Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Design Activism: Seminar at NeoCon Tradeshow

This past week I had the opportunity to attend a seminar sponsored by Focus on Design (FOD), a Washington DC based group that creates opportunities that encourages diversity, social responsibility and professional development among design professionals.

The group brought together the panel: Paul Kusz, Associate Director of the Stuart School of Business Center for Sustainable Enterprise at Illinois Institute of Technology; Dr. Elizabeth Turnstal, Associate Professor of Design Antropology at University of Illinois at Chicago; and David Walker, of RTKL Associates - Chicago, an Architect and Urban Designer; and Ricardo Gomes, Professor and Chair of the Department of Design and Industry at San Francisco State University to discuss examples of designer's facilitating positive solutions to some of society big issues.

The unifying theme of their presentations was that each speaker establish a case on a broad "systems level" the opportunity for designer's to participate in the identifying appropriate answers to societal questions of sustainable organizations, governance and the production of artifact's, building sustainable cities and designing for aging populations. I look forward to more presentations where designers are asked to look beyond product issues to uncover systematic problems and how both should be considered on the path to leading to the best design a solution.

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