Review: ‘Designing for Social Change

The need for co-design, transdisciplinary design or social design, or a host of other names the methodology of interaction with all stakeholders in an inclusive design process which moves beyond the confines of accepted academic and professional disciplines is receiving the attention it deserves, while this review of new book focusses on graphic design for social change, it is relevant for all designers trying to achieve a more holistic and sustainable result in their work.  From [polis}

It is my hope that we are only in the infancy of the “social design” movement — a time when genuine social engagement remains a peripheral niche in the field of design. In “Designing for Social Change” Andrew Shea confirms this hope by demonstrating the enormous potential for growth, professional satisfaction and transformative change that social design wields. In outlining 10 strategies for community engagement, and breathing life into them with two concise case studies apiece, the book inspires and teaches in equal measure.

Each case illustrates the design process from beginning to end, from the design challenge to the engagement and design strategy to outcomes and lessons learned. While clear and striking images of designed booklets, posters and signs abound, photos of communities interacting with and using these products is given priority. As such, this reads as a handbook for action that appeals specifically to graphic designers seeking to engage communities through their work. However, the strategies are broadly applicable to any designer looking to fully inform his or her product with a well-conceived and context-sensitive process.

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