Designers: in order to show non-designers the real value we can contribute, advocate for our profession in a rapidly developing and changing world, and help build a better world in which more people are creative problem solvers…
We have to articulate our profession in non-design terminology.
We have to be able to teach our profession to others.
A Dutch designer created this Lego-like emergency house, which is laser-cut on a CNC machine and then can snap together in as little as five hours. The house was made for Haiti, and includes a roof that can collect rainwater and filter it for clean drinking water.
The (Re)design Issue tells a DIO (do-it-ourselves) design story that not only chronicles the ways in which design thinking is being deployed all over the world, but also calls you, the GOOD community, to take part in its deployment.
That DIO story is a thread that winds itself throughout the issue. It runs through Chelsea Roff’s story about how you can redesign your well-being; it runs through our roundtable with GOOD’s first-ever Global Exchange Fellows who are redesigning the way we think about neighborhoods; you hear it in Ralph Nader’s recollections of the doomed Chevy Corvair on its 50th anniversary; you see it in Bethlehem Shoals’ essay on the championship legacy of the NBA coaching collaboration of Phil Jackson and Tex Winter, who effectively redesigned teamwork; and we hope you will take part in it as you explore our 14-page feature on half-baked solutions.
For the designers among you, we expect you’ll notice the (Re)design Issue pushing against the boundaries of what constitutes a “design problem.” Our hope is that all of you begin thinking a little bit more like designers. We think our planet needs it.
This is one of the most interesting online interactive campaigns we’ve seen that aims to protect our planet Earth. Check out how The Climate Reality Project is creatively engaging people to sign petitions on whatilove.org.
When work gets busy, our errands list looks never ending, and our calendar fill up, it’s easy to forget to make time for fun. In the spirt of play and well-being, click through and print out this crossword puzzle PDF about the best games from our youth. And while you’re here, share your favorite games in the comments below!
It was a scorchingly hot Tuesday afternoon last summer on a rough corner in South Chicago. Despite the heat, and despite it being the time of day when people normally start rolling in to buy drugs and alcohol, things were a little different that day. Jania, a 17-year-old from the community, pictured above, was smiling, and others around her were, too.
It was the second day in our design-build program, where a group of local teenage girls were working to transform a vacant lot in their neighborhood. Jania was smiling because she had just used power tools for the first time, and just built something—a work bench—for the first time. But she was also smiling because she was seeing her community start to transform due to her actions.
I have to admit that, as a planner, there are times that I get whisked away by the elegance of drawings and the process of making them, and there are times that I feel like designers are the leaders of the free world who can grant wishes because of the way we’re able to articulate ideas on paper. But drawings, models, briefs, etc. are just artifacts—they don’t tell us shit about the complexity of human behavior. They don’t inform us about the extremely social nature of cities and what the vibe is like on the ground.
About a year ago, I left my desk job at City Hall to pursue a life of observation. I wanted to see urban planning from the field, get in the mix, and leave the paper version of the city behind. I wanted to get to know Dallas by becoming a part of it, get to know my neighbors and how to use the city as a tool—that’s urbanism. Now, I work as a freelance urbanist. I’m in the city, seeing what I can see, and then finding solutions to fix the problems.
After leading design-thinking exercises with startups in the portfolios of Facebook Fund and 500 Startups, I realized that strong design leadership at the founding-team level is critical to an integrated and sustained culture of design. You can host design workshops, office hours and consult, which are all helpful, but often startups revert back to their existing habits, and design becomes an add on, like putting lipstick on a pig. Who is going to lead, model and inspire design behaviors in everyone at a company? Who is going to truly champion the user-experience with the authority to make decisions?
This is an excerpt from Kern and Burn: Conversations With Design Entrepreneurs, a book that features candid conversations with 30 leading designers who have founded startups, channeled personal passions into self-made careers and taken risks to do what they love. Here, Jessica Heltzel and Tim Hoover talk with Enrique Allen, who founded the Designer Fund to help designers launch new startups.
Rjukan is a small Norwegian town of roughly 3,300 residents nestled in a valley in northern Norway. Because of its unique geographic location, the town is cloaked in darkness for five months every year.
But not for much longer! A new project is installing mirrors on a mountaintop that overlooks the city and will shine a artificial sunlight into the town. Exposure to sunlight helps ward off depression and sadness, so the town of Rjukan just might be a little more cheerful this winter.
Two good friends happened to find themselves single at the same time, and decided to try an experiment: they’re dating each other for 40 days, attempting to break their bad relationship habits. They’re going to see each other every single day, go on three dates a week, go on a weekend trip, and even see a couples therapist. And being designers, they’re carefully documenting everything.
This cast looks so good you might not mind breaking your arm. Unlike bulky plaster casts, this 3D-printed version is thin enough to go under clothing, it’s waterproof, breathable, lightweight, and can be fully recycled when it’s eventually taken off. Right now, the design is just a concept, but as long as it’s strong enough to truly protect healing bones, it seems like a brilliant idea.
We are two people who work at GOOD HQ. We come from very different backgrounds—one a globally-oriented journalist, the other a graphic designer who wants to do more than just make pretty pictures—and we joined forces to try to make something awesome.
During a recent internal hackathon here at GOOD HQ, our designers and coders and writers got together to dream up a campaign on something big, something daunting into which we could sink our teeth. We wanted to prove that even the biggest problems can be tackled creatively. We coalesced around a big problem that is rather impolite to talk about—access to a good, safe place to do the body’s most basic business. And thus our Give A Shit campaign was born.
Just came across this fun presentation from a Pecha Kucha in Toronto, where Ayla Newhouse shares her ongoing project Dating by Design which explores how design principles and terminology can be seamlessly applied to the world of relationships.
My name is Peter Smart and I recently travelled 2,517 miles to try and solve 50 Problems in 50 Days using design. This journey would take me from the bustling streets of London to the cobbled lanes of Turin to test design’s ability to solve social problems—big and small.
On my own shoestring budget, I set out into the complete unknown. Each day I had 24 hours to find, solve and communicate the solution to a problem I had observed that day.
Each day was an immense exercise in design thinking. Some days my solutions were okay, some days I failed, some days the solutions were great. However, the objective was not to succeed everyday, but to get up and try again, even when I had failed the day before.
IBM believes that city planning and design should have the citizens in mind. IBM’s “People For Smarter Cities” ads double as benches, ramps and shelter from the rain. The project aims to encourage ‘smarter thinking’ when it comes to coming up with solutions for the city. The ads also encourage people to share their ideas on how they can improve their neighborhood.