Tailoring Some Clothes

There is a lovely lady in the village called Mitho, she has been washing our laundry and cleaning up our lunch dishes for us over the past year. In this time she has been saving up her earnings to buy herself a sewing machine. (Tailoring is in her family). It didn’t take long for a few of us to jump at the chance to ask her to make us items of clothing.

Martina and I took her several fabrics in the hope that she would make us a cholo, a traditional Nepali top. We were only there for 5mins tops, and all she took was our shoulder and arm length measurements, (without a tape measure). I also asked her to make me a kurta and suruwal, and again she took very few measurements for this.

2 days later we returned to find that she had already made them and that they fitted perfectly! We couldn’t believe it. It was like she had done it all by eye, the thing that baffled us most was how on earth she knew our chest measurements!

I was so impressed I went and purchased a new fabric to have a second top made. It didn’t take long but soon everyone was visiting her for items of clothing out of all sorts of materials including bed sheets. She must have thought we were all mad!

Bachchhala – The 5am Walk

So its my last weekend up in Bachchhala. As we no longer return to base at the weekends, the community keep trying to find fun stuff for us to do on our days off. This weekend, Sonya, Santos and Sujan (3 local Bachchhala school kids) decided to take us on a ‘2h’ walk at 5am…..

Not too excited about getting up at 5am but we did. Before we knew it our walk had to wait as we were invited for early morning Chia at the house above camp where the owners had returned from Kathmandu to visit their parents.

5.30am – Not quite awake yet

6am – Just before the Walk







Before we knew it we had set off on a ‘brief’ walk that would take us to a temple, mountain top and a shop for breakfast. At about 1h in, it was becoming quite clear that the we were not going to be back anytime before lunch!

Not even ¼ of the way

Tree Break







The first stop on our walk took us to a sacred temple, next to an underground cave – that had been closed since the earthquake). This was really peaceful and serene and probably the moment when the 5 of us realised just how long this walk was really going to be.

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Next stop… the Mountain (Hill) Top. This had the most amazing views and although the 5 of us were cursing this mornings activities, the view really was worth it.

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We then started to head down the mountain, disappointed to find nowhere to grab a breakfast. We arrived back not too long after lunch after about 5/6hours. We were all starving but so excited about our planned dinner for the evening. Pizza in our Pizza oven! It didn’t quite go to plan, but was damn tasty and just what we needed after our earlier outing.

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Bachchhala – Big Leaving Party

I still have one more week left on project, but many of my AHV family left the project this week. So in typical Bachchhala style the village threw us a huge goodbye party. Food, raksi alcohol, music, dancing, the works!

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In true Ram-Krishna style he told me to turn up straight afterwork to help with the party prep. So after a super quick shower I showed up ready to go. Although It didn’t take long for me to get distracted as some of the village girls turned up to help me do my hair, nails and make up.

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All in all it was a brilliant night and a great way to see off all of my friends.


Rice Feeding Ceremony

Aside from the numerous weddings we were all being invited to, we got the unique opportunity to attend a small gathering for a baby’s Rice Feeding Ceremony. This is where a family celebrates the baby (about 7 months old) eating their first solid food, which is normally rice. The other guests celebrate by eating a fancy meal together.

This adorable baby wouldn’t leave my side once I held him. Luckily I had already mastered eating one handed, but it was a bit of a struggle to entertain him at the same time!

Rice Feeding

It is so nice to be invited to these events, but as someone else mentioned this celebration felt special because we are here putting in all this hard work to build a school for this baby’s future education.

To support this project click here to visit my Just Giving page. You can also find out more about All Hands and the work they are doing across the world by viewing the All Hands website.

Bachchhala – The Community Picnic

I probably haven’t mentioned before but I have been working 6 day weeks. Up until recently I would spend those 6 working days in the village and head down to the larger Town to spend my Friday night and Saturday. That all stopped last week and now we work 2, 6 day weeks up in the village. We still have our rest day, but we take this rest day in the village and don’t journey back into town.

The community were quite excited about being able to spend some real time with us on our days off and have started to think ahead about activities we can do together to keep us occupied. This week they proposed a Picnic.

We are always exhausted from our working weeks and really look forward to having a lazy Saturday. But when we found out that the school teachers, members of the community and the AHV community coordinator had worked together to propose this picnic we couldn’t really refuse.

So we got up nice and early and all piled into a pickup truck with many of the villagers, (all in their Sunday best) for our *1 hour* journey, (it actually took more like 3 or 4 hours). The drive although uncomfortable was really beautiful. It took us back down past our base in the main town and then back up another mountain on the edge of the Langtang National Park.

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Bus ride over we’ve finally made it to a beautiful picnic area next to Langtang Radio Station, (a favourite spot for a school trip). First thing we did was unload the truck, set up the cooking equipment for breakfast, chia, and start prepping for our lunch. I’d never seen anything like it, they had set up a large scale pop up kitchen. We all chipped in and switched between cooking, dancing, music making and drinking (they brought a lot of raksi, the local brew, for us to drink).

The lunch took a few hours so I went off to do some exploring with Taka, Becky, Amy, Roni, one of the teachers, Ram-Krishna and his brother. Our goal… to walk to the top of the hill by lunch! After a while we soon realised that the top of the hill was actually quite far as we had originally pointed at the opposite hill. So we walked up to the top of our hill laughing, joking and eating wild goosberrys.

As hot and as tiering as it was the view was incredible, we could see the 2 if not 3 of the 10 valleys in Nepal. Exhausted we started our decent worried about missing out on the food. The smell was so strong all the way down the hill, and we arrived in good time for the serving of the food.

We were asked to sit in a circle as members of the village each went around distributing plates, cups, about 10 different sides of food, drink and of course the raksi alcohol. Everyone was quite merry. We ate our food, danced some more, packed up to set off on our long journey home.

The way home was much more fun as we continued the party on the truck. The locals also suggested we stopped off at a temple along the way which was really interesting. However despite such a lovely day we got back really late which made us so grumpy for our next working week 🙁

Nepali Wedding

One of the perks of being accepted by the villagers is that they make us feel part of the community. Just one of the ways they do this is by inviting us to special events going on in the village.

This week we were invited to a wedding ceremony. Not only did they invite us to the wedding the villagers clubbed together to find enough Topee’s (Nepali Hats) for the boys and found enough Sarees for us girls to wear.

We went to one home where they dressed us and decorated us with make up and jewellery.        Once dressed we then all headed to meet the boys and attend the wedding. Then on arrival we met the bride and groom, before being continuously asked/forced to dance alongside the locals! Nepali dance has a bit more free movement than us stiff British are used to, but hey ho, most of us really got into it!

Wedding Party

Earthquake Anniversary

Today marked the 1 year anniversary since the earthquake. My good friend Roni had worked very closely with the community to create an afternoon of events to help mark the remembrance of the tragedy.

After lunch we headed over to the school to sit along side the children whilst they watched short factual videos on the earthquake and the aid efforts that followed. Once this was finished some of the school children invited us to come and watch a play they had produced for us on the effects of the earthquake in their village.

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Although I’d been living in the village for quite a while I understood what had happened on the Bachchhala school site but I struggled to pluck up the courage to ask what had happened within the rest of the village. The children had created a very touching play that helped us understand and had many of both us and the locals in tears.

Following this we were invited along with the community to each light a candle in the village temple.

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To support this project click here to visit my Just Giving page. You can also find out more about All Hands and the work they are doing across the world by viewing the All Hands website.

Bachchhala – Foundation Ceremony

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Now that we have excavated and neatened up the foundation holes, the villagers were able to hold a foundation ceremony. This is where a priest comes and conduct a blessing for the foundations to bring the future building good luck.

To do this the priest will make food offerings to the gods in the presence of the buildings key stake holders. This is done in a small hole just a bit deeper than the foundations. This hole is then filled with the offerings followed by a couple of bricks. It is then filled in to be level with the ground.  After this had been done the priest came along and bless all the witnesses to the ceremony.

That evening the school head teacher and villagers held a big party in celebration of the build. I had never seen so much food cooked on such a big scale! We had music, alcohol, endless food and we spent the evening dancing.

After Party

After Party

To support this project click here to visit my Just Giving page. You can also find out more about All Hands and the work they are doing across the world by viewing the All Hands website.

My Week in Bachchhala

This week I went mobile from the main All Hands base in Trishuli to a campsite in Bachchhala where I worked within a small team of 8 at a school rebuild site.

Bachchhala school is on the most beautiful mountainside in the village of Rato Matey Tupchey and has about 250 pupils in attendance. The school was badly damaged in the earthquake and is now only able to use one of the previous four buildings. All Hands are here to help with the demolition of the unsafe structures and to assist with the rebuild of a new school on a separate site.

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As you can see from the pictures, the second story of one of the buildings collapsed on top of the first and fell straight into the back of another building. A third building became unstable and is currently being rebuilt by a Japanese charity. Unicef were also working on the site to help erect some temporary classrooms to help tide them over until the new rebuild is finished.

Luckily the earthquake occurred on a Saturday. I dread to think about how many casualties this school and many others would have had if the school had been in session.

This week we were joined by 30 school children (age 17-18) from an international school in Kathmandu who have donated money towards the project. Upon arrival the international pupils were welcomed by the school, (and just about everyone else who lived in the village) with a small ceremony filled with introductions, music and dance. At the end the international students were given a tour and put into mixed groups with some of the local pupils.

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As it was our first week on site we spent the week teaching the students how to put up a tool shed using bamboo and CGI. We also got them to help cut and bend the rebar stirrups to be used in concrete that will be used to help stabilise the existing building. I found it quite refreshing to do some simple construction, especially in comparison to the rubbling I’d been doing in the previous weeks. It was also quite nice to know that I’m not completely useless when it came to hammering, sawing or drilling and that all those years in the workshop as a student paid off!

Probably one of my favourite things about this week, (apart from the 15min uphill dinner hike, campfires, raxsi and card games) was our last day. In the morning we repainted Bachchhala School’s sign with all of the pupils and our own handprints, before receiving a blessing and thanks from the schools headmaster.

All in all I had a really good week with my team. I learnt so much and I’m really excited to see and hear about how the project progresses.


To support this project click here to visit my Just Giving page. You can also find out more about All Hands and the work they are doing across the world by viewing the All Hands website.

The Impact Of Design On Behavioural Global Shifts

How do designers influence social change?

If both consumers and designers want materiality developments, how much of the responsibility lies on the designer for change and what methods are being used to meet these demands?


Mjames1111. Milk Man. 2012. Photograph. Flickr, n.p.

Mjames1111. Milk Man. 2012. Photograph. Flickr, n.p.

British milk delivery began in the 1860’s, born out of the newly industrialised railways connecting the countryside to the city and bringing local, fresh and cheap milk direct from farms to the British public. Milkmen would patrol the streets decanting their fresh supply directly into containers provided within homes. By the 1890’s, the introduction of pasteurisation and the design of the individual milk bottle helped create an increase in the consumption of clean milk. This in turn helped increased the health of the nation.[1] These design stages have influenced the diet and health of society.

This is an example of the way in which past design has influenced social change. This research will explore whether consumers have the power to participate in a more central role within design. The report will be investigating the responsibility of both the consumer and designer in relation to influencing social change through design.

The term social design has many different meanings and understandings; for the purpose of this text Ingrid Burkett, a Social Design Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) gives a clear definition.

“‘Social design’ is about applying general design principles to our social realities and ‘designing’ ways to address social issues (such as poverty or social isolation), and ultimately creating a more just and sustainable society.”[2]

Social design is not just about designing new products or services for the social good. Social design can be used as a tool to review at and even reconstitute the ways in which we already go about our daily lives. Combined with design thinking, social design becomes a method that enables us to review design in a more holistic way, taking all the social impact into consideration.

The following text will study the responsibilities of both the consumer and the designer in the issues surrounding materiality and consumerism as social change. Through focusing on the UK market the report also questions; how are both parties using social design? And what direction is social design heading towards in the future?

The Responsibility of the Designer Vs. that of a Consumer

‘The world is changing,
Consumers are changing,
Business is changing,
Brands are changing,
The creative community needs to change.’[3]

Steven Johnson of Considered Creative believes that the creative community holds the, ‘innovation required to address the social, economic and environmental challenges we face’[4]. As the world continues to change, consumers are demanding more from their brands and it is those brands that are asking more of their creatives.[*] From this arises the question; whose responsibility is it to initiate the change that is beginning to emerge?

Consumers are becoming more aware of how their purchase decisions can affect their own influence upon the world. Collectively it is possible for their behaviours to have an impact on the market. This is known as socially conscious consumerism, where, ‘consumers purchase products or services produced with social and environmental considerations in mind.’[5] This gives consumers the power to vote for the services they want by spending money on brands and products they believe to be for the social good. As Johnson predicated, ‘conscious consumers are changing the rules of business’[6][*]. Businesses are adapting their brands to match these wants and look to their designers who have the skills to make the change.

There are some socially conscious consumers that take this one step further and initiate the change. By becoming either a designer or businessman consumers are able to shape the market, enabling other socially-minded people to access the socially considered products or services they offer. Alternatively, consumers can work on a smaller scale by designing and making for themselves. This ensures that they are able to live up to their own social consumer believes.

IDRC. Dakar’s Mbeubeusse Landfill. 2008. Photograph. Flickr, Mbeubeusse.

IDRC. Dakar’s Mbeubeusse Landfill. 2008. Photograph. Flickr, Mbeubeusse.

On the other hand, designers are fully aware that current practice has detrimental effects upon the environment. They are conscious of it being socially inequitable, however it is difficult for practice to move away from its certain characteristics without drastic change.[7] Stuart Walker recognises the difficulties designers have in his 2006 publication Sustainable by Design and suggests that designers are the roots of change. He also acknowledges that consumer capitalism drives the market by demanding short-lived products in order to make way for newer models.[8] This type of consumerism is out of the hands of the designer and is often driven by corporate companies following consumer demands.

Design Consultancies such as Considered Creative are breaking the mould and only offering social design solutions to briefs that are presented to them. There are also many movements happening within the different design disciplines that seem to be gravitating towards social change. These will be explored later within the text.

If we are to look back at the milk delivery example from the start of this text, we can now analyse its modern development. Consumers were able to impact the way in which milk is both purchased and presented due to materiality developments. The plastic milk bottle was introduced in 1964 as a, ‘response to society’s new preference for disposability’[9]. Eighteen years later, ‘changes in consumer and environmental trends led to the introduction of the cardboard milk carton’[9], soon after consumers were demanding larger quantities of milk, which soon appeared in plastic bottles. The changes in milk containers were heavily influenced by consumer desires. In order to create a profitable market, designers had the responsibility of responding to the current trends.

This is an example of how consumers have the power to make change. Whether it is for social good or for purely consumerist desires, they must respond to the consumers voting with their money. Alternatively designers are asked to react to consumers in pursuit of making more profitable markets. When doing so they have the power to influence the marketplace. The potential for designers to make social change within their respective disciplines is huge and can often be done whilst satisfying the consumer’s needs. Through their practice they are able to make a difference, as they are the ones creating the products that consumers are purchasing. By making small product considerations they would be taking on the responsibility of acting on social change.

What are both Designers and Consumers doing to ensure the development of social change?

‘If users can’t tell a company what to do, what should companies do instead?’[10]

Both Jens Martin and Rasmus Bech believe that great brands lead users, not the other way around[10]. This brings us back to the responsibility of a designer to make social change, but what are designers actually doing to create these shifts? And how are consumers reacting in order to vocalise their own beliefs?

Social responsibility is a huge topic amongst graphic designers. Visual communication and marketing is often seen as the driving force of consumerism, even despite the backlash of manifestos that have been appearing since Ken Garland’s1964’s publication of First Things First. ‘Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.’[11]Thirty-six years later Adbusters reprinted an updated version of the text matching what they believe to remain issues that are concerning todays creative society. By doing so they were hoping to attract a new audience of designers to follow suit.

More recently Think of Me as Evil (2011) was published as an eye opener to all creatives involved within the marketing sector. It exposed the true reality of both environmental factors and the effects of agencies upon material consumption within today’s society. Think of Me as Evil was an, ‘ambitious set of proposals’[12] that enabled companies to act on as they so wished. Zerofee, Public Media Center and Design Action are all leading examples of companies that are offering advocacy towards public interests, environmental causes and social justice. Often offering their services free to non-profit organisations and charities to help progress the cause. Graphic designers are frequently at the forefront of change as they are consciously aware of the impact of their work.

Equally, the fashion industry possibly offers the most diverse range of social design opportunities. It is widely known that many companies have switched to the use of ethical materials such as fair trade cotton and are now paying equal wages to their production staff. Although, people are less aware of the other fashion projects and campaigns that contribute towards social design for the greater good.

Fashion Against Aids (FAA) is a clothing line born from the collaboration between Designers Against Aids and fashion chain H&M. The sales from the campaign raised money for the cause as well as the desired awareness. Ideas such as this give consumers the choice to be conscious buyers. Similarly companies such as Toms[*] and Warby Parker give their customers the choice to consciously help someone. They both operate a one for one scheme, where for each product sold another is given away free to somebody else in need. Other initiatives such as Sweet Notions, a social enterprise business created in order to up-cycle and repurpose clothing donations, give their profits to under developed communities. NomiNetwork works on a similar premise but they also offer economic opportunities for disadvantaged women within these communities. As a whole the fashion industry is a source of great power for social change. Consumers can see, relate and respond to these projects in order to help achieve a better socially good market.

Product designers have the training to create change but are not always fully aware of their pull on the marketplace. Tim Brown, an advocate of Design Thinking argues that product designers are able to, ‘unleash the power of design thinking as a means of exploring new possibilities, creating new choices, and bringing new solutions to the world.’[13] A small movement of emerging social design consultancies are using similar principles to help tackle social problems such as materialism, poverty and social engagement.

Think Public is a social design agency that only tackles client’s briefs from a social impact angle. Their aim is to encourage their clients to approach problems by using design thinking, by thinking public and by changing social attitude. Other companies such as Frog Design have taken it upon themselves to create an aid to help re-train designers in order to make them aware of methodologies and ways of thinking that benefit the social good. There are many different ways in which product designers can approach social change; whether that is through training, system design or even the most minimal of product considerations. It is thought that product designers have the utilities to apply social design to a wide range of briefs.

Overall designers are making the initiative to make a positive impact and change upon the environment. Although it is clear that designers within the different disciplines are not working together despite having the same objective. Charles Leadbeater in We-Think, believes in the power of mass creative collaboration. He claims that, ‘individual participation will not, on its own, add up to much unless it is matched by a capacity to share and then combine our ideas.’[14] With this in mind, we can only imagine the creative impact of social design if creatives choose to work together.

Consumers are also becoming more proactive in participating in social changing trends. The most established being conscious consumerism, where as mentioned consumers vote with their money by making carefully considered purchase decisions. When combined with Charles Leadbetter’s We-Think approach to collaborative change consumers are able to create a difference through national boycotting schemes. In 2009 one of the most successful boycotts to date began to emerge after the concerning actions that highlighted Fruit of the Loom’s ethics. A staggering 108 universities from around the world severed their ties to the company pledging to use a more sustainable business until Fruit of the Loom amended its business policies. It is thought that the company lost $50million as a result and had no option but act. They reopened a Honduran factory giving all the 1,200 employees their jobs back along with a pay out of $2.5million in compensation.[15]

Pedro, Don. Boycotting Esso Works. 2009. Photograph. Flickr, n.p.

Pedro, Don. Boycotting Esso Works. 2009. Photograph. Flickr, n.p.

Boycotts are not the only way consumers are using the power of collaborative change. A new emerging trend of disownership is appearing. Linked to the sharing economy, consumers are no longer seeing rental as a poor substitute.[16] People are opting to choose not to own belongings that are easily shared. Lynn Jurich claims that, ‘we’re living at a time when a major shift in attitudes is bringing on a new era–one in which people get more value by owning less property. And this shift holds the power to change all of our lives, for the better.’[17] An opinion that has previously been similarly expressed by Victor Papanek & James Hennessey in their 1977 publication, How Things Don’t Work. Examples such as the rising popularity of the Zipcar car-sharing scheme illustrate how disownership for social good is filtering through to consumers.

In an earlier example we looked at how consumers had influenced milk containers. This had a huge effect on milkman deliveries, as the service was no longer convenient. Milk and More delivery service has used social design as a way to modernise their systems and structures to reposition themselves within the marketplace. The company uses electric powered milk floats, have introduced other locally sourced produce and have created an online delivery database. This has created a more effective social enterprise that consumers are happy to pay for.

There are many different social design and enterprise methods that are currently in place. The diversity within the design disciplines as well as amongst them is quite interesting. Initiatives consumers are using to drive change have intriguingly been designed, highlighting that it is possibly for consumers to become designers through their actions. But at the end of the day design is the driving force of social change no matter whom it is delivered by.

What is the Future of Social Design?

Considered Creative is a challenge to the entire sector—brands, government, agencies, trade bodies, educational institutions and individual practitioners—to re-evaluate their work in the context of rapidly emerging social, economic and environmental crisis. The challenges we face as a species require radical innovation at a speed and scale not seen since the industrial revolution. Who is better placed to rise to this challenge, than us, the global creative community?’[18]

Considered Creative believes that social change is a challenge everyone should embrace and that the creative community needs to become creatively considerate in order for it to work. They have taken it upon themselves to create a strategy designed to encourage the creative sector to start to think about working towards social change. Through consultancy work they are able to make a difference in what they do, but in order to reach a wider audience they have different ambitions to help spread the word about their considered creative challenge.

Firstly Steve Johnson is in the process of writing his book Considered Creative, a detailed analysis of why sustainability and social change will define the future of the creative industries.[19] They have also dedicated themselves towards facilitating learning workshops and re-training events for creatives, where they are hoping to create a ripple effect of social challenge education amongst current practitioners. Additionally they are asking for a certification for all social design agencies. This would be a logo that all certified companies could use in order to show that they are committed to working for the greater good.

This carefully thought-out plan has the potential to create awareness of social change within the creative industries, but there is only so much one agency can do and it is now up to individual creatives to take on the responsibility and act. Other criticisms of the scheme would be about the potential for the one company to influence the global scale of the creative industry. Is the scheme they suggest the best way forward? Does the industry even want to change? The propositions that Considered Creative are making are feasible, the flaws of the scheme will begin to appear once creatives start to follow suit in their own way.

If we look at the open source movement within design, we can see attributes that would help contribute to social change. Open source design allows the opportunity for collaborative change to happen on a greater scale at an accelerated rate, this is seen mostly in software developments such as Linuxs, Mozilla Firefox and Open Office. Henry Chesbrough argues that businesses should see this as a way forward because, ‘open innovation suggests that valuable ideas can come from inside or outside the company’[20]. This enables more creatives to be able to work on one project at a time and to share knowledge in a Charles Leadbeater We-Think manner.

This concept is seen working in a select few companies. Proctor and Gamble are committed to innovation and developments, allowing their patents to be released after five years of them being approved or three years after the product in question reaches the market. François-René Rideaubelieves that patents have detrimental effects upon development as they could be preventing necessary changes from happening. If other companies were to adopt a similar approach maybe social innovation would be able to happen at a steady rate.[*]

IDEO have adopted this thinking into a new collaborative website called Open IDEO.[*] It is designed to allow creative partnership to happen at a wider scale on live social design briefs. It is an innovation platform being used towards designing for the greater good that utilises the collaborative power of the creative community. These are the types of projects that the creative industry should be looking to work towards in order to have the greatest impact on social change.

Social design has more of an impact than is immediately obvious. It has the potential to create the social changes that consumers are wanting. We have seen the transformations and the influences that have affected milk delivery throughout the years, though more recently social design has made the business more attractive. The service offers local produce, reasonable prices and the chance to support British farmers. Consumers are opting to purchase from these social enterprise companies giving businesses like Milk and More the chance to thrive in this newly developing market. The question is, who will embrace social design as the next movement forward? And how quickly will it be before we see social change happen at a larger scale?


Social design needs to happen on a global scale in order to create the modification that is required for both designers and consumers to live in a more sustainable manner. Such new ways of living would encourage sensible consumerism, greener systems and an improved environment. This research proposes that social change needs to be design led and not consumer led. Although consumer movements can have positive effects on social issues, they do not always solve the problems that are deeply rooted within change. Consumers have the power and the right to instigate the questions that spur on alterations, but designers have the responsibility to create and lead the change.

Designers accept the responsibilities they have when it comes to contributing towards consumerism, just as consumers recognise the detrimental effects of materiality. Movements are happening within the creative industry, though unfortunately they have not yet recognised the collective power they would have if each creative discipline were to work together collaboratively.

Collaboration is essential if designers choose to act on their responsibility for change. All it takes is individuals like Considered Creative to lead the way and schemes such as Open IDEO to group together the creative community in order to catalyse change. Creatives will soon follow suit as the ripple effect takes action and designers start to listen to consumers. This may not yet be enough, it has been suggested that maybe the government should intervene, in order to make this new social design movement happen at a quicker pace. Should the government perhaps introduce Considered Creative’s new social design accreditation? Or do we need a separate body to set up such a scheme? These are the questions that the creative industries should be asking themselves. More importantly they should be responding to these questions with their own solutions.

Writers Notes

[*] Our current material culture is adding to our issues, but they are not the only issues that social design can solve. Social challenges cover problems that concern people’s lives such as, living conditions, education and interactions. Economic challenges are those that refer to actions concerning the government, for example, unemployment rates, trade policies and budgets. Environmental challenges are those that concern the environment, for instance, the use of natural resources, sustainability and the rise of global warming. Consumers are becoming increasing aware of these factors and are beginning to show their support for social change in various manners that are explored in the main body of text.

It is also key to mention that material culture is sometimes perceived as a negative approach to these challenges; in reality material culture is often needed to help boost the economy. Therefore we need to seek a balance between the two without eradicating the other.

[6*] An example of consumers changing the rules of business lies within the history of Tupperware. On many occasions Tupperware changed businesses plans in response to both their consumers and party planners opinions. One instance of this would be when Tupperware was first introduced into the Japanese market. The company had to respond to the different cultural needs of the continent so released a new range of products only available within the Japan.

[*] Toms is a footwear company that pledges to give a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased by the consumer. They go on annual shoe drops in Africa, where volunteers pitch up and fit the shoes to every child they approach. Warby Parker takes a similar approach by donating a pair of glasses for every sold to a social enterprise company. They set up economic opportunities at reasonable costs that create local businesses that can sell the glasses at reduced prices to those in need.

[*] I am a believer that patents have there uses as well as there hindrances. It is important that people are rightly credited and acknowledged for their work. On the other hand if others are not permitted to explore the potential of the work we could be unknowingly stunting important developments. It links back to creative collaborative change, the power of working together.

[*] Open IDEO is a website that was set up to provide a collaborative creative community amongst designers. The website regularly publishes live social briefs that have been given to the company. Through set timescales data can be sent via the website to be reviewed by others and then used as seen fit for the development of the briefs. This could be anything from development ideas, research and prototypes. More can be found at www.openideo.com

Reference List

[1]“150 Years of Milkmen.” Milk & More. Dairy Crest, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2012. <http://www.milkandmore.co.uk/About/150years>.

[2]Burkett, Ingrid. “What Is Social Design?” Web log post. The Centre for Social Impact. N.p., 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 28 Dec. 2012. <https://secure.csi.edu.au/site/Home/Blog.aspx?defaultblog=https://blog.csi.edu.au/2012/01/what-is-social-design/>.

[3]Johnson, Steven. “Social Design for the Other 90%.” Social Design Talks. Central Saint Martins University, London. 26 Nov. 2012. Lecture.

[4]“About.” Considered Creative. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Dec. 2012. <http://considered-creative.co.uk/>.

[5]“Socially Conscious Consumerism.” Network for Business Sustainability (2011): n. pag. Network for Business Sustainability. Primer. Web. 3 Jan. 2013. .

[6]Østerby, Liselotte. “The Power of Conscious Consumerism …and How Social Media Is Accelerating Ethical Shopping.” Weblog post. The Fair Pages. N.p., 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 1 Jan. 2013. <http://thefairpages.com/blogs/>.

[7]Walker, Stuart. Sustainable by Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice. London: Earthscan, 2006. 34-35. Print.

[8]Walker, Stuart. Sustainable by Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice. London: Earthscan, 2006. 170. Print.

[9]Williamson, Johnny. “Creating a 21st Century Plastic Milk Bottle.” Web log post. Manufacturing Digital. N.p., 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 2 Jan. 2013. <http://www.manufacturingdigital.com/innovators/creating-a-21st-century-plastic-milk-bottle>.

[10]Martin, Jens, and Rasmus Bech. “User-Led Innovation Can’t Create Breakthroughs; Just Ask Apple and Ikea.” Fast Co.Design (2011): n. pag. Fast Co.Design. 21 Feb. 2011. Web. 18 Jan. 2013. <http://www.fastcodesign.com>.

[11]Adbusters. “First Things First.” Eye Magazine Autumn 1999: n. pag. Web.

[12]Alexander, Jon, Tom Crompton, and Guy Shrubsole. Think of Me as Evil. Rep. N.p.: Public Interest Research Centre, 2011. Print.

[13]Brown, Tim. “Designing Tomorrow-Today.” Change by Design. New York: Collins Business., 2009. 242. Print.

[14]Leadbeater, Charles. We-think. London: Profile, 2008. 6. Print.

[15]“Successful Consumer Boycotts.” Successful Consumer Boycotts: Ethical Consumer. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2013.

[16]Curry, Andrew, and Christina Hughes. The Future of Sustainable Transport in Europe. Rep. N.p.: Ford, n.d. Print.

[17]Jurich, Lynn. “Why This CEO Doesn’t Own A Car: The Rise Of Dis-Ownership.” Co.Exist. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. <http://www.fastcoexist.com>.

[18]Johnson, Steven. “About.” Considered Creative The Book Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

[19]Johnson, Steven. “The Book.” Considered Creative The Book Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

[20]Chesborough, Henry. Open Innovation:Researching a New Paradigm: Researching a New Paradigm. N.p.: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.

Picture List

Image 1. Mjames1111. Milk Man. 2012. Photograph. Flickr, n.p.

Image 2. IDRC. Dakar’s Mbeubeusse Landfill. 2008. Photograph. Flickr, Mbeubeusse.

Image 3. Pedro, Don. Boycotting Esso Works. 2009. Photograph. Flickr, n.p.

Image 4. OpenIDEO. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

Further Reading


Brown, Tim. “Designing Tomorrow-Today.” Change by Design. New York: Collins Business., 2009. 242. Print.

Chesborough, Henry. Open Innovation:Researching a New Paradigm: Researching a New Paradigm. N.p.: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.

Clarke, Alison J. Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1999. Print.

Leadbeater, Charles. We-think. London: Profile, 2008. 6. Print.

Walker, Stuart. Sustainable by Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice. London: Earthscan, 2006. 34-35. Print.


Collaborative Change. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Dec. 2012. <http://www.collaborativechange.org.uk>.

Considered Creative. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Dec. 2012. <http://considered-creative.co.uk>.

Design Action Collective. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2013. <http://designaction.org>.

Designing for Social Change. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. Milk & More. Dairy Crest, n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2012. <http://www.milkandmore.co.uk/About/150years>.

Designing for Social Change. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Dec. 2012. <http://designingforsocialchange.com>.

OpenIDEO. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. <http://www.openideo.com>.

Public Media Center. N.p., 2007. Web. 18 Jan. 2013. <http://www.publicmediacenter.org>.

Social Change UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. <http://www.social-change.co.uk>.

Social Design Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. <http://www.socialdesignsite.com>.

Zerofee. Good Thinking – An Ethical Graphic Design Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2013. <http://www.zerofee.org>.


“Successful Consumer Boycotts.” Successful Consumer Boycotts: Ethical Consumer. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2013.

“The History of Milk Delivery in the UK.” Articlesbase.com. Articlesbase.com, 14 June 2010. Web. 28 Dec. 2012. <http://www.articlesbase.com/food-and-beverage-articles/the-history-of-milk-delivery-in-the-uk-2631073.html>.

Burkett, Ingrid. “What Is Social Design?” Web log post. The Centre for Social Impact. N.p., 11 Jan. 2012. Web. 28 Dec. 2012. <https://secure.csi.edu.au/site/Home/Blog.aspx?defaultblog=https://blog.csi.edu.au/2012/01/what-is-social-design/>.

Drenttel, William. “Designing for Social Change.” Design Observer. N.p., 20 Mar. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

Gabor, Andrea. “The Promise (and Perils) of Open Collaboration.” Web log post. Andrea Gabor. N.p., Autumn 2009. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. <http://andreagabor.com/selected-articles/the-promise-and-perils-of-open-collaboration/>.

Greenhouse, Steven. “Labor Fight Ends in Win For Students.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 Nov. 2009. Web. 19 Jan. 2013.

Johnson, Steven. “Social Design for the Other 90%.” Social Design Talks. Central Saint Martins University, London. 26 Nov. 2012. Lecture.

Jurich, Lynn. “Why This CEO Doesn’t Own A Car: The Rise Of Dis-Ownership.” Co.Exist. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2013. <http://www.fastcoexist.com>.

Martin, Jens, and Rasmus Bech. “User-Led Innovation Can’t Create Breakthroughs; Just Ask Apple and Ikea.” Fast Co.Design (2011): n. pag. Fast Co.Design. 21 Feb. 2011. Web. 18 Jan. 2013. <http://www.fastcodesign.com>.

Østerby, Liselotte. “The Power of Conscious Consumerism …and How Social Media Is Accelerating Ethical Shopping.” Weblog post. The Fair Pages. N.p., 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 1 Jan. 2013. <http://thefairpages.com/blogs/>.

Shea, Andrew. “Designing for Social Change: Stumbles to Strategies.” AIGA. N.p., 19 Apr. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

Shea, Andrew. “Flies in Urinals: The Value of Design Disruptions.” Design Observer. N.p., 05 Jan. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.

Williamson, Johnny. “Creating a 21st Century Plastic Milk Bottle.” Web log post. Manufacturing Digital. N.p., 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 2 Jan. 2013. <http://www.manufacturingdigital.com/innovators/creating-a-21st-century-plastic-milk-bottle>.

Online Exhibition

“From Dairy to Doorstep.” Historic New England. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2012. <http://www.historicnewengland.org/collections-archives-exhibitions/online-exhibitions/From_Diary_to_Doorstep>.


“Socially Conscious Consumerism.” Network for Business Sustainability (2011): n. pag. Network for Business Sustainability. Primer. Web. 3 Jan. 2013. .

Adbusters. “First Things First.” Eye Magazine Autumn 1999: n. pag. Web.

Alexander, Jon, Tom Crompton, and Guy Shrubsole. Think of Me as Evil. Rep. N.p.: Public Curry, Andrew, and Christina Hughes. The Future of Sustainable Transport in Europe. Rep. N.p.: Ford, n.d. Print.

Interest Research Centre, 2011. Print.

Rideau, François-René. Patents Are An Economic Absurdity. Rep. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.