Exploring the Impact of Public Interest Design

A new series of documentary films seeks to explore the value and impact of public interest projects designed using the SEED process, which is based on a belief that design can be a catalyst for positive change within the public at large.

Produced by Design Corps, a North Carolina-based non-profit design organization, and funded by a grant from the Fetzer Institute, the SEEDocs series will document from concept to completion award winning projects that incorporate the Social Economic Environmental Design® (SEED) process. This process is based on "the belief that design can play a vital role in the most critical issues that face communities and individuals" and advocates the need for design professionals to work alongside locals who know their community and its needs. "This practice of 'trusting the local' is increasingly recognized as a highly effective way to sustain the health and longevity of a place or a community as it develops."

According to Bryan Bell, founder and executive director of Design Corps, "SEEDocs are intended to initiate a fundamental change in the practice of the design professions, calling attention to the opportunity – even necessity, for design to become more than just a fee-based luxury for the few, but rather a catalyst for positive change within the entire public."

The first documentary in the series highlights the Owe'neh Bupingeh Preservation Plan and Rehabilitation Project in Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico. For this project, "community members were trained in traditional building techniques and played a key role in rebuilding houses and community spaces," as an essential element in "re-creating a more vital Pueblo center and reinvigorating cultural heritage traditions through the rehabilitation of the historic Pueblo core."

Full Story: Owe’neh Bupingeh Preservation Plan and Rehabilitation Project


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