August 2006

The Urban Forest Project. 185 banners about trees will hang from lampposts in New York’s Times Square for the next two months. Professional designers, artists, and students were invited to contribute designs “using the form of the tree, or a metaphor for the tree.... Following their display, the banners will be recycled into tote bags and sold at auction, with proceeds going to scholarship and mentoring programs that benefit students of the visual arts.” Though it was not explicitly part of the brief, a large number of designers took the opportunity to publish social commentary. The direct link to the banners has disappeared from the main site, but you can click through images of all the banners here.  ¶
The Cancer Atlas. And, The Tobacco Atlas published by the American Cancer Society. Terrifying cartograms and plain language explanations of public health data. In the style of the State of the World Atlases. (via)  ¶
Event Planning for Nonprofits. A great sample checklist and timeline from folks who've done this a few times.  ¶
Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics. Including a numeric ranking of the big mobile and PC manufacturers.  ¶
Let’s talk about climate change. Climate TalkIn late 2005 and early 2006, researchers with the Institute for Public Policy Research “analysed more than 600 articles from the UK press, as well as over 90 TV, radio and press ads, news clips and websites to find out how the media, government and green groups are communicating climate change.” They identified 10 different types of argument, that “offer different ways of thinking and talking and act as different versions of what can be considered ‘common sense.’”

The breakdown is interesting and useful, though I’m skeptical of their conclusions about the most persuasive message (given that they did not test the messages with actual audiences.) Media consensus is not the same as public opinion. See the summary of their findings or the full publication (512 Kb PDF). (via)  ¶

Please Note

Social Design Notes, blogging here since 2002, has no relation whatsoever with the Social Design Network™, circa 2006. While their mission sounds nice enough, their logo contest is an example of unethical spec-work, and the fee-based portfolio site and jewlery sales — a whopping 17% donated to charity — make it look like this initiative is more about cashing in on the idea of social design. (And does that ring remind anyone else of a classic video game?)
>  21 August 2006, 11:13 PM | LINK | Filed in
Looking for Rini Templeton. It’s been 20 years since Rini Templeton left her copyright free artwork to be used by all people seeking a more just world. To celebrate her life and work, the Design Action Collective is producing an exhibition. Have you used her work or seen it used? Do you know of a project in the spirit of her work? Let them know by September 2006.
Protest Banner  ¶
CitySol. This past Sunday was the third in a series of free outdoor parties promoting environmentalism in NYC. The summer festivals along Manhattan’s East River waterfront combine “renewable energy-powered live music..., interactive exhibits showcasing key innovations, practices and policies for New York’s sustainable future, and a green lifestyle marketplace.” This Sunday, Per Scholas was also out collecting electronics for recycling or refurbishing and redistribution to low-income families. Reader Colin sends a link to pics of Sunday’s festivities on the NYC IMC. The next event takes place on September 24.  ¶
The World Says No!. Images of protests around the world against Israel’s war on Lebanon — and the war’s U.S. government support. (via)  ¶
Faces4Lebanon. Photosharing for peace. Publish a portrait with your message of solidarity. (via)
Faces4Lebanon  ¶
BrokenBeautiful Press. Alexis Pauline Gumbs makes her artwork, zines, and poetry available in return for donations to activist groups.  ¶
Take Back the Capitol. “An open source political video project and clip contest.” Anyone can submit a short video clip to the YouTube group, the best clips will be cut into a political music video by Sim Sadler, seen in these pages as the editor of Hard Working George.  ¶


On to September.
Back to July.