What Is Design For Social Impact?
In the past few years, our society has experienced a monumental shift in our awareness and understanding of the real-world systems that shape our daily lives. What’s more, many of us are discovering how these systems limit the opportunities of certain marginalized communities – and a growing number of people are committing to changing this for the better.
For current and soon-to-be professionals in the design industry, an empowering concept has emerged: the ability to utilize design to fuel social change. Referred to as “design for social impact,” or “social impact design,” this idea has opened the door to an incredible amount of discussion and learning within the field.
Let’s take a close look at the concept of social impact design and what it means for the present and future of the industry.
What is Design for Social Impact?
In simplest terms, social impact design is a form of design that specifically takes aim at humanitarian issues, intending to create opportunities for change. Design for social impact is largely focused on giving a voice to marginalized and disenfranchised individuals, specifically those affected by shortcomings in traditional design.
As you would imagine, social impact design is a highly complex and involved concept that requires extensive research, observation, and assessment. The usual performance indicators don’t measure the success of social impact design efforts. Instead, they are evaluated based on how effectively the intended users’ needs were met, their experience, and their response/feedback.
What We’re Learning about Social Impact Design
We already know that excellent design contributes positively to the human environment and experience. Social impact design takes this principle one step further, leveraging design practices to catalyze systemic change and improve the quality of life of individuals that have long been marginalized.
There is still a lot to learn about designing for social impact and what success in the field looks like. And because working to improve social outcomes is a drawn-out process – as we all know, change takes time – evaluating social impact design will require long-term studies.
Why Designing for Social Impact Matters
There is no question that design is all around us: the content we consume daily, the materials we use for work and school, and how we communicate. As a social impact designer, you have the potential to utilize your skills for a good cause.
Examples of Design for Social Impact
Exactly how do you design for social impact? There are so many different mediums, ideas, and approaches that you can utilize – ultimately, it is up to you to determine how to use design as a tool for social change!
One real-world example of social impact design is the Rebuild Foundation, which works to revitalize Chicago’s south side using art, design, and architecture. The Rebuild Foundation is an outstanding representation of how design and activism can overlap, creating enduring effects that have the power to transform communities, small and large.
Be a Part of the Future of Conscious Design Starting Now!
Design for social impact is just one of the many concepts transforming the industry and redefining the principles of the world of media. Now more than ever, a career in digital media production can be your way to make a positive difference in our society – all while fulfilling your creative passion.
Whether you’re motivated by an interest in social impact design or another aspect of media, there’s never been a better time to begin working toward your dream career. At the Beonair Network of Media Schools, with campuses located in Miami, Chicago, Colorado, and Ohio, our Digital Media Production program provides students with hands-on, comprehensive education and interactive learning experiences.
Ultimately, the program aims to equip students with the tools and knowledge necessary to nurture their interests and goals, specifically by providing a broad perspective on everything that digital media production entails.
Turn your talent, creativity, and passion into a long-term career: Apply to join our media-focusing education and training programs now!
Featured Images: Business stock, soi7studio, & Party people studio / Shutterstock