Matthew Inman: TheOatmeal.com. Read his full profile here.

Heather Fleming: CEO and founder, Catapult Design. Read her full profile here.

Dawn Hancock: Founder and managing director, Firebelly. Read her full profile here.

Timothy Prestero: Cofounder and CEO, Design That Matters. Read his full profile here.

Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks: Cofounders, MASS Design Group. Read Murphy and Ricks’ full profile here

Anne Frederick: Executive director, Hester Street Collaborative.Read her full profile here

Rich Hollant: Principal, lead strategist, design director, Co:Lab. Read his full profile here.

Panthea Lee: Cofounder and principal, Reboot. Read her full profile here.

Robert Fabricant: Vice president of Creative, frog. Read his full profile here.

Debbie Aung Din and Jim Taylor: Founders, Proximity Designs

Mark Randall: Principal and creative director, Worldstudio

2013-01-14

The 11 Most Generous Designers

As part of our series on generosity in business, we’re looking at some of the designers doing the best in their field at giving back and moving the world forward through their work.

As part on an ongoing series, Co.Exist and Catchafire are presenting an ongoing investigation of bold generosity with the goal of understanding its causes, its benefits, and how to inspire more. We’ll be interviewing a long list of impressive changemakers, who have demonstrated their generosity through acts of service, rather than exclusively deep-pocketed philanthropy.

This is the latest post in a series on generosity, in conjunction with Catchafire.

Last month, we talked to the 10 most generous Social Media Mavens. Today, we have our 11 Most Generous Designers. This is an innovative group (co-curated by Ric Grefé, the executive director of AIGA) who are using design to make the world a better place. Whether creating a compelling graphic to raise money or developing a cause awareness campaign or producing a never-before-seen-product that improves an infant’s livelihood, these creative thinkers are impacting our society in ways that are hard to forget.

We’ll doing in-depth profiles of these designers, their work, and their thoughts on giving back through the practice of design over the next several weeks, so come back to find out more about them and why they were chosen. Here, then, are the 11 most generous designers:

MATTHEW INMAN: THEOATMEAL.COM

MATTHEW INMAN is the artist and author behind the comedy website TheOatmeal.com. Inman used to be a web designer, but wanted a career change. In 2009, he started making comics. Since then his work has been read by millions of people (career change accomplished). Inman is now a #1 New York Times best-selling author and has used his massive fan base to raise impressive funds for good.

Read his full profile here.

HEATHER FLEMING: CEO and FOUNDER, CATAPULT DESIGN

HEATHER FLEMING is the CEO of Catapult Design, a product and service design firm specializing in human-centered design for impoverished communities. At Catapult, Fleming partners with organizations to develop sustainable solutions that address technology and social issues such as: rural electrification, water purification and transport, food security, and improved health.

Read her full profile here.

DAWN HANCOCK: FOUNDER and MANAGING DIRECTOR, FIREBELLY

Since its opening, Firebelly has produced solid work they believe in and clients trust. Dawn knows that sustainable innovation and social responsibility are not simply badges or buzzwords. They are principles. Ways to live. Through Firebelly Foundation’s work and her civic and social engagement, Hancock is ceaseless in her dedication to building and inspiring, to connecting ideas to individuals, and individuals to each other.

Read her full profile here.

TIMOTHY PRESTERO: COFOUNDER AND CEO, Design that Matters

At Design that Matters, Prestero has helped build a collaborative design process through which hundreds of volunteers in academia and industry donate their skills and expertise to the creation of breakthrough products for communities in need. DtM’s goal is to deliver a better quality of service, and a better quality of life, to millions of beneficiaries through products designed for their clients.

Read his full profile here.

MICHAEL MURPHY AND ALAN RICKS: COFOUNDERS, MASS DESIGN GROUP

Murphy and Ricks cofounded MASS Design Group to better address the world’s need for holistic design. They helped lead the design of the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, assisting with architectural solutions to mitigate and reduce the transmission of airborne diseases like tuberculosis and have overseen rapid growth while leading projects with NGOs, foreign and domestic governments, as well as in the private sector.

Read Murphy and Ricks’ full profile here.

ANNE FREDERICK: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HESTER STREET COLLABORATIVE

As the founding director of Hester Street Collaborative, Anne Frederick has worked to develop a community design practice that responds to the needs of the Lower East Side/Chinatown as well as the needs of under-resourced NYC communities city-wide. Her unique approach to community design integrates education and youth development programming with participatory art, architecture, and planning strategies. This approach is rooted in partnership and collaboration with various community-based organizations, schools, and local residents.

Read her full profile here.

RICH HOLLANT: PRINCIPAL, LEAD STRATEGIST, DESIGN DIRECTOR, CO:LAB

Co:lab works exclusively with nonprofits, communities, corporations, and enterprises committed to social profit. Hollant and his team have earned numerous design and strategy awards, and their social value work is in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. Hollant has a deep commitment to being genuinely helpful and to the centralized placement of social initiatives within economic/community recovery models.

Read his full profile here.

PANTHEA LEE: COFOUNDER AND PRINCIPAL, REBOOT

Panthea Lee is a cofounder and principal at Reboot. Lee’s work focuses on the practical applications of design and technology in global governance and development. Having designed and deployed programs in over 20 countries, including Afghanistan, China, Egypt, and Sudan, she oversees Reboot’s client engagements and creative work. Recent work includes designing new service delivery models to improve post-disaster relief and recovery in Pakistan, and implementing new mechanisms to enhance accountability mechanisms in government service delivery in Nigeria.

Read her full profile here.

ROBERT FABRICANT: VICE PRESIDENT OF CREATIVE, FROG

Specializing in design for social innovation and health care, Fabricant lends his expertise to frog design’s initiatives with a global impact. Recently, he has led projects that use technology to combat HIV/AIDS and collaborated with UNICEF to improve maternal and infant health worldwide.

Read his full profile here.

MARK RANDALL: PRINCIPAL AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, WORLDSTUDIO

Worldstudio, a New York City strategy and communications firm, builds bridges between clients and communities to enable positive social change. Randall helped Worldstudio launch Design Ignites Change in collaboration with the Adobe Foundation to support architects and designers who want to make a difference in their communities. He is also the cofounder and chair of Impact! Design for Social Change, an annual six-week summer intensive at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

DEBBIE AUNG DIN AND JIM TAYLOR: FOUNDERS, PROXIMITY DESIGNS

Proximity Designs works to reduce poverty and advance the well-being of rural families in Burma, where the Taylors have worked since 2004. They design, produce, and distribute products--like their foot-operated irrigation pump--that are affordable for low income farmers and help to increase their income and productivity. To date, they’ve sold more than 110,000 items to Burmese farmers, using a model of designing and producing tools that are affordable to those making less than $2 a day.

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5 Comments

  • Sumaiya Noor

    More than just web designers, we are web strategists. Having designed and managed huge number of profit-generating sites for our clients since 2009 which gives us insight into what works and, as importantly, what doesn't work online. Those in the know will tell you that a web design on its own does not attract customers. Rather, a strategy is needed; one that entails the right aesthetic, content, functionality and that takes your goals into full account without compromising integrity. Whereas most Asian web design firms focus on website design, Roopokar Creative Studio is also interested in your business. After all, what good is a website if it's not aligned with your business goals? Roopokar Creative. Studio takes the time to discover both your online and offline goals, which is where any professional web design process should start. For more http://www.roopokar.com Our approach to design is geared towards your target audience and creating a memorable user experience that translates i

  • Sumaiya Noor

    More than just web designers, we are web strategists. Having designed and managed huge number of profit-generating sites for our clients since 2009 which gives us insight into what works and, as importantly, what doesn't work online. Those in the know will tell you that a web design on its own does not attract customers. Rather, a strategy is needed; one that entails the right aesthetic, content, functionality and that takes your goals into full account without compromising integrity. Whereas most Asian web design firms focus on website design, Roopokar Creative Studio is also interested in your business. After all, what good is a website if it's not aligned with your business goals? Roopokar Creative. Studio takes the time to discover both your online and offline goals, which is where any professional web design process should start. For more http://www.roopokar.com Our approach to design is geared towards your target audience and creating a memorable user experience that translates i

  • Sumaiya Noor

    More than just web designers, we are web strategists. Having designed and managed huge number of profit-generating sites for our clients since 2009 which gives us insight into what works and, as importantly, what doesn't work online. Those in the know will tell you that a web design on its own does not attract customers. Rather, a strategy is needed; one that entails the right aesthetic, content, functionality and that takes your goals into full account without compromising integrity. Whereas most Asian web design firms focus on website design, Roopokar Creative Studio is also interested in your business. After all, what good is a website if it's not aligned with your business goals? Roopokar Creative. Studio takes the time to discover both your online and offline goals, which is where any professional web design process should start. For more http://www.roopokar.com Our approach to design is geared towards your target audience and creating a memorable user experience that translates i

  • Sumaiya Noor

    More than just web designers, we are web strategists. Having designed and managed huge number of profit-generating sites for our clients since 2009 which gives us insight into what works and, as importantly, what doesn't work online. Those in the know will tell you that a web design on its own does not attract customers. Rather, a strategy is needed; one that entails the right aesthetic, content, functionality and that takes your goals into full account without compromising integrity. Whereas most Asian web design firms focus on website design, Roopokar Creative Studio is also interested in your business. After all, what good is a website if it's not aligned with your business goals? Roopokar Creative. Studio takes the time to discover both your online and offline goals, which is where any professional web design process should start. For more http://www.roopokar.com Our approach to design is geared towards your target audience and creating a memorable user experience that translates i

  • Nick Adam

    Much congratulations, Dawn is not just our Director at Firebelly... she is the most inspirational person I've ever meet. It's an honor to great work with her at the studio.