The Design for the Common Good exhibition presents projects designed collaboratively with communities to create opportunity and solutions from within. The resulting exchange of ideas in this exhibition provides compelling evidence that designers and stakeholders work best together when sharing resources and knowledge that aim to improve quality of life for all people.
Visionary architecture, culturally responsive design realized in mud and bamboo, and a catalyst for local farmers and master craftspeople to come together coalesced into a place where disability and diversity is celebrated. The soaring roof lines, curving walls and ramp of Anandaloy proclaim empowerment and access, transforming locally sourced building materials in a structure that embodies inclusion and generates circular economies. Created out of the need to provide support and therapy for disabled villagers, the Anandaloy Building hosts a center for disabilities and Dipdii Textiles, a small fair trade textiles studio that sustains female tailors. Located in rural Rudrapur, Bangladesh, this project is one of the thirty examples of socially engaged work featured in Design for the Common Good (DCG) International Exhibition. Opening January 14 and on view through March 19, 2022, at the Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Center for Visual Art (CVA), the Design for the Common Good International Exhibition showcases public interest design projects from six continents and twenty-two countries.
Richly documented through artifacts, photography, plans, videos, and design process graphics, the exhibition tells the individual and collective stories of projects selected from within the five international design organizations that comprise the DCG network, including a curated selection of regional works. Exhibited according to key issues each project addresses, the Design for the Common Good International Exhibition brings the extraordinary value of public interest design to the forefront where projects across the globe share a profound connection to the social, economic, and environmental fabric of life.
Public interest design champions the direct involvement of communities and stakeholders in the design of buildings, environments, products, and systems. It is a practice that advocates for transferrable knowledge, evolving processes, and activating participation while tackling complex issues. Unified by a collective vision for the potential of public interest design, these projects feature community-centered processes led through participatory design, education, research, and design evaluation.
The exhibition was curated and organized by Lisa M. Abendroth, Professor of Communication Design at Metropolitan State University of Denver and co-founder of the SEED Network. Exhibition design includes a collaboration with faculty and undergraduate students from MSU Denver’s Communication Design program, Industrial Design department, and with the Center for Visual Art.