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The GOOD 100: Project M The GOOD 100: Project M

The GOOD 100: Project M

October 11, 2009

A Case Study

At the edge of the functioning United States, in Hale County, Alabama, the designer John Bielenberg is marshaling a class of design-minded idealists in a program called Project M. These mostly student volunteers spend a summer month translating their design skills into meaningful change.MISSIONVITALS Founded in 2003; 100 total people involved, about 20 active participants at any given time; two base camps: one in Belfast, Maine, and another in Greensboro, Alabama; individual projects have happened in Costa Rica, Iceland, and Baltimore.ACCOLADES Design awards from institutions like AIGA and I.D.; the Skandalaris Award for Entrepreneurship in Design and Visual Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, a $20,000 award that will help fund a 23-city Project M tour starting next spring.WHY IT WORKSPLANS FOR THE FUTURE Establishing year-long fellowship programs for alumni; building two "creative villages" using converted shipping containers for low-cost housing in Alabama and Maine; a business called PieLab to promote community in Greensboro; a bike evangelism movement called NADA.UPDATE: PieLab, a Project M offshoot, is trying to raise money for a new facility. The deadline is November 1, so head over to Kickstarter and donate now.

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