Announcing the Fall 2011 Design Ignites Change Award Winners
The winning projects of the Fall 2011 Design Ignites Change Awards demonstrate that the future of design as a means of bringing meaningful and relevant positive change to the world is a bright one. The projects chosen are not only innovative and well-researched solutions, but also have the potential to positively affect communities across the globe due to their scalability.
The Implementation Award will support two outstanding projects: Safe Agua – Ducha Halo, from Narbeth Dereghishian and Jessica Yeh at Art Center College of Design, and Design Thinking in Rural North Carolina, from Kirsten Southwell at North Carolina State University.
Ducha Halo was born from Art Center’s Safe Aqua project, which addresses the issues of water and poverty in Chile. Dereghishian and Yeh have designed an elegant yet simple product to be mass-produced for the developing world, with the goal of giving Chileans living in informal settlements access to a warm shower and a more dignified hygiene experience. The student’s methods included intensive field research on location in Chile and strategic collaboration with their community partner, Un Techo para mi País. The result is a solution that has the potential to increase the quality of life for thousands.
The award for Design Thinking in Rural North Carolina will help fund the development of a tool that aims to tailor the process of design thinking to serve outreach organizations working in rural communities of North Carolina. Rather than reinventing the wheel, Southwell hopes to strengthen the abilities of groups already working hard in the field. Just like Ducha Halo, this project has the potential to be scaled and bring meaningful, positive change to a wider audience.
The entrepreneurially minded Halal Hotdog project from Minneapolis College of Art and Design student, Brian Wiley, was awarded one of three Idea Awards. The prototype food cart Wiley built has already begun a tasty cultural exchange between Somali immigrants and residents of the Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis, MN.
Additional Idea Award winners, Crop’N’Shop and Moité-Moité, also use food and design as a means of bringing positive social change. Crop’N’Shop, by Sabrina Gnad, College of Visual Arts, is a proposal to utilize the popularity of online games like Farmville to promote healthy eating and consumer decisions. With Moité-Moité (which translates to “half and half” in French), Tania Jiménez, School of Visual Arts, proposes a series of thematic potlucks and cooking workshops for native Montrealers to welcome immigrants to their community.
To celebrate our newest mentoring program, School: by Design, we introduced a special award for the team with the most compelling school-redesign idea to receive money to implement their project. The winning project, Sow, by Kaitlan Martin, Shelby Whitlock, and Kelly Watts from Missouri State University is the result of a mentoring partnership with students from her studio and Bailey Alternative High School. They designed a collection of resources to be used alongside the already-existing greenhouse at the high school. The project’s goal is to nurture healthier and more sustainable lifestyles for the students and community of Springfield, as well as promote a more positive image of the school within the city.
The judges for this round, who had the difficult task of reviewing the most impressive and thoughtful group of projects submitted to date, were Doug Powell, AIGA/Schwartz Powell Design; John Carlin, Funny Garbage; Pam Williams, Williams & House; and Monica Harriss, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The increasingly elevated quality of work from the applicants is a testament to recent advances in social design education. Design Ignites Change is eager to continue supporting the ambitious students and faculty in this field.