By Andréa Pellegrino, Worldstudio Design Ignites Change, an initiative of Worldstudio, promotes and encourages talented high-school and college students across the country to use design thinking and innovation to develop actual projects that will benefit their own communities while giving them a voice on important social issues. The winning projects of the Fall 2011 Design Ignites Change Awards demonstrate the bright future of design as a means of bringing meaningful and relevant positive change to the world. They are not only innovative and well-researched, but also scalable, giving them the potential to affect communities across the globe. The Implementation Award went to two outstanding projects: Safe Agua – Ducha Halo, from Narbeth Dereghishian and Jessica Yeh at Art Center College of Design; and Design Thinking in Rural North Carolina, from Kirsten Southwell at North Carolina State University.

The Idea Award was awarded to the entrepreneurial-minded Halal Hotdog project from Minneapolis College of Art and Design student Brian Wiley; along with Crop ’n’ Shop and Moitié-Moitié, which also use food and design to bring about positive social change.


To celebrate the newest mentoring program, School: By Design, a special award was introduced for the most compelling school-redesign idea. The winning project, Sow, by Kaitlan Martin, Whitlock Shelby, and Watts Kelly from Missouri State University, is the result of a mentoring partnership with students from Martin’s studio and Bailey Alternative High School. They designed a collection of resources to be used alongside the existing greenhouse at the high school. The project’s goal is to nurture healthier and more sustainable lifestyles for the students and community of Springfield, as well as promote a more positive image of the school within the city.


The judges for this round, who had the difficult task of reviewing the most impressive and thoughtful group of projects submitted to date, were Doug Powell, AIGA/Schwartz Powell Design; John Carlin, Funny Garbage; Pam Williams, Williams & House; and Monica Harriss, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

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