Thursday, September 3, 2009

This is EXACTLY what we were talking about today!

This article ( is a perfect example of what we were talking about in today's social design class. Frankly, it really pissed me off to read this. HOW can people think a speech will "brainwash" their children and why would they want to? Plus, what he is talking about (staying in school, doing well, ect.) should be something that is indoctrinated into our children! What is so wrong with convincing a child to pursue their education! I am wondering if it boils down to the fact we said today, "no one can ever be happy" with the government. I think they are taking offense in this speech just to take offense to something. I personally want to applaud Obama for the courage of making a speech to such a broad audience with such different levels of maturity.

What IS Social Design?

I was asked for my Design class to define "Social Design". So, I began my research like any college student would-- wikipedia. To my dismay, I found wikipedia to be as clueless as I was on the subject: (and I quote wiki here) "Social design has many definitions and the term is put to very different uses across the globe. Some definitions exist within the design world and refers to design in its traditional sense, meaning the shaping of products and services. Other definitions refer to social design as the creation of social reality; design of the social world" (

The last statement got me to thinking. When I think of "creation of social reality" I can't help but get images of Adolfus Huxley-esque Utopian societies. How can one engineer society? I also realized, that my original perception of social design being a "community- centered" principle might have been short sighted. If social design is defined culturally, or even the definition of culture itself, it seems hard to pinpoint what social design truly is. I think in order to determine a definition for social design one must determine what definition they are looking for: personal, regional, or global.

From there I continued my search and I found a site called which linked me to a youtube video called "We Cannot NOT Change the World!" ( ) This was actually quite helpful. It interviewed various social designers and have them define what social design meant to them. This video is very informative in almost a scholarly way about the principles of their definition of social design; however, I still felt it was very ambiguous as to what "social design" was. So, I decided to look at the social designers featured in the video in more depth.

Illegal Beauty (

Illegal Beauty is an organization that follows the stories of "people without papers". Basically, they have set up an awareness campaign about the life illegal immigrants face when they come to a new country. Illegal Beauty works in many different mediums from songs and fashion to full installations.

Retired Weapons (
Retired Weapons is an art project dedicated to ending violence and sadness. They publish images of silhouetted weapons with flowers growing out of them to spread there word of peace.

From those two sites alone and the video I have started to come to a conclusion about the definition of "social design". To me, social design is about caring--caring about anything really. Social Design is art, ideas, or actions devoted to social betterment and change. Social Design seeks to right wrongs at home and globally. Anyone can be a social designer, they just need passion and drive towards fixing something in there daily lives. I still feel that I am lacking some information about the true meaning of social design but, I feel I am approaching a definition. I will update as I find out more.