An online resource for designing a better world.

Introducing the CITYSeries: A Letter from the Editor

April 5, 2017

As our fearless leader (aka Editor in Chief), David Dewane, outlined in the Vision for 2017, we’re committed to showcase the harder to find, yet equally important and compelling work that’s happening outside of San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C.—the  five major cities in which impact design tends to concentrate. Because we see the uncovering of the best work in impact design regardless of geographic location or ease of access to be our task as a leading design impact media outlet, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce our upcoming CITYSeries, an initiative designed to do exactly that.

Where are we going?

We’re kicking the CITYSeries off in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. In the vein of our 40 under 40 list, we’ll be featuring 40 initiatives across the Twin Cities that span the environmental design, products and services, academic, and public sectors. Our goal is to explore what’s happening in these sectors in the context of the Twin Cities, in a way that thoroughly the issues these initiatives are looking to address as well as the roadblocks that stand in their way.

Our hope is that what we uncover in the process—as we move through analyzing design impact in a context by context, city by city manner—accomplishes two things. We hope that what we explore pushes the critical conversations in the design impact space forward, but also, as the series progresses and the cities begin to line up next to each other, that perhaps something broader, perhaps something that the field isn’t seeing in city silos, might begin to reveal itself. Of course we can never know until we try, so here we are—endeavoring into the unknown in hope of finding something great (or useful and interesting at the very least).

Why the Twin Cities?

Not only are there a wealth of institutions, organizations, and people doing important design impact work in the Twin Cities, but the IDH team has a few ties to the area (to be completely transparent, I live here) that make it a sensible place to start. That said, although we had a few leads who played an invaluable role in the launch of our research in the Twin Cities (who we cannot thank enough for their generosity), this is still largely a new exploration, one that’s riddled with all of the issues you’d expect when embarking on something new and that means that we might not have all the kinks worked out yet.

This is where you come in, dear readers. We’re excited to showcase the unique work we’ve come across as we’ve begun putting this series together and expect to learn a lot as we go in order to move towards the best, most inclusive, and realistically representative presentation of the work that’s actually happening in the cities we’ll be featuring. But is there something or someone we missed? What should be in the conversation that isn’t being featured? Perhaps you have an idea for which city we should head to next? Let us know.

One of the best things about editing IDH is our readership—we’re constantly humbled and impressed by the caliber of our readers. So please, join the conversation. Help us shape this. Lend us your expertise. We’re a small, fierce, and dedicated team, but we’re also only that. We rely on feedback and input from our readers, those out there engaging in this work on a day to day basis, to guide us as we shape the new content that we’ll be producing in 2017. We’re incredibly excited about this new chapter, and we want to do it right, and that means with you. We’re looking forward to finding out where this road will lead, and we’re honored to have you at our side along the way.

Cinnamon Janzer
Editor, CITYSeries

Leave a Reply

Continue With More Articles in This Feature

The Twin Cities Wheel: An Infographic of Impact Design

April 6, 2017
It’s our distinct honor to not only officially launch the first piece of the inaugural CITYSeries, but also to introduce these 40 movers and shakers in the impact design space in the Twin Cities. Spanning... Read More

The Broad Reach of Environmental Design in the Twin Cities

April 13, 2017
By: Amber Morgan, a local writer based in Minneapolis Environmental design in the Twin Cities is broad and far reaching. Of course, traditional environmental design is at work in a “state that has long prided itself... Read More

Juxtaposition Arts’ Youth-Driven Environmental Design

April 20, 2017
By: Genevieve Poist **Disclaimer: Juxtaposition Arts is featured on the Twin Cities Wheel in our Products & Services category; however, the organization’s work and classification as a design firm that trains and employs youth to... Read More

Product and Service Design in the Twin Cities: Looking at the Big Picture

April 27, 2017
By: Amber Morgan, a local writer based in Minneapolis When it comes to product and service design in the Twin Cities, it’s big picture social inequities that drives the work. It’s disparities in access and affordability... Read More

How Youth Are Using Design to Approach Police Brutality in Minneapolis

May 4, 2017
By: Genevieve Poist Prompted by the social unrest caused by the 2015 and 2016 shootings of Jamal Clark and Philando Castile, many of North Minneapolis’ young people, specifically those of color and immigrant backgrounds, took... Read More

Academic Impact Design in the Twin Cities

May 11, 2017
By: Bruce N. Wright In 2010, Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake killing thousands and displacing tens of thousands to countries outside their own, including the United States where they continue to remain on a temporary... Read More