Student & Teacher Resources
Start by reviewing the design process. Remember, this process can vary and is not always a linear path. Designers often move between stages and even circle back to the start at different points.
- Design Process Tips and Cheat Sheet
- Smithsonian Learning Lab: Explore a few examples of how people are designing for a more peaceful and just world and go step by step through coming up with your own design.
- 2022 Design Competition Flyer: This year’s graphic was inspired by the hand gesture that has been used since the 1940s as a symbol for victory and peace.
Use these resources to learn more about the topic:
- United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies.
- Institute for Economics and Peace, including free education materials for teachers to introduce peace into the classroom across subjects.
There are many ways to approach this year’s challenge. Take a look at a few ways people are designing for a more peaceful and just world to help ignite your creative thinking:
How might design support safe, healthy, respectful environments?
- HarassMap by Rebecca Chiao, Sawsan Gad, and Engy Ghozlan: This platform reports sexual harassment. Anyone can share an incident with the location, date, and time. They can also include personal and witness accounts, and any interventions.
- The Adventures of Daly Graphic Novels by Lab 619 and Search for Common Ground: This is a comic book series shared with vulnerable Tunisian youth. It is meant to help them build skills to understand and think through alternatives to violence.
- Social Emergency Response Center by Design Studio for Social Intervention: These are temporary, emergent, and creative spaces. They pop up in response to a new attack on a population or to a long-standing injustice. They are co-led by activists and artists around the United States.
How can design address the root causes of conflict?
- Papers, Please by Lucas Pope: The player in this video game acts as a border-crossing immigration officer in a fictional country of Arstotzka. The country does not get along with the countries that neighbor it.
- Stalled! by JSA/MIXdesign with Susan Stryker, Terry Kogan, Quemuel Arroyo, and Antonia Caba: This project creates safe, sustainable, and inclusive public restrooms. It can be used by anyone regardless of age, gender, race, culture, religion, and abilities.
What ways can design support transitions from instability to peace?
- Ideas Box by Philippe Starck: This is a pop-up media center and learning hub. It provides education and tools for refugees, displaced people in camps, and underserved communities in developed countries.
- Safe Passage Bags by Lesvos Solidarity: These bags are made out of lifejackets that were used by refugees who crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece. The bags are made by refugees and locals. They give the lifejackets new meaning and keep them from being trash.
How might we design creative confrontation?
- Black Lives Matter Harlem Street Mural This street mural reaffirms that the Black community matters. It features the work of Harlem artists and community organizations. It adds to the many Black Lives Matter street murals around the country.
- Maps (Bullet Rug series) by DETEXT: These rugs are made from bullet shells. Creating these rugs exposes stories of war, violence, and military interventions.
- Teeter-Totter Wall by Rael San Fratello with Colectivo Chopeke: This is a set of pink seesaws placed through the small openings of the US-Mexico border wall. They encourage interaction and dialogue across both sides of the border.
How might design embrace justice and truth in a search for reconciliation?
- My Ancestors’ Garden by Hood Design Studio: This design memorializes the place where nearly half of all enslaved Africans were brought to North America. The landscape is marked with a lawn and brick design to show a full-size diagram of a packed slave ship.
- Paper Monuments by Colloqate: This public art and history project is designed to uplift the voices of the people of New Orleans. It creates new stories that represent all New Orleanians and their histories. The project included a poster campaign, installations, public proposals, and events and workshops.
- THINK ABOUT THE MANY MEANINGS OF PEACE AND THE FACTORS THAT CAN HELP CREATE A PEACEFUL AND JUST WORLD.
Start by thinking about the different and evolving definitions and meanings of peace. Peace is not just the absence of war and violence. It is a strive for dignity and well-being for all. This can include ensuring access to education, including for girls and women or for those who don’t have Internet, as well as access to health and essential services, like vaccines and drinking water. It can also be about ensuring people, especially children, are protected from violence including abuse, disappearance, and bullying, while also managing the effects of climate change to protect those who are vulnerable.
Think about what peace means to you. What are some ways that already help ensure a peaceful and just world? How might these ways be improved on? What other opportunities are there to reimagine the world and design for peace and justice? Remember this can be something personal like for your family or school, in your community, around the country, or across the world.
- WHO WILL USE YOUR DESIGN?
Think about the specific user(s) who might experience your design. It may help to start by thinking about people in your life—you, your family and relatives, your friends and classmates, your neighbors and community. Who might you know who has faced a challenge to peace and/or justice? What could be done to improve their quality of life? What other opportunities are there to design the future they might want to live in? Are there other people you might not be thinking about who would be impacted by your design?
- TALK TO YOUR AUDIENCE.
Is it possible to safely talk to your intended user(s) about their experiences and the opportunity you are looking at? How have you incorporated their needs into your design? Have you made any assumptions that should be considered? Could you share or test your design with your intended user(s) to gather feedback? Talking to your user(s) may lead to new ideas that you hadn’t thought about before.
- WHERE WILL YOUR DESIGN EXIST?
Think about the opportunity you are designing for. How will the user(s) experience your design, from beginning to completion? Even consider actions that take place before or after they use or experience your design. What are the surroundings and does this change through the experience? Is there an aspect that can be improved on to create a more peaceful and just experience for your user(s) as well as others?
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Email us at DesignCompetition@si.edu to let us know that you’ll be entering the design competition or are planning to introduce it to your students. We’ll notify you of competition updates.