These final projects, which have been two weeks
of research and four weeks of designing, are
explorations into the power of design to address
domestic social needs. All students have been
participating with local nonprofits in Providence
throughout the semester to uncover how a product,
service, system, space or strategy can improve
the services of the organization or the benefactors
The projects uncover the dialogue lingering among
many of us in our world of uncertain times: what
is the power of design and what is the role of the
industrial designer as a contributor to our society?
From development strategies, bike-sharing programs,
volunteer orientation booklets, to business strategies
for homeless entrepreneurs and more, you will find a
wide range of contributions, which we can then ask-
is this design or what role does design play in these
The presentations will be followed by a discussion
about the questions posed in this class. What are the
opportunities of design for social impact? What might
be some of the methods to best engage in a new
community or culture to design for/with them? What
is the role and relevancy of the industrial designer in
addressing some of the leading issues of our day?
The Art and Nature Studio
Liam Van Vleet
The youth attending CityArts
come from Providence’s inner-city
communities where they lack access
to the beauty of our natural world.
The Art and Nature Studio aims
12:00-12:15 Introduction to bring nature to Providence
youth, beginning an essential bond
between our environment and the
Education arts. The studio, an engaging space
12:15-12:45 Liam Van Vleet housing specimens from all walks of life, utilizes hands-on interaction,
12:45-1:15 Krisa Ryan investigation and participation to provide outlets for a range of learning
styles, talents and interests. It is an opportunity for the kids to learn from
Youth/Children their natural world, to develop an understanding of our living planet, and
to become life-long advocates for the environment.
1:15-1:45 Elena Riccio
1:45-2:15 Fiona Rupert
Women’s Issues Krisa Ryan
2:30-3:00 Hayden Reilly
The volunteer training process
for Project Open Door has been
Homelessness unorganized and impromptu, without
3:00-3:30 Nathan Bastien a planned calendar, explanation of
the layout of the program, guidelines,
Transportation responsibilities, and a social
3:30-4:00 Nathan Phipps approach to teaching high school
students. Due to these inadequacies,
a proper training process needs
4:00-4:15 Break to be implemented to make the
transition as a volunteer a smooth and enticing one.
This mission of the Peppers initiative is to improve Project Open
Door’s after school program through a coherent three-part volunteer
What is the role and relevancy of industrial engagement process.
design in today’s society?
The Rhode Show RI Women’s Center
Elena Riccio Hayden Reilly
A main problem for the Rhode Satisfaction and good morale within
Show is the fact that they are not as the workforce is interdependent with
financially sustainable as some of feeling successful. Success for the
the other cottage industries within workers in the Women’s Center of
AS220. Rhode Island is connected to the
self sufficiency and attitude of the
The goal of this project is to develop residents they serve.
a better promotion strategy to attract
people to donate, come to shows, The mission of this project is to
and buy the CDS. Having better promotion strategies means more create an experience that aids
opportunities for everyone participating in these great organizations. the success of the residents of the Women’s Center of RI, reﬂect this
success to the workers, and in turn lead to a higher quality of service
and perpetuate a tradition of achievement, dialogue and empowerment.
The International Institutes main Nathan Bastien
goal is to give Refugees the tools
they need to live a happy and self- The objective of Local401 is to
sufficient life here in Providence, develop and test human centered
but they are yet to put into
motion any long term plans for a
401 product design strategies in local
communities. The process focuses
children’s program. While the I.I., on developing partnerships and
does currently offer a short-term participating in engaged research,
babysitting facility it currently has no where it is crucial to meet, work with,
budget for a daycare program, and does not have the means to create and learn from, local overlooked
one. communities. The solutions utilize
a variety of local material scrap,
The mission of this Proposal for Change is to create and implement a and manufacturing cut-off, creating an affordable and sustainable
volunteer strategy that encourages local members of the community to product. Production jobs and job training will be made available to
become actively involved with the refugee children. It will be the goal of homeless individuals in the community. Local 401 aims to connect local
this program to help the children integrate into their new surroundings in communities with local resources to develop local solutions.
a healthy and productive way.
Nathan Phipps Questions
As a part of RISD’s Bike-Town, Pink What is the role and relevancy of the industrial designer in
Rides is a bike sharing program
which extends the joys of cycling to
those who do not own bikes in order What are the core values of Industrial Design?
to promote active living, sustainable
transportation and interpersonal
connectedness. How can we preserve the core and stimulate progress?
What is ID’s Hedgehog principle?
1. What are we most passionate about?
2. What are we the best in the world at?
3. What drives our economic engine?
Are we the “save the world generation”?
“What if in the future, the importance of Industrial Design
takes a backseat to “product ecosystems?” -Core77
Is it our place to solve other people’s problems?
Or is it about the problems we cause?
How do you come to know and design for a community new to you?
Do we make change, or do we make tools for change?
Can we design and do?
How does Design for Social Impact affect “green” design?
Can we slow down our consumer engine while still driving the economy?
Thank you for joining the DeSE studio in our project critiques. Is it possible to realize collaborative projects where on-going relationship-
Now please join us for our discussion. The following pages are questions, building and deep listening are prerequisites to the project’s success?--
thoughts and words to spark conversation. Feel free to be inspired by OPE
the text here or jump in with any other thoughts or questions you might
have from today’s presentations or your personal experiences.
Is Design for Social Impact a:
Questions, Thoughts b. Responsibility
and Words to Ponder...>> d. Pleasure
“I will continue to fight for environmental and social justice. If this path
leads me to use design as my weapon, so be it.” -LvV
“Giving the community not only something for today,
but something for tomorrow.” -FR
wants vs. needs
“The how is the most crucial.” -HR problem solving
products vs. strategy
“It seems that people are more likely to help with something that is holistic understanding
already running than take initiative.” NP
revolution vs. radical incremental
“Once I felt like a part of it, I started to understand more.” - HR
“The true solutions to these problems may very well not be our products, art vs. design
but our minds.” -WH
thinking vs. making
“People care about people.” [in comparison to environment] American
-dContinuum Design for America
“Dignity and Justice for All”- Human Rigths Day Applied Empathy
“Running all over the place, talking to people and making
connections is more what design should be.” -LvV Humanitarian
“I never wanted to give the impression that I know what they need.” - Bottom of the Pyramid