About the Program
Impact: Design for Social Change is an advanced program that runs on two parallel tracks: Track One will focus on social entrepreneurship and educate students on how to conceive, execute and fund their own projects for social change – projects that are not client-based. At the end of the workshop each student will have a fully developed concept with clear steps on how to implement it if they choose to do so.
Along Track Two, students will participate in the development and execution of a team project that addresses a pressing need for a New York City-based non-profit organization. The approach will be different from the traditional client-designer relationship in that the non-profit will not bring to the table a pre-determined assignment. Students will consult with each organization to access a problem to tackle.
This is a program at a level on par with graduate studies. The intensive offers advanced students and working professionals a unique opportunity to study with faculty composed of leading designers and social entrepreneurs. In addition, weekly lectures and field trips will allow students to directly interact with a dynamic range of innovators in the field.
This is a rapidly growing area of design. This program will instill in participants the confidence, self-motivation and collaborative spirit which will be needed as they continue on to work as design activists.
Professionals, educators and advanced students in the following disciplines are invited to participate: advertising, graphic design, product design, information design, interactive design, fashion design, photography and illustration. The program is oriented towards these design disciplines but we have had architects and social entrepreneurs participate.
This six week summer intensive takes place in the center of New York City at the School of Visual Arts.
Click here to download a pdf of the program summary.
“This program was one of the best experiences of my life so far. Being surrounded every day for six weeks by such high calibre mentors and new friends—all on the same wavelength—was incredibly energising. Impact! left me with a sense of hope for the future of design, rejuvenated my faith in design as a tool for good and filled me to the brim with inspiration.”
Sinéad McDevitt, professional designer, Sydney, Australia
“Impact met my expectations and far exceeded them. I started the program with a personal project I was passionate about and came out with the knowledge, confidence and drive to make that project and others like it grow exponentially. This program is exactly what I needed professionally and personally. It helped me remember my strengths, introduced me to new resources and possibilities, and connected me with outstanding and talented people in the area of design and social change.”
Peyton Rowe, associate professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
“Impact! has, by far, been the single most inspiring, valuable, and fulfilling academic program in which I’ve participated. Working and learning alongside seniors, graduate students, professionals, and professors from around the world was beyond what I expected. Overall, the course introduced so many facets overlooked by typical design educations that I would highly recommend it to not only designers, but anyone interested in entrepreneurship, idea-craft, and pro-social business.”
Matt Johnson, graduate student in design, University of Cincinnati
“The program was great! Even after many years of professional design and teaching experience I learned a lot. The faculty was exceptional, fieldtrips so inspiring, colleagues and students very supportive. I now teach everything that I learned in my college classes.”
Cedomir Kostovic, professional designer and professor, Missouri State University
“Design addressing social change was a new field to me. I was very curious about how it worked and how designers could play a role in it and at the same time make a living. I now know that using design as a tool for social change is possible. It’s hard work, but if we believe in it obsessively enough and never it give up, we can actually affect and play an active role in the time and place in which we live.”
Inês Veiga, professional designer, Lisbon, Portugal
“The instructors for the program were chosen for a reason, they weren’t chosen merely for their skills and accolades but most importantly they were chosen for their passion! New York City is one of the greatest places on earth with almost everything imaginable to see and do.”
David Mierke, architecture student, University of Cincinnati