Design for the Common Good: A Network of Networks

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Project Origin

Design for the Common Good is a coalition of networks who are committed to design practice, education and research that improves social, economic and environmental outcomes for its users. We promote local accountability and maintain a global perspective. Design for the Common Good connects designers, students, researchers, collaborators and end-users, sharing best practice, stimulating and sustaining dialogue.

Three international networks have combined efforts to support and promote systemic change in the practices of design with the intent of building on the common ground they share. While each network has a unique focus, we acknowledge our common ground: supporting the growth of design for the common good. 

Our collaboration of networks seeks to strengthen the confluence of forces needed to create truly healthy, resilient and sustainable design projects that will positively change in the world. We will work to bring together international constituencies to extend and connect conversations stimulated through a series of international conferences and awards.

Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network. Link:

The mission of SEED is that every person should be able to live in a socially, economically, and environmentally healthy community. We showcase design projects that demonstrate progress towards achieving this goal across the globe, and we share processes that demonstrate how designers are playing creative and innovative roles to implement these projects and measure their positive impact.

DesignBuildXchange Europe. Link:

designbuildXchange is a network and an online platform dedicated to all stakeholders involved in academic DesignBuild projects. DesignBuild takes students from their studio desks into the physical world of human interactions and allows them to be physically involved in the materialization of their designs. The web platform provides tools for communication, collaboration and the exchange of scientific, practice related, sustainable and interdisciplinary knowledge. The network also fosters multinational cooperation and promotes research related to Design-Build activities.

Live Projects Network. Link:

Live Projects Network is an online resource to connect students, educators, collaborators, practitioners and researchers involved in live projects. The aims are to promote the use of live projects in education, share best practice, encourage dialogue and also contribute to the establishment of a theoretical basis for the study of live projects.

Steering Committee Representatives:
Sergio Palleroni, Head
Bryan Bell, SEED Network
Sue Thering, SEED Network
Eric Field, SEED Network
Simon Colwill,
Peter Fattinger,
Ursula Hartig,
Nina Pawlicki,
Jane Anderson, Live Projects Network 

Project Descriptions

Hands On Conference, Vienna, Austria

At the HANDS ON conference in Vienna, May, 2016, members of different networks came together to build knowledge and capacity to address global social challenges through design. The discussion suggested the great potential for collaboration, exchange and finding common ground among disparate efforts. The members of these many different international agreed there was the need to continue to: (1) promote exchange (2) discussion potential collaborations and common purpose, and (3) build capacity to meet our common goals.

Structures for Inclusion 17, Portland Oregon

The Structures for Inclusion conference which annually brings public interest practitioners, students in the field, client communities and other stakeholders to award and discuss the exemplary project that have been realized and how to address emerging issues and from these lessons learned how to advance the field. In 2017 the conference was hosted by the Center for Public Interest Design of the Oregon University System, which has offered with the SEED network to host the first of these public exchanges between the networks as its central topic. To promote this discussion CPID and SEED proposed to create a mechanism to award projects that are exemplary of the contemporary work of each network values and goals, and help support these teams to participate in the discussion on a common ground that the conference would promote.

Joint Awards, 2017

Design Corps, the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network, designbbuildXchange, and Live Projects Network in collaboration with the Center for Public Interest Design, presented the 2017 Awards winners to recognize excellence in public interest design. Two winners were selected from each of the three networks to represent their public interest design principles and selection criteria. Recognizing these six winning projects for exceptional social, economic, environmental, and pedagogic impact, this year the SEED + dbXchange + Live Projects Network Awards represent the greater scale and growing relationships needed to create truly sustainable projects and positive change in all communities globally. The Award Winners presented at the seventeenth annual Structures for Inclusion conference at the Center for Public Interest Design, Portland State University, Portland OR, on April 7 and 8, 2017. Additionally, seventeen projects were recognized for excellence with Honorable Mentions. For information:

Architecture Connects Conference, Oxford, UK

Architecture Connects was the September 2017 conference of the Association of Architectural Educators, held at Oxford Brookes University. Supported by Live Projects Network, SEED and DesignBuildXchange Europe, the conference brought their members and supporters together with architectural educators. This enabled exploration pedagogical design strategies that operate beyond the educational institution to create new knowledge. With an emphasis on the mutual benefits this can bring to society and education, the conference offered the opportunity to share best practice in the education of resilient and responsive architects and designers for changing society, culture and technology.


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