News and updates from MICA Center for Social Design
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April/May 2018
Congratulations MASD 2018!
Congratulations to the MA in Social Design (MASD) Class of 2018!. Their proud families, friends and loved ones looked on as they received their diplomas on May 14th at MICA's graduate commencement ceremony in Baltimore's Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Our very own Jen Begazo (MASD'18) delivered the CHARGE at the conclusion of the ceremony. We are so proud of all of this MASD cohort's many accomplishments and are excited to see what the future holds for these social design change makers! 
Social Design Exchange 2018
The Center for Social Design hosted the third annual Social Design Exchange on April 23rd, an interactive evening to share the process, learnings, and insights from the MASD'18 cohort's thesis work with an audience of over 100 in MICA's BBOX. The event featured brief videos and TEDTalk-style presentations by each of the MASD'18 students on a variety of issues and social problems:
  • Franki Abraham: How might we revamp the admissions process to make higher education more accessible? 
  • Jen Begazo: How might we better manage fatigue among nurses at high-volume eye-care centers?
  • Steffanie Espat: How might we transform campus food waste into local food equity? 
  • Valeria Fuentes: How might we embed civic action into the college student experience? 
  • MaeAnna Hassell: How might we establish equity when allocating early childhood education funding in Maryland? 
  • Mengru Liao: How might we rethink treatment for adolescent drug abuse that prioritizes respect? 
  • Kate McGrain: How might we promote safe drinking water as a priority in all Baltimore City Public Schools?
  • Keerthana Ramesh: How might we leverage the student-teacher bond to build resilience for post high school life? 
  • Kim Schulke: How might we connect people in Baltimore by transforming public space? 
  • Hannah Shaw: How might we promote a culture that supports and elevates the mental well-being of students? 
  • Christina Yoo: How might we ensure safety and justice for survivors of sexual violence? 
The Exchange was live streamed on the MICA Social Design Facebook page, and videos from the event will soon be available on our Vimeo page.     
Dr. Victor Margolin Receives MICA Honorary Doctorate  

Renowned design historian and theorist Dr. Victor Margolin received an honorary doctoral degree from MICA on May 15, nominated by the Center for Social Design. Victor is Professor Emeritus of Design History at the University of Illinois, Chicago, co-editor of Design Issues and of the epic three-volume World History of Design. Beyond his many contributions to design scholarship, Victor is also father to Myra Margolin, a core member of the MASD faculty.

Dr. Margolin has been a pioneering voice and champion of social design his entire career, calling on designers and educators to envision a "Good Society." In his commencement remarks, he echoed the urgency of this vision to graduates: "Our democracies have been challenged, the preservation of our own environment is under siege, and there is gross inequality between the rich and the poor. There are myriad assaults on our shared humanity . . . As graduates, you will have to make your way in a world of struggles between those committed to a better life and those who would eschew this commitment to further self interest . . . People of good intent around the world are fighting back against these destructive forces. Your education has equipped you with the skills and motivation to promote values of equality, justice, and beauty. In doing so, you can make the world a better place and contribute to what I call the 'Good Society'."
Kate McGrain wins Fred Lazarus Leadership for Social Change Award

We're so proud of Kate McGrain (MASD'18) who was selected as the winner of the 2018 Fred Lazarus Leadership for Social Change Award in recognition of her outstanding community-centered design work, including around issues of smoke-free public housing, voter participation, health equity, and potable water in Baltimore public schools. The Lazarus Award is given to one undergraduate student and one graduate student who, through the power of design were able to engage in meaningful ways with the Baltimore community to raise awareness of public issues and create lasting change.  
Three MASD winners of Meyerhoff You+ Graduate Fellowship

We're delighted that three MASD'18 graduate students have been selected as recipients of the Meyerhoff You+ Graduate Fellowship. Steffanie Espat, Kate McGrain, and Hannah Shaw were selected by MICA's Office of Graduate Studies and The Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Career Development at MICA as recipients of the You+ Graduate Fellowship. The Fellowship will provide partial support for the three to attend the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Conference in Chicago in October to represent their team's work on HealthiAir, a Baltimore initiative to promote smoke-fee and health family homes.      
MASD Faculty Lead Thomas Gardner at UC Berkeley  

This spring, MASD Faculty Lead Thomas Gardner conducted a workshop and presented a lecture series for the Sustainable Environmental Design program at the University of California Berkeley, College of Environmental Design. The workshop was part of a capstone course taught by Emily Pilloton, designer, builder, educator and founder of the nonprofit Project H Design and its sister program, Girls Garage. The course and workshop addressed the Bay Area housing crisis, and focused on the design, building, and implementation of tiny homes.  
Social Design Lab @ BDS
Social Design Lab @ BDS

This year a team of middle and high school students at Baltimore Design School (BDS) have been working with project lead Maria Garcia-Diaz (MASD'17), project fellow Keerthana Ramesh (MASD'18), and Associate Director Becky Slogeris (MASD'12), and partners at Behavioral Health System Baltimore to explore the impact of underage drinking in Baltimore. The Center team facilitated a process with students and partners to use their design skills and to develop creative solutions as part of the Center's youth Social Design Lab at BDS. To celebrate the end of the program, students pitched their ideas to family and community members in April at MICA. Ideas ranged from an interactive educational game about the risks of underage drinking to a design advocacy against having liquor stores near schools.

Special thank you to Arnetra Burnett, Zahara Valentine, Dominiece Clifton, Meghann Harris, Valerie Anderson, and Dustin O'Hara for their support this year.

BDS Mural Club

Also ongoing over the past year, a team of four MASD 2018 students -- Kime Schulke, Steffanie Espat, Hannah Shaw and Ashley Eberhart -- along with MASD Faculty Lead Thomas Gardner, have partnered with the Baltimore Design School (BDS) to implement a school-wide, student-driven mural program.

With ten middle- and high-schoolers, the team has been collaborating on the design and painting of murals with themes dedicated to the academic tracks offered at BDS: Graphic Design, Fashion Design and Architecture. The twice-weekly after-school project is among several pilot programs initiated this year to foster closer partnership between BDS, MICA and MASD in the Center for Social Design. 

100% Cameroon
News & Updates
  • Valeria Fuentes (MASD'18) received a MICA Community Engagement Grant in support of the Roots & Raíces Festival, highlighting the importance of immigrants in Baltimore City. Valeria also received a Y.L. Hoi Memorial Award for Mis Raíces to co-design clothing that portrays the narratives of participants as immigrants or descendants of immigrants in the US.
  • Mengru Liao (MASD'18) has been accepted to participate in the forthcoming annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) gathering, October 19-21, at University of Chicago.
  • Kim Schulke (MASD'18) was selected to attend the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance Transportation 101, a 7-week class to develop leaders enhancing communities and people's lives by cultivating healthy, resilient and more sustainable transportation.
  • Hannah Shaw (MASD'18) received a MICA Graduate Research Development Grant to attend the Omega Institute's Mindfulness in Education Conference (July 20-22 in Rhinebeck, NY), focused on bringing mindfulness practices and social-emotional learning to children grades K-12, and to become certified in Mental Health First Aid. 
  • Smile Indias (MASD'17) and Co-Director Lee Davis attended REDF's 2nd Annual May Madness Competition on May 3 at Humanim in Baltimore. The event celebrated the work of the 18 social enterprise leaders from across the country participating in the REDF Accelerator.
  • Denise Shanté Brown (MASD'17) is facilitating "Design for the Wellbeing of Black Women" during the Reimagining Black Girls' and Women's Health Symposium and Workshop at Towson University, May 17-19. 
  • Emily Ianacone (MASD'15), Design Strategist in the Baltimore Mayor's Office of Innovation, was at MICA on April 26, to share preliminary research and insights from her work with the Baltimore City Police Department.
  • Byron Banghart (MASD'14) is featured in the alumni profiles section of MICA's Velocity Magazine, focused on his work as the first-ever Entrepreneur-in-Residence at OpenWorks, Baltimore's makerspace.
  • Anne Marie Jasinowski (MASD'14) began a new role as Brand Studio Production Designer with DropBox in San Francisco, supporting Dropbox to define and produce against their new brand identity system. 
  • Emily Pinna (MASD'14) launched her new apparel collection, 100% Cameroon on May 19th on the occasion of the 9th Forum for Fashion and Design in Yaounde. A percentage of profits from sales supports education projects in Cameroon. 
  • Heejin Suh (MASD'13) started a new position as Senior Manager, Brand Design, at HelloFresh in New York City.
  • Briony Hynson (MASD'12) co-presented on the panel session "Codesign and Collaboration in Creative Community-Led Practice" at the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in Trenton, NJ, on May 3, focusing on ethical and effective engagement in community-led design practices.
Elise Roy (MASD'12) 
MASD Alumni Profile 

Elise Roy (MASD'12) is a deaf, inclusive design strategist who helps companies and organizations analyze products, services, and programs from the vantage point of people with disabilities. She believes that the unique experiences of people with disabilities help us uncover hidden needs, wherein lie the most profound solutions for everyone. 

An internationally recognized speaker, Elise has given talks at Microsoft, AIGA, NASA, Target, and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Her TEDx talk, "When We Design for Disability, We All Benefit," has over 1.2million views. She was a recent featured speaker at the Cooper Hewitt Lab: Design Access event in New York City, a day-long symposium exploring the design opportunities of building a more inclusive, accessible city.

Elise founded her company, Elise Roy & Associates, in 2016 and has since worked with top organizations in a wide range of sectors including technology, international development, and tourism, among them USAID, the OECD, and KinTrans. She draws on her 15+ years of working with the disability community, and her diverse career path as a lawyer who worked on the United Nations Disability Treaty, marketing manager, and product designer to shape solutions for her clients and partners.

She recently launched a workshop that targets UX, Service Design and Product designers to teach them inclusive design skills. The workshop takes participants beyond simply complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) through a process of using inclusive design to innovate and find hidden needs. "Accessibility is just this wonderful byproduct that happens along the way," she says.

Elise is also founder of Dis/Rupt, an organization focused on helping the deaf community in Haiti. Dis/Rupt engages persons with disabilities through a human-centered design process to develop innovative and unique solutions to improve the quality of life for themselves and others. Dis/Rupt's first project has focused on developing community metal fabrication skills in order to create income generating opportunities.

See more about Elise, her writing, speaking and recent work at:

"How to Design For Everyone: In 3 Steps. First? Ignore the average user - they don't exist,"
Co.Design, FastCompany (February 2018)

"Cooper Hewitt Symposium Covers the Why and How of Designing More Accessible Spaces,"
Architectural Digest (February 2018)

"Backstage: Elise Roy" (2017 AIGA Design Conference)

"When we design for disability - we all benefit" (2017 AIGA Design Conference)

Upcoming Events

Social Design Perspectives
May 21, 2018, 11:00am-1:00pm
International University of Sarajevo
Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Co-Director Lee Davis and Bori Feher, Program Director at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design (MOME) in Budapest, will hold a lecture and discussion about social design education and practice with faculty and students at the Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design program of the International University of Sarajevo, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bawlmer Studio Stroll: AIGA National Leadership Retreat
May 30, 2018, 4:30pm
Center for Social Design
Baltimore, MD
At the end of May, leaders from over 70 chapters of the AIGA, the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design in the country, will arrive in Baltimore to attend Lead By Design, AIGA's National Leadership Retreat. The Center for Social Design was selected as one of the local studio tours for the AIGA leadership.

Reverberations: The Roots and Relevance of Community Design
June 8-9, 2018
Neighborhood Design Center (NDC)

Baltimore, MD
The Center for Social Design is a supporting partner and cohost of "Reverberations: The Roots and Relevance of Community Design," the Association of Community Design's annual conference, to be hosted by the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) in Baltimore, June 8-9, 2018. Faculty members Becky Slogeris and Thomas Gardner will both facilitate sessions, and several MASD alumni and students will also present.


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