Exhibition Projects Map
The Design for the Common Good International Exhibitions assert 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 these exhibitions 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.
You can also use the top left arrow to expand the sidebar and navigate between the curated projects with ease. You can navigate to more information about each project by clicking on its pin on the map. Clicking the link will take you to the project entry page to get more details.
Established by the Design for the Common Good Network in Denver, Colorado (2022) as the parent exhibition, today the exhibition travels with added peer-reviewed or curator-invited projects that build the collection. This work exemplifies the ways communities, organizations, and design teams are creating positive change from the ground up. Often localized and scale-appropriate, these efforts are transformative in the places where they matter most—settings where there is a distinct call to action and a needed response to critical issues affecting people in their ability to live life at its fullest.
The exhibition refers to the term public interest design as a practice that champions community-driven approaches to the design of buildings, environments, products, and systems. It is a practice that promotes growing knowledge, evolving processes, and activating meaningful engagement while tackling complex, multi-layered issues. Prioritizing community vision and supported by a range of diverse stakeholders, it advocates for mutual inclusivity where understanding and growth is achieved through education, research, and evaluation of design outcomes. As a result, these projects respond to mutually persistent social, economic, and environmental challenges at a variety of local-to-global scales providing valuable lessons and best practices.
Integral to the review process, project teams who are included in this exhibition provided documentation detailing their community collaborations and participation methods, project goals and impacts, issues addressed, results, and post-project outcomes among others. Evidence of this depth is found throughout the exhibition in photography, plans, videos, and narrative responses that acknowledge the inclusive process each project team has pursued.
In order to tell each project’s story exhibition narratives speak to the following prompts: Cause: the social, economic, and/or environmental basis for the project originates from within the community; Method: inclusive participatory design practices respond to the unique context of people and place; Impact: the project reveals evidence of positive change in the lives of the community it operates within; and, Takeaways: scholarship, new learning, and knowledge-sharing are documented and transferrable. Together these stories of participatory design amplify the urgency for public interest design practitioners today more than ever.
The exhibition is organized according to six issue groups.
While each project is unique in its methods, the fundamental philosophy of working to achieve community-derived and -driven goals are found throughout. To further realize this, exhibition projects are grouped according to key issues addressed. These serve as a framework for understanding how public interest design operates to maximize social, economic, and environmental impacts within communities across the globe.