A major component to the mission of Art Center’s Designmatters Department, which invites students from all disciplines to address humanitarian and social challenges, is to lead “an ongoing exploration of design as a positive force in society.”
Part of this exploration takes place in the field—Designmatters has organized dozens of projects, including the recent Safe Agua Chile, in which students developed systems for storing, transporting and conserving water in impoverished Chilean neighborhoods—but another part happens right here on campus.
Special events give students the chance to meet provocative and inspirational individuals who are using design to make a real difference.
On January 28, Designmatters and Acting Chief Academic Officer Nik Hafermaas presented “Leading Change for Social Impact: Perspectives from Prominent Innovators,” a forum moderated by Adlai Wertman, professor at the USC Marshall School of Business.
The panelists for the evening event in the Ahmanson Auditorium included Mariana Amatullo, vice president and director of Designmatters, who highlighted several recent departmental projects; Rhys Newman, head of strategic projects at Nokia Design, who explained how he uses his company’s extraordinary global reach to push environmental initiatives; and Jonathan Greenblatt, founder of Ethos Water and the open-source All for Good volunteering website, who discussed the business models behind his ventures and the power of the Web to effect social change.