News and updates from MICA Center for Social Design
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Autumn 2018
Celebrating 10 years of social design at MICA!
In 2018-19, the Center for Social Design is celebrating 10 years of pioneering work and achievements in social design education and practice. The autumn 2018 issue of MICA's Commotion magazine features the Center for Social Design. The article explores our decade of accomplishments at the forefront of social design and includes profiles of the innovative work and pioneering professional pathways of three alumni, Kehinde Bademosi (MASD'15), Emily Ianacone (MASD'15), and Smile Indias (MASD'17). 
Designing Health seminar with Johns Hopkins
Founding Director Mike Weikert, Associate Director Becky Slogeris, and Associates Ashley Eberhart and Mengru Liao (MASD'18) were panelists for "Designing Health," a lunchtime seminar hosted by the Johns Hopkins Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health in Baltimore on November 12th. The team shared the work of the Center for Social Design and examples of various collaborations with partners at Johns Hopkins to bring people to the center of healthcare solutions.     
Mike Weikert keynotes Adobe MAX Educator Day  

Founding Director Mike Weikert was the keynote speaker at the Educator Day of Adobe MAX - The Creativity Conference on October 14 in Los Angeles, California. Mike's presentation to the participants of Adobe's education community, "Shifting Relationships: Social Design Education and Practice," explored the work of the Center for Social Design, the human-centered design process, and reflected on the role of social design in shifting relationships and power dynamics to support social change. Adobe MAX is an annual gathering bringing together over 15,000 of the world's top creatives to get inspired and learn new skills. 
Becky Slogeris at the United Nations

Associate Director Becky Slogeris was a speaker at the 67th UN DPI/NGO Conference, "We the Peoples - Together Finding Global Solutions for Global Problems," hosted by the United Nations Foundation on August 22nd at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The session explored opportunities to engage youth with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Becky shared her work to engage youth in social change through design in the session "Empowering Youth Action for the Global Goals."  A recap of the session can be viewed here
Welcome MASD 2019!

We're excited to introduce the new MA in Social Design (MASD) 2019 cohort! The class of 13 comes from six countries, including China, Colombia, India, Taiwan, Turkey, and from across the USA, and from a variety of backgrounds: communications, English, environmental studies, geography, graphic design, illustration, photography, printmaking, public health, public policy, small business start up and management, sociology, social entrepreneurship, and urban ecology.       
Social Design Associates create new pathways in design & health  

We're delighted to also introduce our two new post-graduate Social Design Associates for 2018-19: Ashley Eberhart and Mengru Liao. Associates are recent MASD graduates who receive a one-year, paid position to continue to build their professional practice in the Center for Social Design. Associates are embedded into projects with outside partners to put the human-centered design process into practice in new contexts. 

Ashley Eberhart (MASD'18) is collaborating with the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing - Center for Innovative Care in Aging on a program design for low-income seniors to safely 'age in community'.
Mengru Liao (MASD'18) is working with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health - Cochlear Center for Hearing & Public Health on a program to develop accessible and affordable hearing care for older adults.
Human-Centered Design Bootcamp with Design Impact 

Michelle Sucher, Senior Social Innovation Specialist at Design Impact, led a three-day, intensive Human-Centered Design (HCD) Bootcamp with the MASD'19 cohort, November 26-29. The HCD Bootcamp was organized in collaboration with the Baltimore Mayor's Office of Innovation team (i-team), including alumna and Design Strategist Emily Ianacone (MASD'15). Students explored the question of "How might we prevent homes in Belair-Edison and Curtis Bay from becoming vacants while supporting the neighborhood to thrive?" Students practiced skills in research, synthesis, ideation and prototyping, manifesting in a shareback of insights and ideas to inform the i-team's ongoing housing work in collaboration with the Department of Housing and Community Development. 
MASD Social Literacy module explores power & privilege  

The MASD'19 cohort completed three rigorous weeks of discussion, reading and reflection, September 24-October 11, in a "Social Literacy" module led by MASD faculty member and community psychologist Myra Margolin. Students explored the issues of power and privilege and the complexity and interconnectedness of social problems. The Social Literacy module is designed to challenge students' own and others' worldviews and to develop the self-awareness, humility and cultural sensitivity needed to understand complex social problems.  
MASD explores patient transfers in hospitals  

As a part of the MASD'19 Teaming & Collaboration module to hone skills in collective work, the cohort collaborated with Rhonda Malone Wyskiel, Director of Clinical Innovation at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC), September 10-17, observing and interviewing patients, doctors, nurses, and others to explore the question: "How might we improve the patient transfer process between units to increase consistency, reduce errors, and ensure all necessary information is exchanged?" The students synthesized their research and developed ideas which they shared with the GBMC team.  
MASD'19 Graduate Social Design 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 Social Design Fellowships 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 community partners and fellows for 2018-19: 
Awards & Recognition

The Center for Social Design is delighted that HealthiAir, a collaboration with the Baltimore City Health Department's Tobacco Free Baltimore initiative to address the impact of smoke exposure in the home, has been recognized with two prestigious awards. HealthiAir evolved through a team effort led by Center for Social Design Associate Director Becky Slogeris, beginning with a Practice-Based Studio in Fall 2016. Special shout out to the HealthiAir project lead design researchers - Smile Indias and Denise Shanté Brown (MASD '17)
GDUSA Health+Wellness Design Award

HealthiAir was recognized with a GDUSA 2018 Health+Wellness Design Award. The process was highly selective, the Center competed against a record 1,600 entries and was chosen from the top 10 percent of entrants, and is celebrated in the October issue of GDUSA in print, digital and online. 
Core77 Design Awards 2018

HealthiAir has also been recognized with a notable Core77 Design Award in the category of Strategy & Research. The Awards are presented annually to celebrate the richness of the design profession and, specifically, projects or products that predominantly utilize design research and strategy. 
Research & Writing
Public Interest Design Education Guidebook

The newly-released Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies includes a chapter by Center for Social Design Directors Lee Davis and Mike Weikert entitled "Fundamental Skills: Developing Social Literacy through Practice-Based Learning." The second in Routledge's Public Interest Design Guidebook series, the book presents a pedagogical framework and collective curriculum deemed most critical to pursuing an inclusive, informed design practice that meets the diverse needs of both students and community partners. 
László Moholy-Nagy: Social Design Pioneer 

Co-Director Lee Davis is collaborating with Bori Feher, Program Director of the EcoLab at Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design in Budapest on original research into the social design practice, teaching and writing of Bauhaus co-founder László Moholy-Nagy. Lee and Bori spent two days in Chicago in August at the archives and special collections of both Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and University of Illinois - Chicago (UIC) examining original Moholy-Nagy correspondence and documents. Lee and Bori are co-authoring an article to be released in 2019 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus. 
ReDesigning Design School 

The Center for Social Design is included as a Listening Participant in the ASU Design School "ReDesign Listening Report," released following a year of roundtables and interviews, including a video interview with Co-Director Lee Davis. ReDesign.School is a platform to listen and engage the best minds in the design world and rethink design education.  
Conferences & Events
Clinton Global Initiative University (Chicago, IL) 

Associate Director Becky Slogeris (MASD'12) and MASD'18 alumni Steffanie Espat, Mengru Liao, Kate McGrain and Hannah Shaw joined over 1,000 university students and experts from around the world at the 11th Annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) Meeting at the University of Chicago, October 19-21. MICA Center for Social Design was the first design school to join CGIU as a member in 2013.  
Better World by Design (Providence, RI)

Social Design Associate Ashley Eberhart joined the MASD'19 cohort at the Better World by Design (BWxD) conference at RISD and Brown University, September 28-30. Ashley facilitated a workshop, "Rx: Storytelling - Using Narrative to Connect, Co-Design, and Recover in an Impersonal Health System," exploring tools to help people connect through stories.   
Winterhouse Symposium (San Francisco, CA)

Directors Lee Davis and Mike Weikert participated in the ninth annual Winterhouse Symposium on Design Education for Social Impact in San Francisco, August 5-7. The Symposium brings together educators each year from 20 colleges and universities across the country working at the intersection of design and social impact to exchange best practices.  
The Atlantic Health Equity Roundtable (Baltimore, MD)

Founding Director Mike Weikert was invited to participate in a roundtable dinner with other community leaders, policymakers, and experts on June 12 in Baltimore. The dinner, co-hosted by The Atlantic and Johns Hopkins, coincided with the "Healing the Divide: An Atlantic Forum on Health Equity" event to advance health equity in America.   
Social Design Exchange 2018 videos

Videos of each of the MASD'18 cohort's presentations at the Social Design Exchange hosted by the Center for Social Design in April 2018 are now available on our Vimeo page.   
Pedestrian & Bike Safety
Practice-Based Studio News

The studio is abuzz with three Practice-Based Studios (PBS) this fall. Associate Director and Faculty Lead Becky Slogeris has kicked off two fall projects and Social Design Associate Ashley Eberhart is leading a third. The 16-week courses allow students from a variety of disciplines an opportunity to experience the arch of the human-centered design process in collaboration with outside partners focused on a specific social problem:

PBS 1: Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) - Family Planning: This year-long project aims to better understand the barriers to family planning in Baltimore, and to develop prototypes with the ultimate goal of supporting Baltimore women in designing their own family planning strategy.

The course is facilitated by Becky together with Charlotte Hager, Family Planning Program Manager at BCHD, with support from BCHD and the Abell Foundation. The team hosted a research shareback and ideation session with partners on November 7th and is moving into prototyping and testing ideas.

PBS 2: Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) - Highway Safety Office - Pedestrian & Bike Safety: Becky is facilitating a year-long PBS in fall 2018 and spring 2019 with MDOT to identify opportunities to promote behavioral change for pedestrian and bicycle safety.

The team hosted a research shareback and brainstorming session on November 9th with bikers, cyclists, drivers, and transit advocates to explore the question "How might we create a safer Baltimore for pedestrians and bicyclists?" Follow the project blog here

PBS 3: Johns Hopkins School of Nursing - Community Aging in Place: Ashley is facilitating a fall 2018 PBS in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing as a part of Community Aging in Place - Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE), a program developed to enable low-income seniors to safely 'age in community.'

The team of students and partners are exploring the question: "How might we promote a supportive culture for seniors that prioritizes their autonomy and goals?" The team hosted a research shareback and ideation session with partners on November 6th and is moving into prototyping and testing of ideas. 

Diamond James (MASD'16)
Alumni News & Updates
Mira Azarm (MASD'13) 
MASD Alumni Profile 

Mira Azarm (MASD'13) is an Innovation Instigator in the Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. The Academy is a campus-wide collaboration with the mission to engage all 35,000+ students to prepare them to tackle the world's toughest problems. Mira works with faculty across several departments to co-design and teach classes relating to sustainability and design, innovation principles, and the design process.

Some of her favorite recent projects include partnering with UMD's National Orchestral Institute+Festival to run a month-long studio of designers and musicians to "reimagine the symphony orchestra experience"; and programming several design sprints with the US Census Bureau and UMD's Office of Community Engagement that joined students, faculty and staff with local civic and nonprofit leaders to work toward a fair and accurate 2020 Census. 

Mira uses social design methodologies every day to develop and prototype new ways to reach learners across the university, but also loves working with organizations that are trying to create or invigorate an internal culture biased toward innovation. She's served as a design coach in the HHS Ignite Accelerator, an internal innovation startup program for staff within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that want to improve the way their program, office, or agency works; and facilitated programs at the Inter-American Development Bank, LeadingAge Maryland, and various other nonprofits and startups in DC and Baltimore. She also traveled to Brazil and Egypt as a Design Coach for The World Bank Group's Green Competitiveness Lauchpad, an initiative aimed at creating climate innovation centers for local, "green" entrepreneurs using human-centered design methods, which taught her a lot about how this work can truly transcend disciplines.

Every Spring, Mira teaches the capstone course in the combined MA/MBA in Design Leadership program at MICA & Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business. She is also an Advisory Board member of AIGA DC, providing leadership perspective and mentoring to the chapter board.

Upon graduating from MASD in 2013, Mira received a Robert W. Deutsch Social Design Fellowship in the Center for Social Design to continue her MASD thesis work focused on Baltimore's urban farms. See her reflection on social design in GOOD Magazine, "Start Small: Why Social Designers Should Pick Low-Hanging Fruit First." 


Apply now to join MASD 2020!
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. 

Priority deadline for Fall 2019 entrance is January 17, 2019. Apply here!
Upcoming Events

Bloomberg American Health Summit
November 29-30, 2018

Bloomberg American Health Initiative
Washington, DC

Founding Director Mike Weikert and Associate Director Becky Slogeris will facilitate an interactive session focused on human-centered design and public health at the inaugural Bloomberg American Health Summit in Washington, DC, on November 29-30. The Summit will bring together innovators and policymakers from around the country who are creatively working to address some of the toughest challenges facing public health in the country.

Copyright © 2018 Maryland Institute College of Art, Center for Social Design, All rights reserved.

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