Design traditionally focuses on creating products and services that recognize an existing behavior and work to support it. The next wave will be products and services that motivate and incentivize change. Design can help us be better at what we do and make us do better things.
We are in the age of aware tech. People are receiving vast amounts of data about their own actions and patterns. We need to provide them with clever ways to act on that information. Moreover, companies and organizations are seeking out ways to influence customer choices and create social impact, but many designers are hesitant to pursue work that makes choices for people.
Design has always had an influence, whether recognized or not. It’s time to start seeing that all design choices have an impact, and to start working towards changing the way we live for the better.
by Beth Ferguson and Peter Hall
Our focus is the designers’ role in combining cultural sustainability and social entrepreneurship to find creative solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Innovative strategies, systems thinking, distributed production, open design and creative risk-taking are yielding meaningful outcomes regarding climate protection, clean mobility, renewable energy, waste reduction, and social equality.
Effective utilization of social media, web based maps and the internet have made much of the world dependent on mobile communication devices, which need a constant supply of power to keep roaming. Balancing their impact, new tools such as the Kill-a-watt, energy monitor mobile apps and solar charging stations visually link users with their home/work energy consumption. Others, such as Green Map, livingprinciples.org or Treehugger, put an environmental and social perspective on local resources and developments, motivating action that benefits the commons.
Designers and social entrepreneurs are forming strong communities of practice and collective identity as desire shifts toward sufficiency and well-being. Entities willing to take a creative risk and a leadership role in adopting holistic design processes are becoming the leaders of our future development. Providing tools for educators to restructure the pedagogy is essential for preparing future creators to face the challenges with sanguine, innovative solutions. Join with us on a journey towards redesigning design.
11th–15th March 2011