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Devin Thorpe

Museum of Design Atlanta Celebrates the Ways Great Design Can Solve Problems

Design for Social Impact Exhibition May 25-August 3, 2014

Atlanta (March 31, 2014) – Based on the idea that design is a way of looking at the world with an eye for changing it, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) presents Design for Social Impact, an original exhibition offering a look at how designers, engineers, students, professors, architects and social entrepreneurs use design to solve the problems of the 21st century. Design for Social Impact opens May 25 and runs through August 3. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, May 29.

The exhibition will feature projects that address a variety of challenges in the areas of Shelter, Community, Education, Healthcare, Energy and Food & Water. Each category will highlight solutions taking place locally, as well as ways in which these challenges are being addressed around the world. Projects will be displayed through the use of photos, videos, prototypes, objects and more. The focus of the exhibition will be on the design process and how design thinking can be used to create solutions to problems for a variety of users from developing countries to urban areas.

Imparting a sense of optimism at the possibility of creating a better world, Design for Social Impact is not meant to be a total review of solutions; rather it will provide a range of examples of design thinking being used to solve problems in innovative ways. In many cases, the projects actually solve multiple problems at one time. The featured projects were selected for their in-depth understanding of the users, which led to affordable, adaptable and sustainable solutions.

Local projects highlighted in Design for Social Impact include the work of:

Mad Housers, Inc., an Atlanta based organization that provides shelter for homeless individuals and families. By constructing warm, dry spaces with a locking door, occupants are given security, privacy and a sense of dignity. Each 6’ x 8’ structure is designed for durability, low cost and ease of assembly. Plywood People’s Billboard Bags are handmade in Clarkston, Ga. by legal refugees who fled their conflict-affected countries for a better life. Through the Billboard Bags project workers receive job training, English classes and income. Made with 90 percent reclaimed billboard material, these bags help the environment and support the community. Foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Nicholas Giovinco in collaboration with the hacker space Freeside Atlanta is using CT scans to create life size 3D printed templates of complex, three dimensional deformities. This approach to surgery increases patient outcome and care, while decreasing surgeon stress. Giovinco works with other surgeons to implement 3D printing in a variety of medical fields. With the use of open source hardware, open source software and other free tools available today, this process can be made readily available to medical facilities throughout the world.

Agricultural development and technology agents Full Belly Project out of Wilmington, N.C. develop and distribute agricultural devices that are designed to be locally manufactured, operated and repaired using readily available materials and labor. Full Belly’s devices create self-efficacy in developing economies. While these technologies are helping communities around the world, Full Belly conducted much of their design process locally. Research for their first product, the Universal Nut Sheller, was conducted at the Carter Center, and North Carolina farmers are consulted for the design, prototyping and testing of Full Belly’s irrigation technology.

Throughout the run of Design for Social Impact, MODA will welcome guest speakers, lectures and classes from organizations included in the exhibition. MODA is also offering summer camp for teens that explore the strategies used by the organizations in Design for Social Impact and will teach campers how to solve problems through the design process.

About Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

Celebrating 25 years in 2014 and located within the Midtown Arts Corridor since March 2011, MODA is the only museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to the study and celebration of all things design. MODA advances the understanding and appreciation of design as the convergence of creativity and functionality through exhibitions, education, and programming for visitors of all ages. MODA’s vision is of a world that celebrates design as a creative force that inspires change, transforms lives, and makes the world a better place. MODA regularly features exhibitions of architecture, industrial and product design, interiors and furniture, graphics, fashion, and more. For more information, visit: or call 404-979-6455. Museum Hours at 1315 Peachtree Street are:

Monday       Closed
Tuesday      12-6pm
Wednesday 12-6pm
Thursday     12-8pm
Friday          12-6pm
Saturday      10am-6pm
Sunday         12-6pm

For More Information Contact

Carrie Whitney 404-822-1078


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