Shape - Design awareness for the young ones

The conversation on the importance of design has been broadening in the past years trying to cover new demographics, on the assumption that design can contribute to positive change (on business, communities, cities, etc.) but first the involved stakeholders must be aware of the importance of the design activity as more than just aesthetics, and be able to embrace it as a tool for solving problems.

Shape is part of an ongoing project in Dublin to promote awareness and acceptance of the design activity as a tool for positive change. It started as a short film, that you can check out here, and has spanned into a website and educational program, MakeShapeChange. What is interesting about this initiative is that, first it has the support of the Dublin City Council, which shows how more and more locals governments are acknowledging the importance of design in the solution of cities and communities’ issues.
Second, Shape is directed towards kids and young audiences, trying to get them interested in the different aspects of the design field. To achieve this they decide to not focus on explaining what design means, but to rather show the changes design effects in everyday life, showing the possibilities of change that arise when different issues are addressed through the design lens.
On top of the short film, kids and educators can find more relevant information on the history of design and the way design can be put into practice in eight topics, homes, information, spaces, experiences, objects, communications, technology and communities. For each topic there is a small description, some practical exercises and links to more information on the specifics fields of the design involved in said topic.
The short film was commissioned by PIVOT Dublin, a design promotion project born in 2009 with the aim of bidding towards the 2014 World Design Capital, from there the project has moved into become an open platform for projects that explain, demonstrate and celebrate design’s positive impact on social, cultural and economical life.
The PIVOT Dublin website is a great source to find out new information on how design is being used to improve the city, it has an interesting blog, and more important a section of short films based on conversations between design practitioners on issues like well-being, education, among others. As they are working towards enhancing awareness of design as a positive change tool, I think that they will continue to create valuable content around their experience on this topics.
Reference: Shape