A new movement is gaining momentum in the design world— a movement to expand the applications of high design beyond its elitist client base to solve complex social problems. This panel will engage an array of leaders in the public interest design movement who use design thinking in various ways to address global challenges and engender social innovation at different scales. John Peterson will bring his experience developing the largest interactive matchmaking database for pro bono design services between top architecture firms and deserving nonprofits to the discussion; Jess Zimbabwe’s contribution will be informed by work empowering civic leaders to use design thinking to solve public problems; John Bielenberg will bring his perspective on the influence of graphic design campaigns to bring awareness to complex social problems; while Barbara Brown Wilson will draw from her work in higher education to discuss the role of active learning and interactive online project evaluation to empower students to become social innovators. Suzi Soza, from the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service’s Dell Social Innovation Competition, will moderate the panel.
John Peterson, founder of ‘Public Architecture’ signs his book ‘Pro-Bono’ at the SXSW bookstore.
by Leonard Souza and Sean Coulter
Physical architecture is about how environments interact with people. Interaction design is about the mind moving through abstract spaces. Somehow the two must intersect.
This session is aimed at taking two design disciplines (physical architecture and interaction design) and finding where they relate, and how they can learn from one another. Interaction design has taken a lot from the field of architecture's creative and scientific process. For example, wireframes are very similar to blueprints (construction documents). These similarities are ever present between the two. Truly, both fields blend art and science, as well as both sides of the mind. Expect to come away with a high-level understanding of how phenomenology influences our interactions, tangible and intangible, and how cognitive science can be used to manipulate perception. This talk will be a lot of fun, so come down with an open mind and a lot of questions!
Emily Pilloton is a designer and builder, disguised as a high school teacher. In this session, she will tell the story of Studio H, a high school design/build curriculum based in Bertie County, North Carolina, the poorest, most sparsely populated and racially divided county in the state. In one year, her students design and construct a full-scale piece of architecture for their hometown (last year, a 2000-square foot farmers market, along with 3 public chicken coops). This session will make the case for bringing back new, design-infused models of vocational learning as a means to engage students in hand-to-mind creativity, and real-world progress in their own backyards.
9th–13th March 2012