Design for the Common Good International Exhibition logo

The Design for the Common Good International Exhibition asserts the value of public interest design, an emerging practice that envisions a community-centered approach in the design of buildings, environments, products, and systems. It is a practice that champions growing knowledge, evolving processes, and activating participation while tackling complex issues. The direct involvement of people—communities, stakeholders, designers, as well as educators and their students—is the heart of this work.

Unified by a shared vision for the potential of public interest design, these network projects tell the story of community-centered processes led through participatory design, education, research, and design evaluation. The resulting exchange of ideas in this inaugural network exhibition provides compelling evidence that designers and communities work best together when sharing resources, and knowledge that aim to improve quality of life for people worldwide.

DCG Exhibition Map

LOCATION: Metropolitan State University of Denver, Center for Visual Art, Denver, USA

DATE: January 14–March 19, 2022

curated works

The Design for Common Good International Exhibition showcases projects selected from within the five international design organizations that comprise the DCG network. The exhibition showcases work designed collaboratively with underserved communities to create opportunity and solutions from within. Featuring projects and processes from around the globe, the exhibit also highlights regional solutions situated in and around the U.S. Rocky Mountain west, the location of the exhibition venue.

Photo Credit: Iwan Baan

African Leadership University

SEED Network

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Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform

SEED Network

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Photo Credit: Ria Tan

Ah Ma Drink Stall

Pacific Rim Community Design Network

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Alternative Shelter & Village Building

SEED Network

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Photo Credit: Kurt Hoerbst

Anandaloy

Curry Stone Foundation

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Photo Credit: Jesse Kuroiwa

Auraria Bike Pavilions

Design Build Xchange

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Photo Credit: JC Buck Gallery

Beloved Community Village

Regional Project Selection

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Photo Credit: Günter R.Wett

bilding

Design Build Xchange

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Photo Credit: Clint Abrahams

Bong’s Place Macassar’s Storytelling Shack

Live Projects Network

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Photo Credit: Santiago Oviedo

Chamanga Cultural Center

Design Build Xchange

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Photo Credit: ISAU/PBSA/RWTH

Ecole Primaire Santiguyah

Design Build Xchange

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Photo Credit: William Ti, Jr.

Emergency Quarantine Facilities

Pacific Rim Community Design Network

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Photo Credit: Joti Weijers-Coghlan

Fish River Rangers Accommodation

Live Projects Network

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Photo Credit: Vicenzo Floramo

Gaw La Heh Primary School

Curry Stone Foundation

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Photo Credit: Original Concept and Meanings by Gordon Yellowman (Tribal Cultural Artist); Translation of Art into Architecture: Scott Moore y Medina (Architect of Record)

George Hawkins Memorial Treatment Center Mural

Regional Project Selection

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Photo Credit: Rural Urban Framework

Ger Innovation Hub

Curry Stone Foundation

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Photo Credit: Kyle Pearce

Grange Pavilion

Live Projects Network

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Housing in Historic Rural Palestine

Curry Stone Foundation

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Photo Credit: University of Sheffield, School of Architecture

Imagine Castlegate

Live Projects Network

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Photo Credit: Leon Klassen

Infozentrale auf dem Vollgut

Design Build Xchange

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Photo Credit: InterACTION Labs Team

InterACTION Labs

Pacific Rim Community Design Network

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International District Urban Agriculture Plan

Regional Project Selection

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Living Rooms at the Border

SEED Network

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Photo Credit: Sanrok Studio

Microlibraries

Pacific Rim Community Design Network

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Photo Credit: Katie Edwards

Naidi Community Hall

Pacific Rim Community Design Network

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Photo Credit: Community Design Agency

Niramay Place

Curry Stone Foundation

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Photo Credit: Markus Fattinger

OBENauf Bed-and-Breakfast

Design Build Xchange

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Photo Credit: Chad Kraus

Passerine Pavilion

Live Projects Network

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Photo Credit: Jason Henry for Alta Magazine

Restore Oakland

Curry Stone Foundation

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Vertical University Project

SEED Network

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Design for the Common Good International Exhibition Catalog

View the Exhibition Catalog

Front cover of the exhibition catalog featuring select projects
Exhibition catalog and cover design by MSU Denver Communication Design students

Exhibition App

Designed and developed by Shawn Meek, the app features six projects selected by curator Lisa M. Abendroth to encapsulate a range of global perspectives representative of the exhibition as a whole. Download the app for Android or iOS for a unique experience of exhibition content and use the QR codes located throughout the gallery (see exhibition project narratives embedded in the Matterport Virtual Tour above), to access additional “Insights & Perspectives” about each of the curator pick projects. 

Series of sample app screens
Sample screens from the Design for the Common Good exhibition app

Exhibition Committee

Black and white photo of Lisa Abendroth
Curator

Lisa M. Abendroth

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Lisa is curator and organizer of the Design for Common Good International Exhibition hosted at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Center for Visual Art, where she is a Professor in the Communication Design program.

Lisa’s research focuses on public interest design and the social, economic, and environmental impacts created within the contexts of underserved people, places, and problems. Her pedagogy is committed to community-led design practices that embolden access and equity. She was curator and organizer of the award-winning international design exhibition Substance: Diverse Practices from the Periphery.

Lisa maintains several organizational affiliations: she is a co-founder of the SEED Network, a SEED Evaluator co-author, and the SEED Network Education Director. She is also a member of the DCG network steering committee. Along with Bryan Bell, Lisa is co-editor and co-author of Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook, (Routledge, 2015); and, Public Interest Design Education Guidebook (Routledge, 2018).

Lisa is a recipient of the SEED Award for Leadership in Public Interest Design. She holds degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and Rhode Island School of Design and is an AIGA Fellow.

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Committee Representatives 

While each network has a unique focus, we acknowledge our mutuality in supporting the growth of design for the common good. In this we seek to scale our effectiveness through our existing network affiliations, the inclusion of new networks, and the promotion of relationships that share new knowledge and critical PID approaches to working, teaching, and learning.

Ursula Hartig

Ursula Hartig

DesignBuildXchange

Nina Pawlicki

Nina Pawlicki

DesignBuildXchange

Simon Colwill

Simon Colwill

DesignBuildXchange

Jane Anderson

Jane Anderson

Live Projects Network

Colin Priest

Colin Priest

Live Projects Network

Hendrik Teiben

Hendrik Tieben

Pacific Rim Community

Chong Keng Hua

CHONG Keng Hua

Pacific Rim Community

Bryan Bell

Bryan Bell

SEED Network

Sergio Palleroni

Sergio Palleroni

SEED Network

LOCATION INFO

Metropolitan State University of Denver, Center for Visual Art

The Center for Visual Art (CVA) provides diverse, high-quality art experiences that bring local and international artists, MSU Denver students and the broader community together to advance the global urban dialogue.

In addition to showing significant contemporary art, the award-winning CVA serves as an interactive art laboratory for MSU Denver students and the larger community. The CVA was founded in 1990 to expose students to leading-edge art and to broaden MSU Denver’s art program. The non-profit art space makes an important contribution to visual art offerings available in Denver and the Rocky Mountain West, bringing in art that would not otherwise be seen here.

CVA is a division of the MSU Denver Department of Art which is dedicated to providing students with an unparalleled urban learning environment and a strong sense of community within the local art scene. The Center for Visual Art contributes to MSU Denver’s status as a higher education art program in Colorado that maintains accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

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Students at the Metropolitan State University of Denver Campus

Photo Credit: Aly McClaran

conference events

01/14: Exhibition Opening

Lecture: Exhibition Introduction and Welcome, Curator, Lisa M. Abendroth; Keynote address, Sergio Palleroni, Professor and Director, Center for Public Interest Design, Portland State University and Executive Committee Chair, Design for the Common Good Network.

03/04: Conference Day 1

Join us for a day filled with inspiring events including panel discussions, network presentations, and a keynote address by Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a special viewing of the Design for the Common International Exhibition that evening. Meet speakers and experts promoting systemic change in the practices of design to amplify positive change in communities around the world.

03/05: Conference Day 2

Seated breakfast with speakers, concurrent sessions, in-person and virtual walkthrough of projects, facilitated open discussions, conference closing and a walking tour of the Auraria Bike Pavilions project by ColoradoBuildingWorkshop, University of Colorado Denver faculty and students.

Two online conversation events, on 3 March and 19 March, extend the global community created by the Design for the Common Good Exhibition and Structures for Inclusion Conference. Join with public interest designers, community members, and leaders in the field for a curated dialogue about the exhibited projects and the stories behind them.

03/03: Online Conversation

A selection of five project teams and communities from the exhibition will reflect in a dialogue between DCG networks, open to all. The Conversations will focus on understanding the stories of community design projects and held online to support team members and communities around the world. The March 3rd Conversations will be held 8:00-12:00pm GMT (3-7am EST) and feature keynote speaker Akiko Okabe.

03/19: Online Conversation

A selection of six project teams and communities from the exhibition will reflect in a dialogue between DCG networks, open to all. The Conversations will focus on understanding the stories of community design projects and held online to support team members and communities around the world. The March 19th Conversations will be held 4:00-8:00pm GMT (12-4pm EST) and feature keynote speaker Nabeel Hamdi.

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