Workshop 1:
Strategies for

June 18 – 23, 2017

Design is a discipline that can provide better interactions around complex issues. Design’s job is to make messages more visible, communications simpler to understand, and services more accessible and effective.

Community engagement refers to the process by which a community (represented by a selection of organizations and individuals) is actively involved in building a collective solution for its own benefit. By collaboratively improving the design and delivery of public services, designers can assist communities in building more satisfying and meaningful lives.

This one-week intensive workshop will focus on how to collaborate at the grassroots level with a local community group. Using a New York City, neighborhood non-profit as a case study, participants will learn how to partner with local community leaders, organizations and residents to develop collaborative relationships. Interview and research techniques will cover the process of information gathering as well as navigating complex social, political and cultural factors. Creating a process that is transparent and participatory is critical to success.

A partnership with the New York City Department of Small Business Services will take the program out of the realm of theoretical thinking and extend it into the real world, giving participants experience that is transferable to their own communities.

Conversations with a dynamic range of experts and community leaders will engage participants in a dialog around a number of relevant topics.

The session will kick-off, 5:00 – 8:00 pm on Sunday, June 18 with a meet-and-greet over pizza.

As the program develops over the coming months we will post additional information.


Workshop 2:
Strategies for

June 26 – 30, 2017

While the road to social change is paved with good ideas and good intentions this does not mean these concepts ever reach their full potential. For an idea to be sustainable it needs to be more than a good idea, it needs to be built on a solid strategic foundation.

Many design, communication and architecture professionals have turned their efforts to self-generated, non-client-based projects, geared toward positive community impact.

This one-week intensive workshop will focus on three critical areas for those taking an entrepreneurial approach: ecosystem mapping, creative sessions and prototyping. Participants will develop the strategic foundation for a socially minded, design-driven project and leave with an understanding of the steps needed to make it a reality.

A variety of mapping tools will be utilized to explore the elements of a system to gain an understanding of where and how to intervene for positive change. Creative sessions will help to develop best practices in forming well-articulated key questions for guiding inquiry, along with designing effective ideation sessions. Participants will then render quick, rough prototypes.

To get the most out of the session, participants should arrive with a project concept to build upon – real or conceptual. An assignment, with guidance, will be distributed a month before the start of the program to prepare everyone in advance.

» Download a PDF about the 2017 summer program.

About SVA

The School of Visual Arts is a dynamic multidisciplinary institution in New York City with a faculty of more than 1,000 and a student body of over 3,800 representing 46 states and 49 countries.

SVA is widely recognized as one of the finest art and design schools in the country for its innovative and experimental program philosophies, its participation in the cultural life of New York City and the accessibility it offers to its unparalleled faculty of professional artists and designers.