Category Archives: Design Access

Hear stories from top designers on leveraging for social gain.

Design is Connected India Retreat Weaves Sustainability into Practice

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Sustainability is a key concern for designers and they prefer to use eco-friendly products and materials. They also believe they could weave sustainability in their design projects. This follows a recent survey conducted with key architect and design industry leaders who attended the Design Is Connected Retreat organised by Shaw Contract Group in Goa, India from 9 to 11 October 2015. Shaw Contract Group organised this retreat with the aim to connect with their partners in the Asia Pacific region and India in the aspect of design.

8 out of 10 designers also rated design as the most important consideration when selecting a supplier.

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“The discussions and insights drawn from key leaders in the design and architecture industry have been beneficial to Shaw Contract Group. Following this retreat, we are able to align our product offerings with our suppliers to ensure the Architects and Designers in India are shown our full range of products. This has been helpful in our continual collaboration with India.” said Dan Clark, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Shaw Contract Group.

“It was a very inspiring event for those in the design field to see such level of work being done on the design, pattern and texture of carpets” said Sabina Reddy, Director, at M Moser Associates.

“The next trend will be moving from geometrical patterns to more abstract patterns with bright colours,” says Raghunath Avutapalli, Senior Architect, DWP Interics, in relation to design trends in 2016.

On creating sustainable designs, Satish Purushan, Senior Architect, STUP Consultants, says that “it is crucial to create products that not only have 100 per cent LEED rating on paper, but are also eco-friendly in terms of practicality in order to raise awareness and promote sustainability across all industries.”

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The Design Is Connected Retreat saw about 50 guests comprising of directors, architects and service providers from more than 20 well-established firms, including DSP, RSP and Space Matrix, come together and exchange their views on upcoming trends in the industry.

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For more information about Shaw’s sustainability initiatives and its continued leadership in the discussion, development and application of sustainable design, please visit our sustainability site.

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Design Access Works to Leverage Design for Positive Social Change

“We are only beginning to understand how profoundly the built environment impacts human and environmental health, economic prosperity and social justice”.

Understanding that premise and working to disrupt current conditions that perpetuate a built environment that undermines each of those elements was the focus of Design Access 2013, hosted by Public Architecture. During the Design Access Summit, hosted at the Headlands Art Center in early March, a diverse team of designers, NGO’s, philanthropist and corporate leaders spent 2 days identifying problems and designing solutions for positive impact. Topics ranging for integrating design thinking into the class room at an under performing Oakland California school to dealing with child sex slaves were tackled with multi-disciplined approaches.

I loved the Summit “to-do” list:

  • Real Work
  • Learning
  • Food and Wine
  • Socializing
  • Hiking, running and the coast

While certainly not all the ideas from the Summit will be implemented, the process exposed the attendees to the possibilities. One of the solutions is already underway (the Oakland Middle School project led by Sara To at Brute Labs) and the global connections made during the week will almost certainly lead to future work. Last year’s inaugural gathering generated six partnerships working to leverage design for positive social change.

Attendees of Public Architecture's Design Access 2013

From Public Architecture’s Facebook page you can learn more about Design Access.

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Low Expectations: Barriers to Using Design as a Tool for Social Gain

This is the second installment of an on-going series about Design Access. Design Access was a summit held by Public Architecture this past March that brought together government, design, nonprofit, and funding professionals to better leverage the design of the built environment as a tool for social gain. Please stay tuned for more video presentations from the summit that will be featured on our blog.

Innovative solutions can solve complex problems within underserved populations; however, most of these solutions remain isolated, un-scalable, and accessible to few. What are the barriers that keep us from exploiting these solutions at a scale that offers widespread, sustainable impact? Julie Eizenberg of Koning Eizenberg Architecture speaks from her experience of barriers that need to be overcome in order for designers to be effective in the social sector.

Julie Eizenberg: Low Expectations from Public Architecture on Vimeo.

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Changing the World with Design at the Design Access Summit

Design Access, a summit held by Public Architecture this past March, brought together government, design, nonprofit, and funding professionals to better leverage the design of the built environment as a tool for social gain. Over three days, representatives from some of the largest and most influential design firms, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations in the country and leaders in health care, education, affordable housing, transportation, community engagement, environmental sustainability, and the arts worked to collectively provide design services at scale to our most underserved and challenging problems.

This is the first installment of an on-going series about Design Access. Please stay tuned for more video presentations from the summit that will be featured on our blog. 

Under the direction of Alex Briscoe, director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (HCSA), and with support from the California HealthCare Foundation, Public Architecture is working on an inventive initiative that responds to a pressing need in Alameda County, California’s low-income communities for access to primary health care facilities.

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