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Carli Pierce

Brooklyn, United States

Member since October 24, 2008

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    This week, what would you ask John Thackara, director of Doors of Perception?

    Founded in 1993 as a conference in Amsterdam, Doors of Perception now organizes festivals and projects around the world in which grassroots innovators work with designers to imagine sustainable futures and take practical steps to realize them.

    John also helps cities and regions build next-generation institutions. A former London bus driver, and later a book and magazine editor, John was the first director (1993-1999) of the Netherlands Design Institute. He has since served as program director (2007) of Designs of the time (Dott 07) a new biennial in northeast England, and commissioner (2008) of City Eco Lab, an event that took place at the esteemed French design biennial Cité du Design Saint Étienne.

    John is also an associate of The Young Foundation, UK; senior advisor on sustainability to the UK Design Council; and an advisor on sustainability indicators to Agence France Presse.

    But that's not all: He has authored many books including, In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World (MIT Press), which examines the role of technology in our lives, how it will play out in the future, relying on people more than objects, and the importance of ethics and responsibility in design.

    Needless to say, DESIGN 21 is pleased to have John's attention!

    So what do you want to know about sustainable design and the future? This is your chance to ask John Thackara.

    Post your questions here by September 10 at ...

  • What would you ask Dawn Hancock of Firebelly?

    Communication, Communication Design


    We are now in the sixth week of our Interview series, and this week we are fielding questions for Dawn Hancock, owner and creative director of Firebelly Design.

    What would you ask Dawn? Nominate your questions by August 31.

    Firebelly Design is a Chicago-based design studio specializing in meaningful and sustainable print, online and motion design solutions.

    Dawn describes her team as “super-talented patient listeners, genius problem solvers and forward thinking designers.” They work together to “create positive world change connecting authentic companies with real people in socially responsible ways.”

    Firebelly designs for sustainability-focused companies and non-profit organizations like Chicago Public Schools and MacArthur Foundation. They also advise clients who are looking to be more environmentally and socially responsible. The studio even awards an annual Design + Marketing Grant to non-profit clients who may not be able to cover the cost of their services.

    Beyond client work, Firebelly conducts its own internal initiatives to do good through design. One example is Camp Firebelly, a 10-day summer charrette in which college design students address social justice issues with design and strategy solutions for a specific non-profit client. ("Campers" actually camp over in sleeping bags in Firebelly's office.) The charrette provides students with real-world experience and the non-profits the design services they need.

    The studio also hosts the F...

  • What would you ask John Emerson of Backspace?

    Education, Communication Design


    This week only, we're scouting for questions for John Emerson founder of Backspace, a design consultancy dedicated to research, development, and promotion of design in the public interest.

    What would you ask John? Nominate your questions by August 21.

    Based in New York, John has designed websites, print and motion graphics for media companies as well as non-profit organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the United Nations, and United for Peace & Justice.

    His writing on design has been featured in Communication Arts, Metropolis, Print and The Wall Street Journal. Since 2002, he has published Social Design Notes, a blog about the intersection of design and activism.

    He describes himself as someone who doesn’t “pretend that social and political problems can be solved with graphics or technology," but says that "tools, technologies, and techniques of communication can profoundly alter our relationship to the world, to power, and to each other.”

    He also wrote and designed Visualizing Information for Advocacy, a booklet that introduces advocacy organizations to the basic principles and techniques of information design.

    John has inspired many through his research, writing and design work; now it's your chance to ask him for his thoughts on design and social activism.

    Post your questions to John here by August 21 at 4pm EST.

  • Lorraine_questionsgraphic_177_

    Thanks to everyone who nominated questions for Chad Rea, founder of ecopop, you can now read his answers in our featured interview.

    We are pleased to bring you ongoing opportunities to learn from some amazing people in the field of social design and this week our series continues with the founder of the Design Against Crime Research Centre, Lorraine Gamman.

    What would you ask Lorraine?

    As well as the director of DAC, Lorraine Gamman is a design studies professor at London's Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, the vice chair of Designing Out Crime Association (DOCA), and a an independent assessor for a variety of research councils.

    DAC is a socially responsive, practice-led research center located at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. Its team, made up of artists, designers, criminologists and researchers, aims to prevent crime with well designed products, environments and services.

    DAC has taken on the challenge of balancing aesthetics with function while responding to what is currently happening in society among users and abusers. That challenge has been met with projects like Bikeoff, practice-based design research to prevent bike theft, or Stop Thief Chairs, a line of chairs with a space for users to hang their purses while in public places without putting them at risk for theft.

    Her dedication to researching the role of design in theft prevention, and innovation in forming DAC, makes her a fascinating person...

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    We received some really interesting question nominations for Valerie Casey of the Designers Accord. Be sure read her responses in this week's featured interview.

    Now, what would you ask Chad Rea, founder of ecopop?

    Conscious consumerism is emerging with quite a momentum, and part of its recognition can be attributed to the self-proclaimed, "innovation-collective," ecopop, which merges ecology and pop culture to bring conscious consumerism out of the exclusive fringe and into the accessible mainstream. ecopop creates, markets, and co-owns ventures that value global responsibility.

    The brains behind ecopop is Chad Rea. Inspired by his own creation of Project Hello, a zero-budget homeless philanthropy project that now spans 30 countries, visionary ad agency founder and creative director Chad Rea left behind a successful career in brand communications to focus his unique creative problem solving talents on problems that matter in the world. Now he is ready to share his thoughts with us. This is your chance — what do you want to ask him?

    Respond here with your questions to Chad Rea by August 5!

  • Valerie_homepagegraphic_177_

    Thanks to all who nominated questions for Philippa White, her answers are now available for you to enjoy in our featured interview.

    For the second installment of our interview series, we'd like to know: What would you ask Valerie Casey — founder of the Designers Accord?

    Starting with an article Valerie Casey wrote in 2007, the Designers Accord is a global coalition of designers, corporate leaders, and educational institutions focused on creating positive impact. All 170,000 members (from 100 countries) commit to five guidelines that help maintain socially and environmentally conscious design practices. The Designers Accord not only spreads the word about ethical design practices, it provides a community for like-minded people to generate energy and innovation.

    In addition to her involvement with the Designers Accord, Valerie specializes in helping organizations — from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups — develop their internal and external networks to address cultural, economic, and environmental challenges with greater agility. Named a “Guru” of the year by Fortune magazine, and a “Master of Design” by Fast Company, Valerie Casey is playing a major role in design practices worldwide — what do you want to learn from her?

    Nominate questions (by responding to this post) by Tuesday July 28th.

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    Thanks to all those who participated in DESIGN 21's Who Would You Interview project. We received so many fantastic nominations that we've decided to launch an interview series! DESIGN 21 will be bringing you weekly opportunities to nominate questions for some of the most influential people in the field of social design. This also means a weekly dose of inspiration.

    Our interviewees include Valerie Casey of the Designers Accord, Chad Rea of ecopop, and John Emerson of Social Design Notes.

    But first up: What would you ask Philippa White - founder and managing director of The International Exchange (TIE).

    Based in the UK and Brazil, TIE connects professionals in the communication field with NGOs in developing nations, so that their skills can be used in a positive way to benefit the organization. The experience not only helps the NGO in a big way, but it teaches the volunteer about the power of their profession in communities. TIE has sent professionals from companies like Wieden + Kennedy, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and Leo Burnett to help NGOs like Gestos, Edificio Ecologico, and Arcos.

    Philippa moved to Brazil to start TIE after 5 years of working for advertising agencies such as Leo Burnett and BBH. She founded TIE and we are lucky enough to have the chance to interview her here. So here's your chance to gain some insights from Philippa.

    Nominate questions (by responding to this post) by Monday July 20th.

  • I think this is a trend that is starting to pick-up (or at least I hope it is) — stores offering discounts or incentives when you donate used goods.

    Two major retailers offering a good program:


    Bring in an empty used container from their products to recycle and receive free new products in return. The more you bring in the larger your gift becomes. Bring in 3 empty containers and get a tube of lip gloss, or bring it 10 containers and you get to pick out any product (less that $25) for free.

    Timberland Shoes

    Visit a Timberland store to donate a used pair of shoes and you'll get 10% off a new pair of Timberlands. Timberland is partnering with Soles4Souls, who donates shoes to those who need them.

  • Oooos & Aaaahs at the Cooper-Hewitt

    Arts & Culture, Environmental Design


    There are two shows currently on view at the Cooper-Hewitt right now that I really think everyone who can should go see: Fashioning Felt and Design for a Living World.

    Fashioning Felt is the first that you will encounter upon entering the museum. I hadn't really seen anything made with felt before that I actually wanted...until now. I want EVERYTHING on display there, including a beautiful jacket made entirely from the process of heating pieces of felt together — no sewing required.

    I would also be happy to live in the modern adaptation of a yurt, Palace Yurt Installation by Janice Arnold. This is a room fabricated of hand-made felt, and is meant to be a place of celebration. It is really an amazing sight, lighting from the surrounding windows creeps in through holes in the felt and there are even benches you can sit on and relax in the space.

    The part that impressed me the most was how incredible felt is in general as a material. It can be made entirely from recycled materials, or re-made into new felt after it is worn, and extremely sustainable because the sheep can live off of naturally occurring plants rather than other farm animals whose food needs to be shipped in.

    I left wondering where can I get my hands on a felting class so that I can start making things with this amazing material.

    Upstairs you will find Design for a Living World. Ten influential designers were selected to create pieces based on a location specific sustainable material they were assigned ...

  • Check out Figment on Governor's Island. It is a FREE celebration of collaborative creativity.

    For just this one weekend they will turn the island into a giant time based collaborative art project. And everyone is invited to get involved in the process.

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design