If you build a city that is great for an eight-year-old and for an 80-year-old, then you build a city that is going to be great for everybody. They’re like an indicator species. We need to stop building cities as if everybody in them is 30 years old and athletic.

Gil Penalosa, the “pied piper for sustainable transportation,” quoted in a Globe & Mail profile. 

External image

Photo: The Atlantic Cities

Next Disney princess designs LEAKED! Concept art from Disney’s currently untitled future animated movie. I’m really glad to see Princesses with shorter hair! I think it’s really feminist to show girls that they can have their hair shorter. Also, it’ll add a great amount of diversity to Disney’s princess line. Here we have two new and very unique looking princess. The animation looks like it’s going to be stunning, 

Frankly I’m really excited for it! :) It’s too bad the social justice warriors are trying to get the designs changed because they’re not black disabled fat people. Obviously there’s no amount of diversity that will make those people happy. Can’t wait to see more :)

Conservators and preparators work to install a wall of graphic material by Egyptian graphic artist, Ganzeer. Interwoven with Arabic, the text of the central image reads “Not yours to touch no matter how naked I am.” Ganzeer directs attention toward rape culture and misogyny and describes the piece as confronting the “sad misconception among many men (and even some women unfortunately) that if a girl dresses revealingly then she’s fair game, and there for anyone to touch or worse.” 

Agitprop! artists like @ganzeer are committed to making visible uncomfortable knowledge in the hope for social change and political engagement. See their work, on view December 11th.

Posted by Laura Hillegas


“Our public spaces are our shared spaces and at their greatest, they can help us make sense of the beauty and tragedy of life with the people around us.” -Candy Chang

Candy Chang put up her first Before I Die wall in 2011 in her New Orleans neighborhood after a friend died and her period of grief eventually turned into a kind of clarity she wanted to share with the world.

Now there are over 425 Before I Die walls in over 25 languages and over 60 countries, including Kazakhstan, Portugal, Japan, Denmark, Iraq, Argentina, and South Africa. 

Okay here’s the big bonus: she’s our next Stamps speaker.

And, yippee: she’s an alum.

She’s a brilliant graphic designer, public artist and instigator, and we’re proud to welcome her back to town!  #stampspride! 


Designing Social Change 

Headquartered in Portland for 25 years, Metropolitan Group works exclusively in the social change arena helping nonprofits, foundations, public agencies, and socially responsible businesses. They design social change campaigns, impact branding and strategy, and communications to amplify the power of voice of their clients, 

Advocating for health equity, improving early literacy, and fighting for environmental justice, a major area of emphasis throughout their work is a multicultural lens they place on all of their work to assure a commitment to inclusiveness. 

Corinne Nakamura-Rybak, Design Director, presented “Designing and Writing for Audiences with Low Literacy Skills” at Typecon in August. It is crucial for design to reach and engage all audiences, including the 50% around the country who have low literacy skills. The presentation discussed four communication principles to consider when designing and writing:

External image

Metropolitan Group is hosting an event this year, where they’ll discuss the core strategic and creative concepts behind effective community engagement, public will building, and sustainable social change.

MGxCHANGE: Designing Social Change
October 06, 12:00–2:00PM
Reinstate the Tonys for Best Sound Design

So as you may already know, the Tony Committee has removed the Sound Design categories for next season’s Tony Awards, and that decision cannot be allowed to stand.

I would outline the reasons here, but I think tumblr theatre friends get it… Let me just say that in a time when theatre is the art form that most progressively pushes for social change and understanding in our world, designers deserve as much recognition for their fantastic work as writers and performers.

Please sign the petition and reblog to get the word out, the petition has gained three and a half thousand signatures in only a few hours and we are in a position to actually do something to fix this problem!

Planets in the 11th House

Society, social groups, institutions, organizations, acquaintances and what we give and gain from them are shown by the 11th House.

Sun in the 11th House: This is a powerful placement, giving the chart holder the gift of social influence. We operate in a society and those with eleventh-house suns have the advantage feeling driven to navigate social networks by exerting their influence to make change and gain from the world. They are driven to achieve leadership positions in groups and many excel at public speaking, making politics a perfect career choice for these suns. George Washington, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher, and Benjamin Franklin are a few examples of eleventh-house suns who found success as political leaders. On a smaller scale, eleventh-house suns are the first to organize clubs in school, or as adults to lead or join an organization designed for social change. They feel that the group is more powerful than the individual and have a desire to improve the world by empowering groups. There is a detached feeling to this position of the sun falling in the house of Aquarius that allows these chart holders to focus on their social or political mission and their ability to sway the group rather than the concerns of individuals. David Koresh and Timothy McVeigh’s eleventh-house suns are extreme examples of this detached dynamic gone extremely awry. But they do serve to describe the theme. It’s a detachment from the life of the individual in lieu of the social ideals that these people strive to achieve. It’s a dynamic that naturally puts the individual second to the group. Eleventh-house suns don’t always have a high comfort level in groups, but they always have a drive to be influential.

Moon in the 11th House: Martin Luther King, Fred Rogers, John Lennon, JFK, Oprah, Winston Churchill, Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury and Mikhail Gorbachev are a few famous eleventh-house moons. Their ability to move society on a large scale comes from a deeply felt need, rather than the drive seen with the eleventh-house suns.

It is emotionally based and there is comfort in groups. When an eleventh-house moon gives a speech or promotes their social message it has a caring tone to it. These chart holders often use the moon’s emotional nature to express their views artistically. A high comfort level in group leadership positions puts people at ease and instills trust in people. They are able to lead people and enact social change by gaining trusting supporters. They also expect society to support them. The moon’s caring nature has an equal but opposite need to be cared for in return. Depending on signs and aspects, they may have an expectancy of acceptance which gives them a natural advantage and confidence. The give and take involved in social networking is comfortable terrain for eleventh-house moons. They can easily inspire and comfort groups.

Mercury in the 11th House: Quick witted, rational, talkative and generally light on their feet in social settings, the chart holder with an eleventh-house Mercury has an advantage. Keeping the conversation going in social settings with strangers or mere acquaintances can be difficult for some, but an eleventh-house Mercury can be a great help. Mercury loves to talk and can keep the conversations abstract and non-personal which compliments the eleventh house’s focus on social and group issues. An ability to keep topics light and entertaining is another benefit of Mercury here. In debates over social issues, Mercury can keep track of facts and figures and keep their information accurate.  

Venus in the 11th House: Concern over appearing polite and attractive in social groups is found when Venus falls in the eleventh house. Great effort is made to always consider the social consequences of actions and statements. Proper invitations to events and “thanks yous” for gifts are important to these chart holders. They just can’t help using proper etiquette when dealing with social groups. They don’t want to upset the group or appear crude or unsophisticated. Social networking is a skill that comes naturally with this position and these chart holders can benefit greatly from their social groups. Business connections with friends and acquaintances can increase their income and give them opportunities for social or career advancement. Although this position lends itself to strong opinions about social issues, these chart holders manage to appear ambivalent about them by expressing their views tactfully. The ability to use groups to enact social change using finesse and tact comes with Venus in the eleventh house.

Mars in the 11th House: Impatient and aggressive in dealing with social groups and issues, Mars in the eleventh house has an obvious level of resentment for the power of the group. Mars’ independent nature clashes with the group centered, cooperative nature of the eleventh house. If the chart holder with an eleventh house Mars can lead the group, they feel satisfied. However, being lost in crowd and following the orders of social institutions causes Mars to get frustrated, angry, and if pushed hard enough, to erupt. The “one-size-fits-all” nature of the eleventh house doesn’t fit well with Mars’ need to serve itself. Government rules designed to keep order anger Mars. Being patient in social groups by waiting in lines or following other protocols can feel torturous to Mars. These chart holders can easily lose their cool in these situations and speak out in protest to the shock of the group. Often they will simply find a quick escape out of society’s institutional traps and ignore or break the rules. Paying fines and dealing with other punishments society inflicts for not conforming is something Mars in the eleventh house is commonly confronted with. When allowed to lead, however, Mars in the eleventh house can shine and is often able to achieve a great deal of social change.

Jupiter in the 11th House: Room for growth and the ability to reach out and expand into the greater world are sought through group activities, social clubs and institutions. Jupiter in the eleventh house believes that the power of the group gives them opportunity, enlivening them and offering them gifts in the world. Jupiter here can gain from groups both monetarily and intellectually. These chart holders find success in business and career through social networking and an ability to easily slide through the bureaucracy of institutions. Inspiration comes from ideas which thrive on the power of many. Jupiter’s success in any house lies largely in its ability to takes things as they come and keep a light, global outlook. In the eleventh house, this easy going style puts them far ahead of most people by not getting entangled in the drama of any particular person and instead focusing on the dynamic of the group. These people often have charisma and confidence, allowing them to naturally fall into leadership positions. They are inspiring speakers and their ability to express their ideas attracts people. Their ability to get along easily with most people and willingness to explore different perspectives keeps them at the forefront of emerging groups and also gives opportunity for leadership.

Saturn in the 11th House: Saturn’s serious and overly structured ways make navigating the eleventh house difficult unless the group or organization at hand is also serious and structured. When this is the case, Saturn does exceedingly well. Institutions like school and corporations where there are plenty of rules are perfect for Saturn. The planet loves structure and a defined plan of action. Unfortunately, most organizations and groups have flaws and disorganization. Groups are always made up of individuals who all have their own agendas and personalities. Rules are always bent or broken and Saturn is usually frustrated and feels awkward, like a rigid, plastic mannequin. Keeping things light and social in groups of people is scary business for these chart holders. Saturn prefers deep, committed friends with a few people rather than messy eleventh house acquaintance relationships with many people. If these people aren’t working toward a goal with the group and following a structured plan, they don’t know how to relate the other group members. They are stiff and rigid, not understanding the natural rhythms of group dynamics. They can make excellent group leaders who are able to keep the group on track toward goals, but as group members, they are awkward and ineffective people who often end up avoiding groups completely.

Uranus in the 11th House: Uranus feels its power in the eleventh house where it relishes in working toward social change. Having Uranus in the house it rules, gives the chart holder a comfortable feeling in groups and in friendly, acquaintance type relationships. They prefer these relationships over close, emotional relationships. Working with others toward a common goal is inspiring and satisfying for them. The idiosyncrasies of individual members are accepted no matter how outlandish and are treated as normal parts of what makes up a group. Uranus doesn’t feel threatened by differences and believes their acceptance makes them superior to those who are unaccepting. This can make them push too hard for what they believe is best for society. Sometimes, their excitement about making sweeping social change in a one-size-fits-all fashion blinds them to the fact that we are also individuals with different opinions. Just like anyone else, these chart holders can also be wrong, and their zest for change can lead groups in the wrong direction. In general however, these people are good at keeping relationships with people somewhat detached and non-judgmental. They excel at the reciprocal style of relating in social networking often gaining monetarily here from social connections and their ability to work through bureaucracy seamlessly.

Neptune in the 11th House: Those with Neptune in the eleventh house can find it difficult to determine where their individuality ends and the group begins. They should beware of getting swept into group movements because it’s easier than finding their own way and it makes them feel accepted. They can be drawn into the compassion the group seems to offer. Yet, when the group fails to pull them up from every crises they encounter, they feel disappointed and disillusioned. They enjoy getting lost in the group, but should remember that the group has its own energy and mission which is separate from any individual. Neptune, having a dual nature, is also a master of understanding this group energy. Even when they are enjoying the non-personal abyss of being lost in the group, these people have an uncanny ability to see hidden agendas in the social missions and picking out conspiracies in group movements. These chart holders understand the relationship between the individual and society and are able to feel compassion toward those who get lost in the middle.

Pluto in the 11th House: Acutely aware of the power dynamics in groups, casual friendships and societal institutions, Pluto in the eleventh house is serious about interactions in these areas of life. When these chart holders walk into a group setting, they immediately sense the power structure and make sure they don’t fall into a position offering little power. They will sense who is in charge and will immediately try to determine their motivation as well as the motivation of the group. Constantly keeping a guard against the possibility of being exploited by the power of groups or organizations is exhausting, driving some of these chart holders to avoid these settings. They may dodge governmental institutions whenever possible and steer clear of any group activities. It’s difficult for them to trust people they just met because they are haunted by a feeling that there is something the person will want from them other than just friendship. When the chart holder does find people who they deem trustworthy, they value them greatly. These chart holders have tight social networks involving few people who they trust.

source / other houses

Sure, you can change your poster image and your avatar as much as you’d like. But whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or virtually any other social media site, your identity and feed can only fit into one strict template. You are but a series of unique photos trapped in an otherwise universal layout.

Tumblr wants to change that with their updated iOS and Android app, launched today. The new app will, for the first time, enable users to edit their Tumblrs on mobile devices.

Read More>


Our recent graduates Stephanie O'Neil & Sidney Krandall not only participated in LSA’s Science as Art competition, but Stephanie won “Best Digital Render” and Sidney received the grand prize!

Here is Stephanie’s 3D model of a malaria parasite and Sidney’s drawing of an original (and highly practical) concept design, developed to help patients strengthen their hand muscles outside of a clinical setting! Wow!


Senior Neil Zemba is all about shoe design, but not just for the sake of creating some nifty sneakers – shoe design as a means for empowerment, a route to college, an entry point for learning.

Neil’s mentor, NIKE designer Wilson Smith III, who he met when he won NIKE’s Future Sole competition, has been working on bringing NIKE’s “just do it” spirit into the realm of social engagement.

Join us for Wilson’s talk, this Thursday at 5pm at the Michigan Theater.  And, check out BAM, Neil’s workshop on shoe design at Detroit Community High School. Neil will be taking WIlson to Brightmoor to meet the kids this Friday. 

Featured in the new book Afritecture: Building Social Change, this A-frame, timber-construction floating school was designed by Amsterdam- and Lagos-based studio NLÉ. It is shown anchored in the watery Makoko community of Lagos, Nigeria, a sprawling, Venice-like settlement on Lagos’s lagoon.

Afritecture Explores Africa’s Often Overlooked Architectural Landscape

Despite being the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent, Africa remains an outsider in the realm of architectural study, frequently passed over for other far-flung reaches (Asia and, recently, Oceania) or for the more familiar territory of Western Europe and North America. Enter Afritecture: Building Social Change (Hatje Cantz, $50), a scholarly, 256-page catalogue edited by curator and architectural historian Andres Lepik that takes its name and subject from an exhibition at Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne museum of art. This impressive volume offers compelling (if at times dense) insight into the variety of contemporary design across sub-Saharan Africa—from museums and medical centers to a floating schoolhouse.

Read full article

Watch on

Thank god Tumblr is back up, because I couldn’t wait to share this rather awesome video about our alums breaking world records and changing the world.