• Incomplete Social Design Manifesto

    Communication

    Many designers, including myself have been deeply moved to do better design by Bruce Mau's Incomplete Design Manifesto. He has pointedly chosen to label his manifesto "incomplete", as a sort of "call to arms" for designers and creative-doers to progress.

    Social design represents this progression, or at least a branch of that progression. This post aims to pose back to the reader "is social design a category of design or is it a principle that should be a part of all design?" Similarly to the triple bottom-line of social entrepreneurs, is there bottom-line that all designers must adhere to or strive for?

    In the spirit of Bruce Mau's Incomplete Design Manifesto, let's create the Incomplete Social Design Manifesto. Please respond to this post with one point that articulates your beliefs, motivations and strategies towards making design more socially rooted.

  • Maybe I would say "observe people", and wonder why they behave the way they behave. Social design to me is a way to reach and hopefully influence our society's behaviour (in a positive way). We cannot do it if we don't deeply understand the people's needs and mistakes.

  • I noticed 5 votes before adding mine, and yet no responses. I'll add mine.

    It seems to me that a bottom line is networked design. This means that any given design should matter for the development of other designed processes or artifacts. This doesn't necessarily mean that all design with be necessarily "positive." Take design for debate as an example. Surely it's context sensitive. By focusing the efforts of design on the relational, non-linear aspects of society and culture, perhaps the design that will unfold will be more robust, thoughtful and relevant across a wider range of contexts.

  • Hi George,

    Great post, and indeed Mau's Incomplete Manifesto remains one of my top inspirations. Here's my contribution: SOCIAL DESIGN RESOURCES

    Kate.

  • Nyc-times_square1997_132_

    As designers that care about social issues, we must remember that we have strength through out position in the industry. From our choice in vendors to our recommendations to clients - our voice can collectively be heard through the objects we design, the environment we affect, the messages we communicate, the clothes we make and the images we create.

    Its not what is being said as much as how it is being said - and that is 100% in our control. Our work is everywhere and the audience is large. We don't need "neon signs" to communicate our message, no, our tools are more subversive than that!

    Use the "how" to effect change in a sublime way.

  • Me_132_

    I'm a student at the University of Texas at Arlington, and I've been designing for 7 or 8 years now. At the end of one of my classes my professor told me in critique that I was operating at a really high level (of craftsmanship and knowledge of all designer software) when I entered & that she judged my progress by the evolution of my ideas. She'd taken notice that with each project I'd try to do something out of my comfort zone just to expand an idea. Since then I've made a conscious effort to continually do so. That's my input for now... just evolve your ideas & step out of your comfort zone, so that eventually you're comfortable no matter where you go & what you're doing.

  • food for thought... dictionary.com says design is:

    1. the act of working out the form of something (as by making a sketch or outline or plan); "he contributed to the design of a new instrument"
    2. an arrangement scheme; "the awkward design of the keyboard made operation difficult"; "it was an excellent design for living"; "a plan for seating guests"
    3. something intended as a guide for making something else; "a blueprint for a house"; "a pattern for a skirt" [syn: blueprint]
    4. a decorative or artistic work; "the coach had a design on the doors"
    5. an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions; "his intent was to provide a new translation"; "good intentions are not enough"; "it was created with the conscious aim of answering immediate needs"; "he made no secret of his designs" [syn: purpose]
    6. a preliminary sketch indicating the plan for something; "the design of a building"
    7. the creation of something in the mind [syn: invention]

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