Design Predictions for 2013

For PublicInterestDesign.org’s third annual year in review series, we’re chronicling initiatives shaping the field of public interest design. As was the case in previous years, this is not an exercise in trend-spotting, but instead a meditation initiatives poised to advance a growing field at the intersection of design and social change.

For PublicInterestDesign.org’s third annual year in review series, we’re chronicling initiatives shaping the field of public interest design. As was the case in previous years, this is not an exercise in trend-spotting, but instead a meditation initiatives poised to advance a growing field at the intersection of design and social change.

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How a Rwandan Hospital Became the Symbol of Public-Interest Design

A team of students proved that public interest design can and should be culturally appropriate, location-specific, and built for the long haul.


Almost exactly a year ago, a world-class hospital opened its doors in rural Rwanda, bringing health care to a district of 400,000 people who had never had access to doctors and nurses. The 150-bed, 60,000-square-foot Butaro Hospital was constructed by hundreds of local residents and is breathtaking for its setting—it's perched on a lush green hillside overlooking a winding valley—design, and craftsmanship. It’s a job-creating, people-healing, field-innovating success story with origins in a most unlikely place.

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