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:

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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


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. 

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.

Blogging Changes Part Two: Design & Social Media

I haven’t changed the Tumblr theme I’ve used…since I first setup my site about 3 years ago, and I figured it was time to at least try something new. So for those of you who are viewing on desktop you’ll notice a slight shift in my overall layout. Hope you like it!

I’ve commissioned @theloserfish to go through and update all of my little graphics/headers, and I think they look great! Thanks for that!!

I’m adding Disqus comments, because I can. I expect most of my interaction will still come from within Tumblr, but I look forward to giving a platform for more folks outside of this space to interact.

Beyond that, I’m going to be branching out further into social media generally. So, for those of you who don’t use Tumblr as a primary platform you can more easily keep up to date on things elsewhere. To that end, here’s what I’ve got for you:

  • Facebook: My official page is here, which is basically just a feed of this site, don’t expect anything super shiny and cool there. But it’s out there if you like. For mutual followers I’m also open to FB friending you, just send me a note here and we can connect up.
  • Twitter: My username is @trans_parenting. Again, it’s pretty much just the feed here, and occasional retweets, etc. But I’m also pretty responsive on that platform, so feel free to follow along and engage with me there.
  • YouTube: Here’s my channel! I don’t do a ton of vlogging, but I’m considering doing a bit more, and if you’re interested in that sort of stuff, you can follow along here (and let me know that you’d like to see more of it!)
  • Instagram: I’m @laminatedkat over on that platform. Mostly I’m just posting little ephemera, food, garden stuff, etc. that I take pictures of on my phone. But hey, if you like it, join me!
  • Snapchat: I’ve got one, I don’t really use it, though.
  • Other stuff(?) If there’s something you think I really should be on, but I’m not, drop me a note, I’d love to hear from you.

There you go!