Design Ignites Change Announces 2013 Award Winners

Design Ignites Change just announced their 2013 award winners. These awards recognize students that take on socially conscious design projects to create positive change. You can read more about the winner and see the 2 runners up here.

Design Ignites Change award winner

The grand-prize winner of $1,000 is Pivot: Empowering Trafficked Victims from a team of graduate students at the University of Washington’s Division of Design. Mike Fretto, Kari Gaynor, Josh Nelson, Adriel Rollins and Melanie Wang tackled an extremely challenging problem – how do you communicate to potential sex trafficked victims, letting them know that help is available? This audience, of mostly young women, very often does not self-identify as victims of trafficking and could also be severely punished if their captor discovers that they have been communicated with about getting help.

The student design team worked closely with members of the anti-human trafficking community in Washington state and in particular with WARN (Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network) and WashACT (short for Washington Advisory Committee on Trafficking) to develop this “Surreptitious Communication Device,” which is a solution that crosses many design discipline boundaries incorporating product design, interaction design, service design and visual communication design.

The next step for Pivot is to focus on manufacturing and distribution; the team is in the process of strengthening its existing partnerships and seeking new ones to accomplish this. In the future they hope to explore the idea of discreet communication to other products in order to reach human trafficking victims who would not use sanitary pads, such as men or children.

For more resources about socially conscious design, visit My Design Shop.The Design Activist's HandbookThe Design Activist’s Handbook by Noah Scalin and Michelle Taute
This manual for design activism is for every designer who’s ever sat at a computer, thinking: Is this it? Isn’t there more? We set out to help graphic designers figure out how to start making a difference and making a living—no matter where they live and work right now. It’s time to translate all this talking and thinking into meaningful, widespread action.