John Cary is a design advocate and a founding editor at PublicInterestDesign.org, a website about a growing movement at the intersection of design and service. The site acts as a hub for stakeholders in the movement to share news and opportunities about public interest design.
“This is a field premised on the belief that everyone deserves good design,” says Cary. “It's the intersection of design and service, broadly encompassing the design of products, environments, and systems. Indeed, everything around us, for better or worse, is designed.”
Cary is also a Research Fellow within the University of Minnesota College of Design, and is the co-lead of the City 2.0 (2012 TED Prize), a crowd-sourced platform for promoting the visions and ideas that will shape the future’s urban spaces. The prize had previously been awarded to individuals, but this time, it was designed as a collaborative process to share resources and insights to reshape cities around the world.
PublicInterestDesign is riding on the momentum of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, focused on "Designing for Impact." The organization recently gathered more than a dozen major foundations to talk about support for design as a tool to improve lives.
Cary cites entities like IDEO.org and MASS Design Group as positive examples for the direction of the field. He also finds promising the work of Enterprise Rose Fellows in U.S. cities and tribal reservations, as well as Malawi President Joyce Banda's unprecedented maternal health and infrastructure initiative.
With the help of these entities and the growth of the movement worldwide, “2013 will be the year of public interest design,” Cary says.
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