Developing Citizen Designers


The aim of Developing Citizen Designers is to enable students, educators and designers in the early stages of their careers to learn and practice design in a socially responsible manner. It responds to the rise of academic debate and teaching in the areas of social design, sustainable design, ethical design and design futures. Citizen Designers is a practically and pedagogically focused book, with each chapter addressing a particular area or issue within design practice and education, with an overview framing essay, interviews with practitioners and educators, and assignment briefs through which the reader can understand the process by which a brief is set, met and critiqued.

Developing Citizen Designers features the Family Van Wrap Redesign by Elizabeth Resnick at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The Family Van collaborated with the Center for Art and Community Partnerships (CACP) whose mission is to match MassArt community with neighborhood organizations to create mutually beneficial, sustainable partnerships in art and design. Students from CACP were given a four-week challenge to reimagine the existing visual exterior of the Family Van. The fourteen designs were selected to undergo community testing, and eventually the local community residents chose the final design. Their work offers an example of an undergraduate design project that went beyond the classroom and was a professional and meaningful experience.