During my seven-year tenure directing San Francisco-based nonprofit Public Architecture, I regularly found myself in foundation offices across the country—some modest but most very nicely designed. In each, I’d passionately pitch design as a unique and largely untapped means to impact a wide range of social challenges, including education, health, climate change, and urbanization.
More times than not, foundation leaders dismissed design as tangential—even superfluous—to their interest areas. Design simply didn’t fit into their grantmaking priorities or theories of change—ironic, given the obvious investment in their own beautifully designed offices.
However, in recent years, the pendulum has started to swing, thanks in large part to the human-centered design approach practiced and espoused by IDEO—especially its nonprofit spinoff, IDEO.org, launched in 2011. The two entities have crafted refreshingly clear, jargon-free language to describe design: “The process helps people hear the needs of users and communities, create innovative approaches to meet these needs, and deliver solutions that work in specific cultural and economic contexts.” continue lendo…