Building Connections

Alastair Fuad-Luke describes design as “the act of deliberately moving from an existing situation to a preferred one.” As a prospective interior designer, I’ve developed an extensive understanding of this process – design is all about creating a built environment or a product that wasn’t there before. However, this approach is about more than just generating a certain end result. Our reading about design activism helped me understand that successful designs do not simply deliver a new product, they help establish a new reality that enhances people’s lives. Design activists are those who see the possibilities for an improved world and help launch design processes that respond to larger social problems.

Social entrepreneurs, like design activists, envision a better future and work to attain it. Mara Mourão’s documentary, “Who Cares?,” illustrated the growing need for social entrepreneurship, which involves solving global problems as a community instead of generating a profit for only a few people. The social entrepreneurs featured in the film were action-oriented individuals who dedicated their energy to helping fellow human beings and empowering people to improve their lives. As I watched the documentary, I realized that social entrepreneurship is a more social, inclusive approach than conventional entrepreneurship because it is aims to solve problems by strengthening communities, facilitating teamwork, and building connections between people. The New Heroes Game emphasized that idea, as it characterized effective social entrepreneurs as individuals who are skilled at assembling and nurturing teams of people who collaborate to accomplish a common objective.

Ultimately, the material we studied this week made me think about what my future design ambitions will be and how I can use my strengths to fulfill my aspirations. Even if my career does not revolve around design activism or social entrepreneurship, I can still apply the concepts behind those fields to my professional pursuits. No matter where I end up, I believe that connecting to and collaborating with others will be a fundamental part of my everyday life, which is key to tackling problems and achieving goals that are bigger than myself.


About Lydia Drye

I am a graphic designer and illustrator based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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