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.

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


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Seeing the Unseen: Visualizing Flow Patterns of Mesopelagic Ocean Eddies

Spring 2018 - Host Department: Interaction Design 

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“The two-week experience on the ground in Chile was instrumental. We all felt the same thing; we all saw and experienced the same realities together. We all lived the same moments. And that really helped us later as a design team, as we related our ideas and concepts back to our shared experience.”

Andres Zavala, Student, Environmental Design

Design for Freedom from Disability


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Homeless crisis in L.A. inspires some purposefully small ideas: tiny houses


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Designing Democracy: The Future of Civic Engagement

Spring 2018 - Host Department: Humanities & Sciences 

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“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

With tiny homes, Pasadena ArtCenter’s students face the realities of solving LA’s homeless crisis

Daily News / December 2018

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Engage + Envision + Empower: Creating a Safe Sex Culture in the City of Long Beach


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A Future Vision for the Aquarium of the Pacific


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BOLD: Regaining Relevancy in the Social Media Age

February 23, 2019


"The students created outcomes that are innovative and exciting, and help move us closer to our ultimate goal."

John Bwarie, United States Geological Survey (USGS)


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 EMACal TechCenter Theatre GroupChildrens Hospital LACity of LACity of Long Beach
City of PasadenaCity of Santa Monica Office of Civic WellbeingCoaniquemCalifornia Common CauseCedar-Sinai Center for Health Equity ResearchCompartamos Con Colombia
Covenant HouseDalbergDoctors Withouth BordersEast West BankEMDRIAFEMA
Flintridge CenterFood ForwardGE HealthcareGirl EffectGoodwillHomeboy
Homeboy Electronics Recycling  Housing WorksHUB Bogota Instituto de Diseño (ISDi)International Medical CorpInternational Organization for Migration
International Rescue CommKyoto Seika UniversityLA County Dept. mental healthLAUSDLegacy LALong Beach Police Department
Mary Pickford FoundationMattelMayoMayor’s Fund Los AngelesNAKFINathan Cummings
NEANike FoundationNOAANorth East TreesOASOutward Bound Adventures
Packard FoundationPAHOParticipant Pasadena Public LibraryPathPlanned Parenthood
PrincetonProject 51Project Concern IntProximityRancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation CenterRonald McDonald House
RubbermaidSappi: Ideas that MatterSCECSentient ResearchSilicon Valley Community FoundationState of California Seismic Safety
SurdnaSHESocialabUS dept of InteriorTAMA Art UniversityTECHO
Tongji University College of Design and InnovationUCLA Business of Science CenterUNESCOUNFPAUNDPUNICEF
UNICEF US FundUNIFEMUnited We StayUNOPSUSC AnnenbergUSC Norris
USGSVANSVentureWellWHOWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution World Bank
Women DeliverYMCA
designmatters networks
AIGACumulus AssociationDesign Ignites ChangeDesigners AccordDesis NetworkIDSA