My thesis research will continue as I write my book but choose a few different forms to summarize much of it for my exhibition.

Process Book
This book documents some of my thesis research. The majority of the book features essays that have helped to shape my thinking about social design and it's peppered with excerpts from my book pitch, papers or abstracts from four social design conferences that I spoke at or wrote about I exaggerated the fact that this is a “process” book by photocopying and annotating each section. Download the book in its entirety (90 MB).

Eighteen Social Design Terms that Mean the Same Thing
I addressed the branding war that surrounds “social design” with this justified, hand-painted, nine-foot-tall column. The recent popularity of community-based graphic design has spawned dozens of terms that share the same meaning. This painting demonstrates the redundancy of these terms and pettiness of this branding war.

Database Distractions & Relevant Synonyms
I created these two posters to show the online popularity and relevance of social design terms and the difficulty of searching for “social design” articles and books in popular research databases.

An important part of my research is to become part of the larger, social design conversation. I talked about social design in June 2009 at the UCDA Design Education Conference in Mobile, AL, and I presented my thesis research at the Response_Ability Conference in Toledo, OH, in May 2010. I contributed a social design research paper to the ICOGRADA Education Network Conference that was held in Beijing, China, in October 2009. So far, I have learned the most from A Better World By Design, which took place in Providence, RI in October 2009. I wrote a review of this conference which caught the attention of Core 77 and lead to me becoinge a regular contributor to this popular design blog. I use this opportunity to talk about some of my thesis research that deals with fundraising, which will be a section in my book.

Recruiting Designers
I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to choose the right projects in my book. I have decided to only include projects where designers worked closely with communities to develop graphic design solutions that address specific social problems. I am interested in finding any project that gives insight into the design process, especially those where the design did not succeed in helping the community it was intended to reach. These can be either pro bono or for-profit graphic design projects and they can be in any medium. Each contributing designer will approve how their work is represented in the book before it is published. Download this pdf to read the questionnaire that designers fill out to submit their work and contact me if you want to submit a project.

Images from my thesis exhibition

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