I recently had the good fortune of dining amongst a great crew of individuals, most of whom are working on social design and entrepreneurship initiatives throughout the city of Detroit. The gathering was hosted by Juliette LaMontagne of Project Breaker and Susie Wise, K12 Lab Director at the D.School.
An article recently appeared on good.is, entitled Rebrand Your ‘Hood for Good. There is much to garner here particularly if you happen to be one in the great mass of millennials seeking to ‘be the change’ in your city, town, neighborhood, whistle-stop, etc. (And lets face it…who isn’t these days?)
The phrase design activism has become quite prolific in recent years and sits snugly among a sea of related terms like humanitarian design, public interest design, social design and many others. Countless books, exhibitions, workshops, MFA programs, summits and the like have emerged, each seeking to explore this notion of activism in design, what it means, who’s doing it, how to do it, etc.
For the past five years, I too have been studying this change emerging among design discourse, always asking myself the same question: How do I do design work that matters?
Somewhere in between syllabus writing, book designing and interviewing apprentices this week, I’ve managed to sneak in some time to read through Tactical Urbanism 2: Short-Term Action, Long Term Change (pdf downloadable here), a guidebook put together by the Street Plans Collaborative, an urban planning, design and advocacy firm.