Design Impact: A Year in Review

Reflecting on impactful projects from 2023

To close the year, we are reflecting on Design Museum Everywhere’s design impact through impressive programming by sharing stories and highlights from 2023 while raising critical support for our education initiatives. As we wrap up the year, we are encouraging donations with a goal of raising $2,500 for the Design Museum Education Fund that will directly support design-education engagement for students in the new year. We hope you will consider participating by contributing to this campaign and our mission to inspire social change through the transformative power of design!

2023 Programmatic Highlights

  1. New Mission Statement: At the beginning of the year, we defined a new mission statement. Inspire social change through the transformative power of design. The new mission statement helped us to sharpen our focus on design that improves people’s lives, and ultimately, our world.
  2. How to be a Creative Abolitionist in PDX: Our first event of the year, was hosted at PNCA in Portland, OR to celebrate the upcoming We Design Issue of Design Museum Magazine. This living room style event featured a conversation with longtime creative abolitionists Angela Medlin and Abibat Durosimi and was moderated by Jocelyn Rice.
  3. We Design Issue Launch Party: To celebrate the official release of The We Design Issue, we hosted a launch party for We Designers at Nuvu Innovation School.The We Design Issue was a special publication featuring a selection of design stories from We Design, a series of programs by and for women, gender-expansive, and BIPOC designers.
  4. Workplace Innovation Summit: In March, we organized an inspiring event that was designed to foster community among design change makers and give attendees the tools to promote social, cultural, and environmental impact across industries. The program covered high-level topics including: culture, impact, and the built environment — with stories, interactive workshops, and experiences, designed to inspire and demonstrate meaningful change.
  5. Bespoke Bodies at WWI Museum: We were honored to loan the Bespoke Bodies: The Design and Craft of Prosthetics exhibition to The National World War I Museum and Memorial. The exhibition explores the past, present, and future of prosthetic design including objects from the WWI Museum’s collection of artifacts from the Great War – a pivotal time in the field of prosthetics. The exhibition is on view through April of 2024.
  6. Common Space Issue Launch Party in Bay Area: To celebrate the release of The Common Space Issue of Design Museum Magazine, we hosted a Design Museum Mornings in the Bay Area. During the event, the speakers brought their unique perspectives to how common spaces – ranging from parks, hospitals, and educational environments – are currently designed, are informed by their use, and when cultivated with intention, can fulfill people’s needs for reflection and community.
  7. Design Together Activity-Origami Heart Garland: The Origami Heart Garland is a design together activity that was created in partnership with artist, Zara Woodhead, to teach children to explore their emotions. Through Design Together, families can explore the design process with a series of at-home activities for learners of any age. These activities are supported by the Design Museum Education Fund!
  8. Nuvu Student Led Exhibition and DMM: In October and November, we partnered with Nuvu Innovation School students to understand the importance of designing and activating public spaces celebrating LGBTQ+ identities. After hearing from Boston-based artists, curators, and designers, students developed a Youth Mixer and Interactive Art Exhibition. Each project was a fun and thoughtful exploration of how to celebrate their identities and queer identities, in an accessible and playful way.
  9. Sappi Ideas That Matter Grant Award Recipients: The grant supports the release of our upcoming Inclusive Design Issue of Design Museum Magazine. With this project, we aim to bring awareness to the diversity of human experience and to the importance of inclusive design as a practice and approach. We are proud to be among the Sappi award recipients!
  10. Design for Impact Summit at Boston College: Last month we participated in the ACC-ALN Design for ImpACCt (DFI) Summit hosted by Boston College! At this event, we presented on We Design and design careers while sharing copies of the We Design Issue of Design Museum Magazine with students. It’s always rewarding sharing our work with future designers!

As we look to the year ahead, the Design Museum team is grateful for the incredible impact our community has supported this year—centering Disability Justice and bringing Bespoke Bodies to a national audience, connecting students to design through workshops, encouraging young learners to explore empathy through Design Together, unpacking and understanding Common Space and so much more!