Design for the Common Good (DCG) is a coalition of networks who are committed to design practice, education, and research that improves social, economic, and environmental outcomes for its users. Five international networks represent this effort to support and promote systemic change in the practices of design with the intent of building on the common ground we share. These networks are DesignBuildXchange Europe, Live Projects Network, Pacific Rim Community Design Network, SEED Network and the newest member Curry Stone Foundation. While each network has a unique focus, we acknowledge our mutually shared vision: supporting the growth of design for the common good.
The Design for the Common Good International Exhibition asserts the value of public interest design, an emerging practice that envisions a community-centered approach in the design of buildings, environments, products, and systems. It is a practice that champions growing knowledge, evolving processes, and activating participation while tackling complex issues with the direct involvement of people—communities, stakeholders, designers, as well as educators and their students—is the heart of this work. Through this lens, the Design for Common Good International Exhibition showcases projects curated from within the five international design organizations that comprise the Design for the Common Good Network. The resulting exchange of ideas in this inaugural network exhibition provides compelling evidence that designers and communities work best together when sharing resources, and knowledge that aim to improve quality of life for people worldwide.
As curator of the exhibition (open from Jan 14, 2022-March 19, 2022) I have the honor and privilege of bringing these 30 culturally rich projects representing six continents to MSU Denver. As part of my integrated approach to practice and pedagogy, my students have been involved in shaping the exhibition itself. During the Spring 2021 semester, students in my CDES 3623 Identity and Systems Design course worked in teams and with an international group of stakeholders to propose exhibition brandmark solutions. This semester, students from my CDES 4151 Design in Public Space course and students from Professor Amy Kern’s IND 390O Sustainable Design Lab are collaborating in the design of the CVA exhibition space itself. My colleague Peter Bergman is working with students from his CDES 3215 Type Aesthetics course to design the exhibition catalog. Additionally, my colleague Shawn Meek is designing an exhibition app.
Our collective work embodies the practice of public interest design and the spirit of Design for the Common Good. Our collaboration seeks to strengthen the confluence of forces needed to create truly healthy, resilient, and sustainable design projects that will create positive change in the world.