Humanitarian Design: Networks

By John Cary

March 2012

The following are affinity and membership groups specifically focused on design for the public good. Post additional resources in the comment box below or email

Design With the Other 90%: Cities
Photo © Matt Flynn / Smithsonian Institution
The Design Other 90 Network is a membership and project database maintained by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. It stems from two major exhibitions organized by the institution.
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Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) is a national membership organization with several local chapters, which, since 1981, has sought to link design with environmental protection, ecological building, peace, and social justice causes. Its flagship program is New Village Press, the first book and media publisher dedicated to community design and development. For information:

The Association for Community Design is membership-based network of independent and university-affiliated community design centers working to bring the practice of participatory design to communities in need. The organization hosts a national conference each year, the next of which will take place June 7-10, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah. For information:

Designers Accord is an environmental and social compact for designers, educators, and business leaders. Initially launched as a “Kyoto Treaty for Design”, the accord signatories commit to a five-part pledge that they will integrate sustainability into their design work. For information:

Design for Good, a new campaign of AIGA, encourages and recognizes pro bono and social engagement design work by its members and designers at-large. Through match-making, resource development, and promotional efforts, Design for Good creates opportunities for designers to generate new work, networking, and recognition. For information:

The Design Other 90 Network is membership and project database maintained by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, following-up on two major exhibitions by similar names. It welcomes members to peruse and upload new projects designed for and with what the Cooper-Hewitt estimates to be roughly 90% of the world’s population without access to professional design services. For information:

The Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network is another pledge-based membership and resource for individual designers and organizations working toward the broader principles of sustainability. The chief program of the network is its certification program, available to built projects and as a credential for individuals. For information:

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