Art Center College of Design’s “Designmatters” Vice President Honored with Dell Social Innovation Education Award

Mariana Amatullo

Designmatters' Mariana Amatullo

Mariana Amatullo, vice president at Art Center College of Design and co-founder of Designmatters, the College’s social impact initiative, has won the inaugural Dell Social Innovation Education Award.  The honor recognizes outstanding leadership in teaching and supporting student social innovators.

Designmatters engages students, faculty and alumni from across disciplines in an ongoing exploration of the role of art and design in effecting large-scale sustainable change through innovative partnerships locally and around the world.  It is through the impressive outcomes generated by Designmatters that the College became the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status.

“Art Center aspires to redefine and expand the role of the artist and designer into one who is a catalyst for social change and innovation, ” said Lorne M. Buchman, president, Art Center College of Design.  “Designmatters allows us to harness the power of creative imagination to effect that change.

“I’m very proud of what Mariana has created over the last decade and we congratulate her, “ Buchman continued. “We consider this award an endorsement as renewed encouragement to continue our commitment to contribute to, and learn from, our engagement in the social innovation space.”

“I am deeply honored to be selected as the inaugural recipient of this award,” said Amatullo. It has been my personal privilege and joy to be in a position of mobilizing the collective energy and creative talent of the Art Center community with an educational agenda for social impact through Designmatters.

“This award serves as a wonderful tribute to the body of work by our students, faculty, and staff during the last decade, and more broadly speaks of the growing recognition of the value of art and design in effecting consequential societal change,” she explained.

“We had many outstanding nominees for the Social Innovation Education Award,” said Dell  Challenge Executive Director Suzi Sosa, “however, Mariana stood out because of her ability to inspire institutional support for applying design solutions to social problems.”

Amatullo was chosen for her exemplary leadership and holistic approach in building new modes of engagement for art and design education with social impact, promoting broad collaboration through cross-sector partnerships with non-profit organizations, development agencies and industry. The award-winning and social innovation outcomes of Designmatters during the past decade are providing a key foundation for the framework of Media Design Matters, a new course of study in the Graduate Media Design Program at Art Center. Amatullo is co-leading Media Design Matters, which focuses on communication design at the intersection of new technology and social engagement.

She will be honored during the global awards ceremony on June 12th in Austin, Texas.

As part of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, several Art Center student projects from the award-winning Safe Agua initiative, a Designmatters partnership with the Innovation Center of Un Techo Para Mi Pais, were named semi-finalists.  The projects focused on innovative design products and systems to overcome water poverty with families of slum-dwellers in Lima, Peru.

About Art Center College of Design

Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, Art Center College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. Art Center offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of art and design disciplines, as well as public programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for its ties to industry and professional rigor, Art Center is recognized as a United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), providing students with opportunities to create design-based solutions for humanitarian and nonprofit agencies around the world. During the College’s 80-year history, Art Center’s alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live, and important issues in our society.

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