Designer Nate Burgos on Sustainability + ‘Design Activism’

16 02 2008

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We ask design guru Nate Burgos, named Fast Company’s debut “Fast 50 Champions of Innovation“, to reflect on how the Internet changed how designers ‘make connections’ and why government and ‘big business’ should care about environmental sustainability and design activism.

Our take: major organizations should take a cue from the incredibly creative and nimble ways designers (who often, historically speaking, have a pulse on how online mediums work faster than business) are using the Internet and multi-media platforms to attract highly engaged users – not to mention high web traffic rates. Here are nine websites to watch and more on what the ever quotable Burgos said on design activism, the Internet and sustainability…

Here’s what the ever quotable Burgos said…

“One way to look at how the web is influencing, even encouraging, designers to galvanize causes is through the lens of a singular medium: The medium of film drives Pangea Day; Photography drives the Polling Place Photo Project; Packaging is a driving factor in the Replate and FLOWmarket movements; Data-driven cartography drives A Global Map of Human Impacts to Marine Ecosystems; The classic format of posters drove The Hurricane Poster Project. Then there’s the lens of multiple media, involving multiple design disciplines, which is at the core of community-driven sites like Superuse, focused on inventive ways of recycling, and holistic design rallies like Metropolis Magazines’s Next Generation® competition and The Designers Accord.”

“Whether their creators are intimate in scale or distributed, such initiatives demonstrate the integral role of the internet to help share and spread ideas and motivate positive thought and action.”

“Web technologies help designers of any discipline to further self-discovery. It’s humbling to discover the diversity of web-based projects initiated by people to understand more about causes and effects that have an impact on our world, as seen in the aforementioned examples. “

Nate Burgos sustains a growing design webliography Design Feast. He is first recipient of the MDM degree at the Institute of Design, IIT, and is currently a member of Sapient Interactive of human-centered consulting firm Sapient Corporation. He self-published Thought Leadership by Design and contributed to ChangeThis with a shareable manifesto entitled Innovation: More than a New Year’s Resolution.



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