From the day we are born, people, places, and experiences impact us in a spectrum of ways, sometimes taking us years to appreciate or understand. We eventually grow older and dissect those deep-rooted impressions we’ve stored in our pockets for so long. Our awareness of the world and our role in it starts to fall into place and we begin to assume a sense of responsibility for the knowledge we’ve gained. Understanding the ripples of our actions, we begin to see that the beauty of impact lies in the cyclical and contagious nature of it all. As designers, we have the privilege and opportunity to direct our knowledge and experiences to an expansive, socially diverse context. That being said, I believe we often overlook one of the biggest components of conducting socially responsible design as a means of impact: the gift of listening. I’ve come to realize that sometimes the most significant impact you can have on a person is simply being there to encourage, support and hear rather than assume, persuade and tell.
Riley Gish is a student at ArtCenter College of Design studying Product Design with a Designmatters Concentration. She’s originally from Seattle, Washington. To learn more about Riley and her work click here www.rileygish.com
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