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NEW YORK—October 27, 2011. Every day across the United States, designers are helping to create better communities by working with nonprofits and citizen groups to improve the
human experience. Many designers already volunteer their design, branding and strategy expertise to worthy
causes, yet these projects are often isolated by geography, and
long-term efforts can run out of steam when they rely heavily on the donated
time of just one or two designers.
AIGA, the professional association for design, is launching
the Design for Good initiative to connect and amplify the pro bono efforts of designers, firms,
students and chapters across the country—and in turn, inspire more involvement.
Through Design for Good, AIGA will enable a network of more than 22,000 designers, hundreds of design educators, 66 chapters and 200 student groups to
become engaged in projects where they can demonstrate the power of
design to communities, their business leaders and the public.
By connecting socially engaged designers with resources—such
as advice, inspiration, training and opportunities to do this type of work—AIGA hopes to expand the reach of these social engagement projects without
increasing the burden on individual designers. A key component of the program
is sharing case studies of success stories so that designers across the country
can replicate effective programs from one community to others.
“Design for Good is a long-term commitment of AIGA to
provide designers with opportunities to work together with other community
leaders on solving complex problems that benefit from the power of creative
solutions,” said AIGA executive director Richard Grefé, describing the many
dimensions of this initiative. “By assuming leadership roles in these projects,
designers will facilitate teams representing many different skills,
demonstrating in the process that designers provide unusual value in ways that affect many citizens. It will increase their involvement with communities’
business leaders, and support the profession’s position that design creates
value—whether in the broader competitive economy or in terms of social capital.”
Design for Good is not just about designers donating their
time to a cause. By working together to solve complex social problems, AIGA is
enabling designers, firms, chapters and groups to demonstrate the value of
design to our local communities, elected officials and business leaders. “While
Design for Good is a pro bono initiative, we must not lose sight of the fact
that ‘pro bono’ means ‘for good,’ not ’for free,’” Grefé continued. “There
is a promising future in solving our citizens’ problems between the roles of
capital markets and the public sector.”
Attendees at “Pivot: AIGA Design Conference” in Phoenix this
month got a sneak peek at the program through an inspirational video and
in-depth discussions with the program’s leaders—including Doug Powell, principal
of Schwartz Powell in Minneapolis and president of AIGA, and Manuel Toscano,
principal of the corporate identity firm Zago. The
project has already attracted funding from the National Endowment for the
Arts, PepsiCo and Sappi Ideas that Matter—and AIGA plans to work
locally with GOOD to develop creative solutions to urban problems.
Readers are encouraged to visit designforgood.aiga.org
to learn more about this movement through videos, case studies and advice on
leading pro bono projects, as well as ways to submit success stories, share best
practices and connect with resources and social engagement networks. AIGA is
working to build a national database of socially focused projects and
encourages thoughtful participation from peer organizations and nonprofits.
AIGA is the professional association for design, a nonprofit
organization dedicated to advancing design as a professional craft,
strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA
today serves more than 22,000 members through 66 chapters and 200
student groups throughout the United States. AIGA stimulates
thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and
empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers.
Learn more at aiga.org/about.
For further information, please contact: Jennifer
AIGA | the professional association for design
Tel 212 710 3136 Fax 212 807 1799
AIGA’s chapters allow our members to form powerful social and
professional bonds through conferences, competitions, lectures and
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and plays a crucial role in determining the mission of AIGA.
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