Humanitarian Design: Events

By John Cary

March 2012

The following events focus on the role of design in under-resourced and low-income communities. Post additional events in the comment box below or email

The Public Interest Design Institute is a two-day training program coordinated by Design Corps.
Photo courtesy Design Corps
The Public Interest Design Institute is a two-day training program coordinated by Design Corps. A recent session at Yale drew speakers such as Anna Heringer and Michael Murphy.
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The ACD National Conference is held annually by the Associaton for Community Design. The next conference will take place June 7-10, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Theme and registration details have yet to be announced. For information:

The Design Access Summit is a new convention being launched by Public Architecture, aimed at design, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders. It seeks to highlight the role that design can play in social change, focusing on the social sector’s access to such services. The first Design Access Summit will take place March 14-17, in Sausalito, California. The cost of participation is $1,775. For information:

Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE is a day-long affair staged by Architecture for Humanity each fall. The event builds on the ethos of AFH’s popular Design Like You Give a Damn book, the second edition of which is due out this spring from Abrams. Registration fees this past year ranged from $15 for advance student tickets to $40 day-of professional tickets. For information:

The Public Interest Design Institute is a two-day training program coordinated by Design Corps. The curriculum is framed around the organization’s Social Economic Environmental Design principles, described above. Upcoming sessions for 2012 include UT-Austin (March 22-23) and the University of Cincinnati (April 13-14), with additional sessions planned for the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and the University of Washington in Seattle later this year. Registration fees range from $250 to $450, with $100 early-bird savings up to three weeks before each event. For information:

The Public Interest Design Summer Program, not to be confused with the above, is entering its second year at the University of Texas at Austin. The two-part program involves an intensive research track that runs parallel with a community design/build project. The deadline for applications is March 1, while the session itself will take place May 31-July 24, 2012, with an additional two-week externship for up to 10 candidates at nonprofit Public Architecture in San Francisco available for the first time this year. For information:

The Structures for Inclusion conference, now in its twelfth year, is an annual gathering aimed at students and professionals committed to or considering a career in community design. Organized by Design Corps, this year’s conference will take place March 24-25 at the University of Texas at Austin. Registration fees range from $25 for students to $100 for professionals, with other categories in between. For information:

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