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Washington, DC (October 18, 2021)—Thought leader David Orr wrote, “If our industrial civilization was entered into an intergalactic design competition, it would be tossed out in the qualifying round.” In The Intergalactic Design Guide: Harnessing the Creative Potential of Social Design (Publication Date: October 18, 2021), business strategist and designer Cheryl Heller charts a path toward a different outcome—a more resilient and fulfilling future. The key, she shows, is social design.
Social design offers innovative approaches for increasing creativity, strengthening relationships, and developing our capacity to collaborate—with the potential to transform everything from corporate culture to philanthropy to cities. It pushes us to become comfortable with uncertainty, to design ourselves for change. The Intergalactic Design Guide explains eleven common principles and presents a practical, step-by-step process for practicing successful social design.
Innovative changemakers like Paul Farmer and Oprah Winfrey have instinctively practiced social design for decades. Heller distills their methods and others into a practical approach that can bring new creative energy to any organization. In-depth examples—from the CEO of Interface, a multinational carpet manufacturer, to a young entrepreneur with a passion for reducing food waste—illustrate the power and versatility of social design in action.
Other inspiring stories include what happened when the architecture firm MASS Design reimagined the role of a building in healing people and recruited local talent to bring this healthful vision to life and how Buffalo Niagra Medical Campus created a nonprofit sector to meet the needs of the community, creating over 3,000 new jobs in the process.
Beautifully designed with 100 full-color photos and figures, The Intergalactic Design Guide is the toolkit readers need to harness the power of social design. Ivy Ross, Vice President of Google, Hardware praised Heller’s work, calling The Intergalactic Design Guide “one of the most critical design books of our time.”
Everyone—from architects and product designers to scientists and philanthropists—will find inspiration and value in these pages. The Intergalactic Design Guide points the way for us to change how we relate to our world, and to each other.
Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA and President of the design lab CommonWise. She was recently awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellowship, and is a recipient of the prestigious AIGA Medal for her contribution to the field of design. Her clients have included Ford Motor Company, American Express, Pfizer, Mars Corporation, Discovery Networks International, Herman Miller, Gap, Bayer Corporation, Seventh Generation, L’Oreal, The World Wildlife Fund, Ford Foundation, and the Girl Scouts of America.
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