Designers can create more than just pretty things. We can create a dialogue. We can identify and solve problems. We can design for social change.
Wish Census is a piece created by 12 graduate students at Iowa State University in which we dabbled in design for social change. We became social entrepreneurs who used social probes of posters and other mechanisms to obtain feedback which constantly changed our design.
We took a semester to analyze a social problem within Ames, Iowa: the disconnect between campus town and downtown Ames. We created social probes in the form of posters that simply stated “I Wish”, “I Need” and “I Fear” with a blank to prompt users to add information. What resulted on these posters was a discussion we had not anticipated.
Here is a video documenting our process. I also wrote and designed a book for educators about this process.
Involved in this project were: Samantha Barbour, Bernard Canniffe, Mereisa Elliot, Michael Spory, Wonsil Jang, Jingyu Liu, Youngju Cho, Julian Osorio, Calee Himes, Debbie Trout, Qing Guo, Brittany Thompson, and Kayla Brown.