News and updates from MICA Center for Social Design                                              View this email in your browser

October/November 2017
CSD collaborates with Baltimore Mayor's Office of Innovation

The Center for Social Design (CSD) began an exciting collaboration in October with the City of Baltimore Mayor's Office of Innovation. The new office works with Baltimore City agencies to design and develop projects using research, data and design to tackle a range of challenges. CSD hosted a visit and presentation by Director Dan Hymowitz, on October 23. The team of four also includes Emily Ianacone (MASD'15) who joined in November as the Civic Designer.

The Office of Innovation is initially focusing on supporting the Baltimore Policy Department (BPD) to improve its recruitment and hiring and has engaged CSD Associate Smile Indias (MASD'17) for two months to support efforts to explore the benefits and challenges of having/being female officers in BPD. Smile has facilitated a series of interviews and workshops, and hosted a session at CSD on November 21 to synthesize initial research findings.    
Two MASD'18 students receive Leslie King Hammond Award

The Leslie King Hammond Graduate Award recognizes MICA graduate students from diverse backgrounds, experiences and groups that have been historically underrepresented in the fields of art and design. We're delighted that two MASD'18 students are among the winners of this year's highly-competitive scholarship:

Valeria Fuentes: As a Latinx artist in Baltimore, Valeria is committed to racial equity in her work, particularly in addressing the lack of Latinx artists' voices in the city: "All of these experiences throughout my time at MICA have reinforced the idea that I can address social change as an artist and designer in more than one way." 

Kimberly Schulke: Kim's award proposal focused on her work with Playworks prior to coming to MICA, leading community service projects and supporting programming in Baltimore City Schools: "I value diversity because I believe by overcoming our individual differences we can solve collective problems." 
Valeria and Kim were both recognized and honored at the Award reception at the Motor House on November 30th.    
Design Research with Sarah Brooks, IBM Design

Sarah Brooks, Program Director of Design & Government at IBM Design in Washington, DC, led a two-week Design Research module to introduce MASD'18 to basic ethnographic research methods. Prior to joining IBM, Sarah was a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow and served as Chief Design Officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she led the Insight & Design Team.

Sarah shared examples of her work and tools and methods for human-centered design research. MASD put these skills into practice through a collaboration with Baltimore Design School (BDS), interviewing parents, students, teachers, and administrators in a process to reimagine the BDS library.     

HCD Bootcamp with Ramsey Ford, Design Impact

Ramsey Ford, Co-Founder and Design Director of Design Impact, led a three-day, intensive Human-centered Design (HCD) Bootcamp with the MASD'18 cohort, November 17-20. The HCD Bootcamp built upon the Design Research module around the question: "How might we engage the Baltimore Design School (BDS) community to create a library that enhances learning for all?"

The MASD students had the opportunity to practice their skills in research synthesis, ideation, prototyping and testing, manifesting in a presentation of their findings and ideas with BDS administrators, board members, students and teachers.     

Mindfulness Methods for MASD

Post-graduate social design fellow Denise Shanté Brown (MASD'17) led a day-long module with the MASD'18 cohort on October 19 focused on mindfulness. Students focused on three areas (social practice, mistakes, and compassionate action) and experimented with several methods, including: active listening, mindful prototyping, appreciation charts, pleasure walk/walking meditation, and self-compassion letters.   
MASD presents to Johns Hopkins Patient Safety Committee 

Ashley Eberhart, MaeAnna Hassell and Kate McGrain (all MASD'18) presented work from the MASD Teaming & Collaboration module in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety & Quality to the largest gathering of the Patient Safety Committee at the Johns Hopkins Hospital on November 8th.

The team shared research, ideas and prototypes focused on the question: "How might we improve the patient identification system to reduce patient misidentification?" The Committee recommended that several of the proposed ideas be tested and implemented in the hospital and is eager to continue the collaboration.   
MASD alumni selected as StartingBloc Fellows

Smile Indias (MASD'17) was selected as a StartingBloc Fellow and will attend the StartingBloc Institute in Los Angeles in February 2018. StartingBloc is a community committed to convening and growing leaders tackling root causes. The five-day Institutes focus on exploring frameworks, skillsets, and models for mindset transformation and leadership development.

Smile joins multiple other MASD alumni previously selected as StartingBloc Fellows, including Molly Reddy (MASD'17), Esther Kang (MASD'16), and Patrick Keane (MASD'15), who have all participated in StartingBloc Institutes across the country.  
Redesigning Design School

Co-Director Lee Davis was invited to The Design School at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University (ASU), November 1-2, as a part of the "Redesign School" fall lecture series to inform the redesign of the ASU Design School. Lee presented to 250+ students in the "Principles of Design Collaboration" graduate class and met with the Design School faculty to share the work of the Center for Social Design, and to explore issues of access and inclusion in design education and the evolving practice of social design.   
Apply now to join MASD 2019!

The Master of Arts in Social Design (MASD) is an intensive, one-year graduate program offering a human-centered, experiential, and collaborative approach to understanding and addressing the challenges facing society. Grounded in a philosophy of practice-based learning, the curriculum introduces students to a broad framework for social design, exposes them to a variety of methods and models for social impact, and prepares them with a core set of skills necessary to pursue professional opportunities upon graduation.

Learn more about the MASD program at MICA in this online information session featuring Founding Director Mike Weikert (you'll be prompted to download the Adobe Connect Add-in for viewing).   
MASD'18 Graduate Mini-Fellowships Announced

The Center for Social Design has developed a number of opportunities for current MASD students to pursue professional, paid, part-time fellowships with a variety of institutions across Baltimore during their MASD year. The graduate "mini-fellowships" are designed to enable MASD students to put their newly-acquired human-centered design skill sets into practice in real professional contexts.

We're delighted to announce the following fellowships for 2017-18 and the MASD'18 student(s) selected for each opportunity, thanks to the generous support of a diverse group of community partners:
Brainstorming at Douglas Homes
Practice-Based Studio Updates

Students enrolled in this semester's Practice-based Studio courses hosted two brainstorming sessions with community stakeholders as part of their projects.

Each session shared themes and insights around the research students collected and asked participants to generate ideas in response to findings.

For our collaboration with Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) around creating smoke-free public housing, residents and community stakeholders gathered together at Douglas Homes to respond to the prompt: "How might we engage residents at Douglas Homes in creating pathways to smoke free homes?"

For another project with BCHD around HIV stigma and medical mistrust, health care providers and staff at Baltimore City Health Department's Sexual Health Clinics joined community leaders and sexual health advocates to respond to the prompt: "How might we foster supportive health care environments for patients and providers?"

Ideas collected are currently being prototyped and tested. Stay tuned for more!
Molly Reddy in Ghana
News & Updates
Lauren Weinstein (MASD'13)
MASD Alumni Profile 

Lauren Weinstein is currently a Principal at the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI), which works to untangle the most complex and knotty social challenges to build social and economic prosperity and advance social innovation practice. Lauren joined TACSI in 2015 and currently leads a portfolio of participatory design, human-centered design, and systems change work in the areas of child protection, family well being, Aboriginal rights, new immigrant populations, and disability.

Through TACSI's child protection systems change work, the Centre aims to disrupt cycles of intergenerational engagement with child protection systems through better policy, strategic reform, front line practice and community-based supports. Over the past several years, Lauren has co-designed and implemented a suite of new services, including a new shared-parenting model of foster care, Co-parenthood, that works to help young people return home to live with their parents through peer and professional support. With the TACSI team, Laruen utilises a pioneering three lens approach to develop services that create impact, are financially sustainable, and are human-centered.

Lauren came to MASD with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Bucknell University, passionate about exploring the intersection of social science and design. Prior to joining TACSI, Lauren was a Service Designer for Reboot, where she led internationally based research, design, and implementation projects. This included the design and implementation of a citizen feedback mechanism to enable integration of feedback from families in rural areas into decision making, shoulder-to-shoulder capacity building for government Open Data teams, and co-design methods for civil society groups, and improved service experience around bail application for low income first-time offenders.

Lauren's recent writing explores design ethics and the sustainability of social good work. Laruen's co-writing with MASD'13 grad, Cinnamon Janzer, has been featured in Design and Culture,,, and Developing Citizen Designers. Lauren and TACSI's Chief Innovation Officer, Chris Vanstone have recently produced a series of articles on social innovation perspectives in child protection as well as the role of innovation in the disability sector.    

Read more about Lauren and her current work at:
Publications & Articles
We're excited to share two new articles on our Center for Social Design Medium channel, a platform where our students, fellows, alumni, staff, faculty and partners can openly reflect, critique and share their experiences: 

Leave your Sharpies at Home
Diamond James (MASD'16)

"As social impact designers, we often play the role of the facilitator during design research. We're expected to learn from people by working with stakeholders, users and community coalitions to gain insight into their experiences. Armed with Sharpies and Post-its, we look forward to a robust, honest community engagement. Honestly? Are our office supplies and earnest attitude enough?"

Read more here.

12 Things we Learned at CGI U
Valeria Fuentes (MASD'18), Maria Isabel Garcia Diaz, Smile Indias, and Rachel Serra (MASD'17)

"This past month, the Clinton Foundation hosted its tenth Clinton Global Initiative University, better know as CGI U. In this three-day gathering, CGI U recognizes university students who have made Commitments to Action." 

Read more here.


Upcoming Events

Design for the Wellbeing of Black Women
December 9, 2017
North Avenue Knowledge Exchange
Baltimore, MD
Denise Shante Brown (MASD'17) and collaborator N'Deye Diakhate are co-facilitating a collaborative session where participants will explore design's role as a transformative tool that can support the personal healing process and collective wellbeing of Black women.

Association for Community Design Annual Conference
June 8-9, 2018
Neighborhood Design Center (NDC)
Baltimore, MD
MA in Social Design Faculty Lead Thomas Gardner is serving on the conference Steering Committee for "Reverberations: The Roots and Relevance of Community Design," the Association for Community Design's annual conference, to be hosted by the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) in Baltimore in June 2018.

Copyright © 2017 Maryland Institute College of Art, Center for Social Design, All rights reserved.

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