Know any Social Designers?

Faithful reader Taddeus Szewczyk points us to an interesting site called Social Design, run by John Emerson. John says he’s still working on his definition of “social design”, but it includes projects that are: are affordable and sustainable are made of renewable materials use energy from renewable sources and increase energy efficiency reduce consumption and […]

Faithful reader Taddeus Szewczyk points us to an interesting site called Social Design, run by John Emerson. John says he’s still working on his definition of “social design”, but it includes projects that are:

  • are affordable and sustainable
  • are made of renewable materials
  • use energy from renewable sources and increase energy efficiency
  • reduce consumption and waste, are reusable or recyclable
  • are produced and developed locally
  • are universally accessible to people of all ages, abilities, and physical conditions
  • are developed at the initiative and with the participation of the communities they serve
  • facilitate mobility, communication, and participation in civic life
  • decentralize political power and facilitate transparency and accountability.

John’s doing some great work. His idea of social design is slightly different from mine, but I think they’re very compatible. He’s focused on what I would call socially-conscious design, whereas I’m exploring design that focuses on how people interact socially. There seems to be a trend toward more of both of these types of design. I think they’re both very good things to be thinking about, as they gets us toward a place where we’re making things that improve people’s lives.

So, do you know of any other people/outfits/orgs that focus on social design? (other than the big social sites that we all know and love) :)

Published: November 5th, 2006

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