Urban Fold

Recovery Through the Open Source Design Movement

With the devastation in Haiti fresh in mind, Good's Alissa Walker takes a look at the growing practice of sharing design ideas.

It's essentially the open source movement for design, where ideas and designs are freely shared to facilitate social change. In this case, some of those designs could be shared to ease the recovery in Haiti.

"Offering up proprietary information seems like a radical departure for companies involved in research and development, but it's becoming standard for many creative and technology firms to share. Designers, with a flair for making complex information visible and understandable, are especially skilled in this area. Transparency is one of the key tenets of the Designers Accord, which is the biggest global community of creatives focused on creating positive impact (and another of the GOOD 100). The Designers Accord mission instructs adopters to "codify best practices to achieve the greatest impact," which includes publishing their tools and materials. After the group's first summit last year (with GOOD's Casey Caplowe above), founder Valerie Casey is planning on making their findings public with an educators toolkit. Another conference, the Aspen Design Summit, which convened in November, has gone to special lengths to make the outcome of the summit widely available, and publishes updates on Change Observer. Paul Polak's book Out of Poverty is essentially a guidebook for designers and entrepreneurs who want to bring social change to economically-depressed communities."

Full Story: Steal This Design: The Power of Sharing Best Practices in Moments of Disaster


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