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.

Meet IDSA Design Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship winner: Peggy Li

IDSA / July 2020

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Project Play: Exploring the Concept of Play Through Pop-Up Experiences


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"Socially conscious designers can inject new ways of thinking into the world to help deal with pervasive social and environmental problems (such as inequity and the hyper-production of wasteful and harmful things)."

Mari Nakano, Grad Media Design '09, Visual Design Lead, UNICEF Innovation Unit

Game On: Inspiring a Healthy L.A. for 2028


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COANIQUEM: Safe Niños: Development Seminar | Co-creating Innovative Healing Environments for Children


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2020 Census: Information Graphics to Overcome Participation Barriers


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"The practical foundation that underlies this program is that even the most amazing design solutions need to be supported by a strong business model in order to be implemented and sustainable."

Adlai Wertman, Professor, Marshall School of Business, USC

Socially Responsible Art: Connecting Legacy L.A. Youth to Artistic Opportunities and Personal Expression


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The Aquarium of the Pacific: Open Ocean Project

In the Open Ocean studio, Designmatters students created a public awareness campaign for the Aquarium of the Pacific centered on the topic of ocean exploration.  

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INSIDE and OUT: Closing the Cancer Gap in LGBTQIA+ Communities


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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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ArtCenter Admissions: Virtual Information Session

August 6, 2020 6:00 P.M. PDT


“The problem the students were trying to solve, in essence, was how to visualize data. These teams figured out ways to understand, digest and make data real. That’s a difficult task, but bringing together transdisciplinary students seemed to facilitate and accelerate the process. Each of them – product designers, graphic designers, advertising, etc. – was oriented to view and contribute in a unique way that added depth to the concepts.”

Petrula Vrontikis, Instructor

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 CommKidspace Children's MuseumKyoto Seika University
LA County Dept. mental healthLAUSDLegacy LALong Beach Police DepartmentMary Pickford FoundationMattel
MayoMayor’s Fund Los AngelesNAKFINathan CummingsNEANature Convervancy
Nike FoundationNOAANorth East TreesOASOutward Bound AdventuresPackard Foundation
PAHOParticipant Pasadena Public LibraryPathPlanned ParenthoodPrinceton
Project 51Project Concern IntProximityRancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation CenterRonald McDonald HouseRubbermaid
Sappi: Ideas that MatterSCECSentient ResearchSilicon Valley Community FoundationState of California Seismic SafetySurdna
SHESocialabUS dept of InteriorTAMA Art UniversityTECHOTongji University College of Design and Innovation
UNIFEMUnited We StayUNOPSUSC AnnenbergUSC NorrisUSGS
VANSVentureWellWHOWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution World BankWomen Deliver
designmatters networks
AIGACumulus AssociationDesign Ignites ChangeDesigners AccordDesis NetworkIDSA