Converse: Social Design

the big crowd at our Converse night

Last week, we had our regular Converse event, and the topic was “social design.” A group of 25 charged and passionate people arrived ready to tackle the subject. Here are some of snippets from the evening.

  • What is Social Design? Does it need to be defined?
  • It’s with the idea the end result will bring proactive change.
  • It’s tackling social issues with design methodologies.
  • There is often a “giving back” aspect to the project.
  • Having graphic designers involved early in these projects allows the creative thinking skill set to be utilized in the solution, rather than just at the end to “make things pretty.”
  • Projects seem to be more successful when they are tackled by groups of people from a broad range of disciplines. The collaboration aspect is key. The designer role is just one part of a larger group.
  • Keep things as simple as possible and have the audience and users in mind to ensure the project can have longevity.
  • Make sure you are welcome in the community. Partner with them and ask the community what they want and need. Often, they have the best ideas.
  • Have an exit plan, so that when the group leaves, the solution can keep running successfully without you.

What topics might be good to tackle for Baltimore?

  • Bike lanes
  • Education
  • Increase manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Trash
  • Pride for the city
  • Crime
  • Unemployment
  • Improve the city’s brand
  • Increase city population
  • Food deserts, nutrition education
  • Diabetes
  • Communication without violence
  • Homelessness
  • Improve education, health and recreate for teens
  • Instill confidence and values in children

Thanks to those who made it out, and look out for our next Converse event in March!

Converse is our roundtable event regularly occurring on the third Thursday of odd numbered months. Each event focuses on a different topic for discussion. Email if you have any questions or if you would like to suggest a topic for a future Converse night.

By AIGA Baltimore
Published January 23, 2012