Proactive Practices


Collaborative Research with Gilad Meron and Nick McClintock.

While the past decade has seen an explosion of interest in social impact design there has been a critical gap in understanding how this work actually gets done.

With a rising generation of designers who are increasingly looking towards design as a tool to address complex social issues, and a professional world that is increasingly looking to new markets and new modes of practice, the demand for insight on how to sustain practices that explicitly pursue social outcomes has never been greater.

Our research examines the strategies, methods, approaches and processes that leaders and pioneers in this emerging field of public-interest or social-impact design have employed to build sustainable community-based practices. Central to this research is developing a deep understanding of how these firms fund projects and develop viable business models to support their work long-term. We aim to understand both how this work is accomplished and how it is sustained over the long-term as a model of design practice, as well as the larger question of how the innovations in this sector are redefining the scope of the traditional design process.

Through speaking, workshops, consulting and publications or work is helping both students and professionals  take the next step towards pursuing careers in public interest design. Interested in working with us or having us speak at your event? Get in touch.

Spring 2015: Proactive Practices was awarded a research grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. If you want to be notified of our launch, sign up for our list.