At our Made Good: An evening to celebrate design & its promise for social change event, Dawn Hancock was the first to share how she incorporates social responsibility into her practice. Dawn’s studio, Firebelly, was founded and operates under the mission of “good design for good reason.” Dawn started her studio because she wanted to give back and do work that made a difference. Dawn’s mission and that of Firebellly, has never changed.She’s never had to question her ethics.
When the AIGA Design For Good initiative was introduced, the Atlanta chapter new that is was something they wanted to get involved in, but were unsure who to proceed with a program. They had questions they needed to find answers to about how such a program would operate. Their solution: Good Thinking, a "volunteer organization that produces 'design for good' while demonstrating best practices, ethics and standards of the design profession."
Our last presenter was Aly Khalifa who spoke about how he incorporates social responsibility and sustainability into his process. Aly's background is in mechanical engineering and product design. Wanting to find a way to give back, Aly got invovled with the US LEAP organization that works to promote respect for workers in Latin America. Aly was working as a product designer at a bicycle gear company. He got approval to use fabric produced in Guatemala for a line of bicycle gloves. Purchasing the fabric from Guatemala would pour money into their economy. He was surprised the fabric was approved as it was expensive. He said this was the start of his "meddling."
I met Doug Grimmett, at this year's AIGA Leadership Retreat in Philadelphia. Doug presented a Chapter Inspiration Stories at one of the General Sessions during the retreat. The story: Good Thinking, and it truly was inspirational. The AIGA Atlanta Chapter's Design For Good initiative works with Good Thinking on projects that create a positive social impact on the communities they serve. Doug spoke about their work with City of Refuge in Atlanta. an organization that provides social services and transformative programs to poverty and crime ridden neighborhoods in Atlanta.
Dawn Hancock has always known she would find a way to give back, because as she says, “I never thought design and doing good in the world were mutually exclusive.”1
She did more than find a way, she created a culture that breeds socially responsible design. in 1999, she founded Firebelly Design, a studio that does “work for people we think are making a difference in the world.”2
With the mantra “Good Design for Good Reason.™” the studio is a pioneer in socially responsible design, and continues to live the principles of sustainable innovation and social responsibility.
Aly Khalifa is a design and engineering leader with a deep commitment to creative culture. He has built an immense portfolio of work based on design-driven social change which has greatly benefited the North Carolina design community and beyond. In recognition of his catalytic role in the community, Khalifa has been chosen as the third-ever Fellow of AIGA Raleigh- an achievement reserved for designers who have made a significant contribution to raising the standards or excellence in practice and conduct within the design community.
Since 1999, AIGA Raleigh has honored two design community leaders as Fellows of the chapter—Meredith Davis and David Burney. On September 26th at Made Good, we’ll be recognizing Aly Khalifa as our chapter’s third Fellow.
Here in North Carolina, three years after transforming AIGA Raleigh into a grassroots organization, our board has decided the time is right to begin our next major endeavor worth pursuing—we are very proud to present Made Good, a one-night-only special event designed to foster a public conversation about bringing socially responsible design practice into our communities, workplaces, processes, and among our peers. Thursday, September 26th at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, three successful entrepreneurs who have all done amazing design work with real social impact will join us for presentations, a panel discussion, and a Q&A session with the audience—all to provide inspiration, practical advice, and conversation on bringing a socially responsible focus to your professional practice. Made Good will feature Chicago's Dawn Hancock of Firebelly Design and the Firebelly Foundation talking about how to take action in your workplace; AIGA Atlanta Fellow Doug Grimmett of Primal Screen and Good Thinking Atlanta will talk about taking action in your community, and Raleigh's own Aly Khalifa of Gamil Design, designbox, SPARKcon, and Lyf Shoes will talk about taking action in your process.
Design for Good needs your help! We'd like to feature you, all of the creative minds that make up our chapter for the upcoming Made Good event.
We're relaunching the Window Project and you can help us in three easy steps:
Intoxicating. Unifying. Inspirational. Rejuvenating. The 2013 Leadership Retreat, held in Philadelphia, brought together 68 chapters to collaborate and reconnect. But most importantly it brought us all together to take a look forward, encouraging us to keep the momentum going amongst our individual chapters and collectively as One AIGA. It is no surprise that the Design for Good initiative was at the forefront of this momentum, with a strong emphasis on the role design thinkers are playing in the community.
Now is an important and exciting time to get involved with AIGA Raleigh’s Design for Good movement. AIGA Raleigh is hosting The Window Project, a challenge to effect positive social change in your immediate surroundings through creative thought. It’s meant to encourage everyone in the creative community to take a more active role in confronting the social needs of our neighborhoods. Here are a few things to consider when getting involved with The Window Project.