DESIGN FOR A BETTER WORLD
Get ideas & see examples of how designers are creating positive social change through socially conscious design projects.
The expression ‘social design’ has, in the past few decades, gained a meaning that goes above and beyond what the words themselves mean. In fact, ‘social design’ means, not only a positive intervention in society through design, but also other artistic practices and creative productions such as film, advertising, and music, amongst others.
You can also read the term in a broader sense, as a different construction of social reality. Whatever perspective you take, it must always be seen as a societal intervention, and because of this, it is intrinsically linked to scientific disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, social psychology, pedagogy and management. So it is at this point where this interest of social design lies – in a combination of theoretical knowledge and a translation into practice. It may a performance or producing an object with a specific function, for example, something to assist communities who lack access to clean water, in carrying it more easily over long distances, or even the design of organizational management strategies and development and implementation of campaigns to promote citizen awareness.
A clear example, in the context of social design, is the project ‘ Massive Change ‘, which began in 2002. This project promotes collaborative critical thinking over a variety of different platforms (websites, events, books, radio shows, an online forum and a blog). Another scheme that was developed in this vein is the biennial event, premium INDEX, which highlights design projects that contribute to the resolution of global problems and promotes a number of other useful and parallel activities. The SocialDesignSite has many examples of what is done in this field, and also gives us another way to intervene and help, because it brings this issue to the forefront of general public attention, and allows people to become actively involved in what is being done. Generating discussion about the responsibility of design in the pursuit of a common goal is one of the principal intentions of the project.
To learn more about social design and get to better understand some of the projects, read the article previously published in IM Magazine (written by the designer and writer Joan Bértholo and with design by Ecomunicação).