Our focus is the designers’ role in combining cultural sustainability and civic engagement to find creative solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Innovative strategies, systems thinking, distributed production, open design and creative risk-taking are yielding meaningful outcomes regarding climate protection, clean mobility, renewable energy, waste reduction, and social equality. Effective utilization of social media, web based maps and the internet have made much of the world dependent on mobile communication devices, which need a constant supply of power to keep roaming. Balancing their impact, new tools such as the Kill-a-watt, energy monitor mobile apps and solar charging stations visually link users with their home/work energy consumption. Others, such as Green Map, livingprinciples.org or Treehugger, put an environmental and social perspective on local resources and developments, motivating action that benefits the commons. Designers and social entrepreneurs are forming strong communities of practice and collective identity as desire shifts toward sufficiency and well-being. Entities willing to take a creative risk and a leadership role in adopting holistic design processes are becoming the leaders of our future development. Providing tools for educators to restructure the pedagogy is essential for preparing future creators to face the challenges with sanguine, innovative solutions. Join with us on a journey towards redesigning design.
Beth is an ecological designer, public artist and social entrepreneur. She has an MFA from the University of Texas, Austin and a BA from Hampshire College (both in ecological design and social innovation). Beth is the founding director of Sol Design Lab and has designed and toured with her SolarPump charging station at SXSW in Austin, TX, the Bay Area Maker Faire, Coachella festival in Indio, CA, the Roskilde festival in Denmark, Lollapalooza festival in Chicago and the San Jose Biennial in CA. Constant themes in her work include solutions to global warming and cultural change. She has presented her work at many colleges and conferences and recently taught ecological design at Hampshire College. She has co-produced community murals, the human-powered Cycle Circus, books such as Mapping our Common Ground and LoMap, youth view of lower Manhattan.
Mouna Andraos seeks to demystify & disseminate technology as a way to empower people to imagine new possibilities for the tools and environments that surround them. Ranging from urban scale to tiny, her designs attempt to bring magic to everyday places, behaviours or objects. Mouna is an alumni of Eyebeam's Open Lab and NYU's ITP and her work has won numerous recognitions including a best of show at SXSW.
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