The Designmatters educational platform at ArtCenter College of Design joins collaboration with experimentation, experience with reflection, problem-solving with problem-discovery, and purpose with action.

Our Mission

Through research, advocacy and action, Designmatters engages, empowers and leads an ongoing exploration of art and design as a positive force in society.

LEAP GLOBAL Awarded 2019 Sappi Ideas that Matter Grant

Sappi / October 2019

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For the Future: Connecting Underserved Young Parents With Vital Resources


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"As artists and designers, we are in a unique position. What we choose to say with this voice that defines us as human beings."

Patrick Hruby Illustration, Student

Jennifer May Appointed Executive Director of Designmatters

ArtCenter / August 2019

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Sometimes leadership finds you—Student Leadership Award winner Arotin Hartounian

ArtCenter / August 2019

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Safe Agua Peru

Designmatters partnered with NGO Un Techo para mi Pais and the community to co-create design solutions to overcome water poverty in Cerro Verde, a slum outside Lima, Peru. 

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"As an artist, my primary aspiration is to connect with other human beings. What better way to actually do so than by actually making a difference in someone’s life?"

Fatima Ghanavi, Graphic Design, Student

Socially Engaged Art: Art in Urban Community Green Spaces


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PACIFIC RIM: Eco Research Lab Costa Rica


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Building Trust, Bridging Divides: Visual Communication/Branding Programming for the City of Long Beach Police Department and Community


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Accessibility Design Workshop w/ Josh Halstead, Dru Bramlett & Aldis Ozolins

October 30 / 10am - 6pm / ArtCenter Hillside Campus


“Each student brings individual life experiences, diverse cultural upbringings, varied interests and perspectives to the subject displaying the many ways see and converse about a problem.”

Krystina Castella, Faculty, Product Design


A transcripted course of study for ArtCenter undergraduate students in social innovation

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ArtCenter students are embedded in host organizations for one full 14-week academic term to work on high-level projects.

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Networks & Partnerships

Current partnerships
AEDAmerican Cancer SocietyAmerican Red CrossANSPEAquarium of the PacificArt Division
Arthritis FoundationAshokaAutodesk FoundationBarbieBerkeley Graduate School of JournalismBloomberg
CAL EMACalifornia Common CauseCal TechCedar-Sinai Center for Health Equity ResearchCenter Theatre GroupChildrens Hospital LA
City of Long BeachCity of Los AngelesCity of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and ParksCity of PasadenaCity of Santa Monica Office of Civic WellbeingCoaniquem
Compartamos Con ColombiaCovenant HouseDalbergDiscovery Science Cube Los Angeles and Garmin International.Doctors Withouth BordersEast West Bank
EMDRIAFEMAFlintridge CenterFood ForwardGarmin InternationalGE Healthcare
Girl EffectGoodwillHomeboyHomeboy Electronics Recycling  Housing WorksHUB Bogota
 Instituto de Diseño (ISDi)International Medical CorpInternational Organization for MigrationInternational Rescue CommKyoto Seika UniversityLA County Dept. mental health
LAUSDLegacy LALong Beach Police DepartmentMary Pickford FoundationMattelMayo
Mayor’s Fund Los AngelesNAKFINathan CummingsNEANike FoundationNOAA
North East TreesOASOutward Bound AdventuresPackard FoundationPAHOParticipant
Pasadena Public LibraryPathPlanned ParenthoodPrincetonProject 51Project Concern Int
ProximityRancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation CenterRonald McDonald HouseRubbermaidSappi: Ideas that MatterSCEC
Sentient ResearchSilicon Valley Community FoundationState of California Seismic SafetySurdnaSHESocialab
US dept of InteriorTAMA Art UniversityTECHOTongji University College of Design and InnovationUCLA Business of Science CenterUNESCO
UNOPSUSC AnnenbergUSC NorrisUSGSVANSVentureWell
WHOWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution World BankWomen DeliverYMCA
designmatters networks
AIGACumulus AssociationDesign Ignites ChangeDesigners AccordDesis NetworkIDSA