Idea needs fertilizer...weeding

I’ve been kicking around this concept: A professional designer, employed and doing well for themselves and their clients, drives his/her well designed vehical of choice home at the end of their day. The realization sets in that despite what has been done for their clients (who can bankroll creative talent) a whole host of design challenges lay in the surrounding society… a society who is more often then not in need for immediate solutions to problems as simple as shelter, clean drinking water, and protection from the elements.

It seems that a lot of people are interested in sustainable design, eco design, etc… but what of bringing design solutions to the needy and the society as a whole? Is there a network of alturistic design mercenaries out there who, in addition to their professional work, ban together in groups to design and implement solutions to social problems with the knowledge that the only recognition they’ll recieve is an approving nod from those in the know? A group who can employ the honed competitiveness of the professional market to the solving of problems that count the most?

We see things every day in the news, on the street, etc. that shock and sicken us. We all realize that we need to work, we need to design products for our clients, that this is our job. I realize this and strive to maintain these professional standards, but this particular fourth year student wants more in addition to this. I want to confront the aspects of our society that a lot of people ignore. What I do is design beautiful, functional things. I want to use that to make a direct, positive impact on my enviroment now.

Advice? Organizations? Start from scratch?

Thank you.
Lucas Nene
CIA Industrial Design

You’ve got to go multi-disciplinary to make change, but ID can play a role.

I like what Archeworks is doing:

"Archeworks’ mission is to address social needs by developing and providing alternative design education solutions through a multi-disciplinary process.

By involving participants in actual hands-on projects, Archeworks exposes them to problems that are not generally addressed in other established design institutions. Archeworks seeks to break down conventional barriers between professional disciplines for the ultimate benefit of society."

go here:

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