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.

Reimagining Access: Inclusive Technology Design for Archives and Special Collections

How can designers work with people with disabilities to improve the user experience and accessibility of digital technologies? 

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


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"A designer’s desire to change the world can be incompatible with empathy, which necessitates relinquishing the impulse to remake the world as it should be in favor of grasping the world as it is for others."

Arden Stern, Faculty, Humanities & Sciences

Designmatters Guest Faculty – Dr. Carlene Olivia Fider


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Healing Buddies: 2020 IDSA International Design Excellence Award Winner

IDSA / August 2020

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“Innovation is deliberate. It’s about solving problems without creating new ones. To innovate is to enable one to share our natural empathy and be able to allow others a new means for expression. Innovation is something humans and other creatures have been doing forever, be it by instinct or experimentation. We innovate to survive and to create positive solutions to simplify and better our lives.”

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

ArtCenter Faculty Members Receive $200,000 Grant to Improve Online Archive Access for Those With Disabilities

Pasadena Now / January 2021

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


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


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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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Graduation and Grad Show: Spring 2021

April 24, 2021 10:00 am

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"Design can capture and integrate the best of science, technology and art to provide a clear, compelling roadmap to a more sustainable future."

Jerry Schubel Ph.D. President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific

Networks & Partnerships

Current partnerships
AEDAmerican Cancer SocietyAmerican Red CrossANSPEAquarium of the PacificArt Division
Arthritis FoundationAshokaAutodesk FoundationBarbieBerkeley Graduate School of JournalismBloomberg
Braille InstituteCAL EMACalifornia Common CauseCal TechCedar-Sinai Center for Health Equity ResearchCenter Theatre Group
Childrens Hospital LACity of Long BeachCity of Los AngelesCity of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and ParksCity of PasadenaCity of Santa Monica Office of Civic Wellbeing
CoaniquemCompartamos Con ColombiaCovenant HouseDalbergDiscovery Science Cube Los AngelesDoctors Withouth Borders
East West BankEMDRIAFEMAFlintridge CenterFood ForwardGarmin International
GE HealthcareGirl EffectGoodwillHomeboyHomeboy Electronics Recycling  Housing Works
HUB Bogota Institute of Museum and Library Services Instituto de Diseño (ISDi)International Medical CorpInternational Organization for MigrationInternational Rescue Comm
Kidspace Children's MuseumKyoto Seika UniversityLA County Dept. mental healthLAUSDLegacy LALong Beach Police Department
Mary Pickford FoundationMattelMayoMayor’s Fund Los AngelesMSU Usability/Accessibility Research and ConsultingNAKFI
Nathan CummingsNEANature ConvervancyNike FoundationNOAANorth East Trees
OASOutward Bound AdventuresPackard FoundationPAHOParticipant Pasadena Public Library
PathPlanned ParenthoodPrincetonProject 51Project Concern IntProximity
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation CenterRonald McDonald HouseRubbermaidSappi: Ideas that MatterSCECSentient Research
Silicon Valley Community FoundationState of California Seismic SafetySurdnaSHESocialabSociety of American Archivists Accessibility and Disability Section
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 DeliverYMCAJ. Craig Venter Institute
J. Craig Venter Institute_2
designmatters networks
AIGACumulus AssociationDesign Ignites ChangeDesigners AccordDesis NetworkIDSA