Rachel Dixon and Swar Raisinghani were invited to Implementing Impact! Strategies for Creative Intervention to present their respective thesis projects as successful case studies in developing social impact. Implementing Impact! is a one-week summer intensive exploring how to launch socially innovative projects for advanced college students and creative professionals offered at SVA.
Rachel spoke about Come Together Birmingham, a project seeking to create healing and reconciliation from Birmingham, Alabama’s dark history with segregation and Jim Crow. In doing so, the project strives to encourage racial inclusion and the unification of diverse community members. Two interactive community workshops were held to ignite open dialogue and to prototype co-creation between diverse stakeholders. Born out of these workshops was Red Mountain Collective, a social justice art and design residency with the vision to establish the city as a hub for diversity and creativity in the South.
Swar presented The Good Guides program, a volunteer-based program to support misdirected patients in public hospitals in India that is implemented in the form of two digital toolkits:
The talks were followed by a panel discussion to address questions around the main challenges of working on such complex social issues and the ambiguity in the design process. Also on the panel was MFA Interaction Design alumna, Anke Stohlmann, presenting her thesis Li’l Stories. The diverse backgrounds of the speakers and Impact! students reinforced the importance and relevance of this growing social impact field.