Back to Home
DSI / Social Design
About DSI

Emergent Leadership: Community Design in Action

As a send off for the semester, our wonderful second years took the lead in blog writing this week! Read on to learn all about their final project for Leadership I, which served as a gift to our equally wonderful first year cohort. Thank you all for your hard work this semester!

“The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is–

it’s to imagine what is possible.” 

– bell hooks

We, the DSI Class of 2022, impart this gift of craft and community onto the succeeding generations of community designers. This zine is a collaborative effort from both our individual and collective experience as we have moved through this program and developed an understanding of community design. 

Across time zones, languages and cultures, our cohort has been challenged by a tumultuous time in social and political history. We have engaged in dialogue and critical thinking with one another that has forced us to explore our power and positionality in the world and in relation to each other. 

The zine format is modeled after a table runner which is often the center of a dining table where people gather to connect around food and conversation. In their spread, each student explored their definition of community design and when unfolded, the viewer experiences a collective narrative around joyful unity. 

What has emerged from this exploration is a celebration of how far we have come as designers and as friends who have formed a bond around knowledge and power. We hope this gift to you all is one that gives hope for the future of community design and strength to move forward together. 

Lessons shared:

  • Start with where you are, who is around you, and what people are doing
  • Break away from what you think you know and open your mind
  • Explore the maze of community relationships, you may feel lost but it’s OK
  • Create art and patterns influenced by your own identity
  • Build foundations for trust through small actions
  • Believe in the constellation of interdependence and belonging
  • Know that you will find your way, and others are here to help you through the struggle

The zine was printed at the RisoLAB in SVA.

136 W 21st St,
5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205