Under the double negative banner “we cannot not change the world” a group has launched a forum for social design. They say, ” The SocialDesignSite aims to foster and facilitate a discourse on social design by establishing a unique interactive platform between everyone interested on the topic. We present innovative projects that help develop and sharpen our common understanding of social design in context and practice. ”
I love the idea behind this site, but in looking through a few of the projects it becomes clear that they are about designing social interactions and interventions, not about applying traditional design disciplines (eg architecture or product design) to social issues. Of course, there is some overlap between these two approaches, and a few of their social marketing examples (such as retired weapons graphics) illustrate the application of traditional design disciplines to redesigning social frameworks.
But to see what I mean, consider this example of the global village school that I found under keyword “conflict.” The school offers “an accredited, customizable K-12 homeschooling program via online and text-based curriculum, complete with individualized teacher services. Their curriculum integrates peace, justice, and diversity studies with the core subjects. ”
Still, I think the site will interest and inspire designers, as long as they know that it is not aimed explicitly at the traditional design disciplines, and rather, is aimed at the notion of redesigning social life using a variety of disciplines.