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.

"The students confronted important issues from personal vantage points, ultimately ensuring that others would care about them, too."

Sherry Hoffman, Humanities & Sciences, Faculty

Visualization is a Way to Encourage Collaboration in Social Design

KCET Artbound / July 2017

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Communicating the Wellbeing of a City with Santa Monica


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"Art can create awareness and open a dialogue about topics that people wouldn’t otherwise talk about."

Sharon Levy, Product Design, Student

Design for Freedom from Disability


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COANIQUEM: Safe Niños Designing Innovative Interactive Environments for Pediatric Healing


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Aquarium of the Pacific: Interactive Selfie Stations


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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

“Where’s Daryl?” Interaction Design Studio


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(What) Do Designers Need to Practice Social Innovation?

KCET Artbound / June 2017

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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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Networks & Partnerships

Current partnerships
American Cancer SocietyAEDAmerican Red CrossANSPEAquarium of the PacificArthritis Foundation
AshokaAutodesk FoundationBerkeley Graduate School of JournalismBloombergCAL EMACal Tech
Childrens Hospital LACity of LACity of Long BeachCity of PasadenaCity of Santa Monica Office of Civic WellbeingCoaniquem
Compartamos Con ColombiaCovenant HouseCTGDalbergDoctors Withouth BordersEast West Bank
EMDRIAFEMAFlintridge CenterGE HealthcareGirl EffectGoodwill
HomeboyHousing WorksHUB BogotaInt Medical CorpIOMInternational Rescue Comm
La County dept mental healthLAUSDMayoNathan CummingsNEANOAA
Nike FoundationOASPackard FoundationPAHOParticipant Pasadena Public Library
PathPlanned ParenthoodPrincetonProject 51Project Concern IntProximity
Ronald McDonald HouseRubbermaidSappi: Ideas that MatterSCECState of California Seismic SafetySurdna
SHESocialabUS dept of InteriorTAMA Art UniversityTECHOUNICEF us fund
USGSUSC AnnenburgUSC NorrisVANSVentureWellWHO
World BankWomen DeliverYMCA
designmatters networks
Design Ignites ChangeCumulusDesis NetworkDesigners Accord