LEAP Dialogues: The Educators Guide

Service Award Winner

Mariana Amatullo
Associate Professor
Parsons School of Design, The New School

Andrew Shea
Assistant Professor
Parsons School of Design, The New School

Jennifer May
Director, Designmatters
ArtCenter College of Design

LEAP Dialogues: The Educator’s Guide (Mariana Amatullo, Jennifer May and Andrew Shea, eds. Designmatters, 2017), is an open-source publication about design for social innovation and the career pathways that are emerging in this field. A re-conceived digest of the original award-winning print publication designed by TwoPoints.Net, LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation (Mariana Amatullo, Bryan Boyer, Liz Danzico, and Andrew Shea, eds., DAP and Designmatters, 2016), the Educators Guide is tailored to educators and comprised of six selected dialogues and five case studies from the original book, a new annotated bibliography and a new series of open-ended questions that expand each dialogue with critical reading prompts to jumpstart conversations in the classroom. Taking a cue from the early adoption of the original book in syllabi across design courses in peer institutions, the impetus to develop the guide was to contribute to the emerging field of design education for social innovation by creating a readily accessible set of materials meant to communicate and inspire new and expanded directions of study for students and educators alike. With this goal in mind, the subheadings that organize the material of the guide: designing services, designing for community engagement, designing for entrepreneurship, designing across organizational boundaries, and designing for impact measurement, serve as guideposts to the themes that are illustrated in the dialogues and case studies selected. The themes, dialogues, case studies and annotated bibliography can be combined in several ways to create syllabi for courses with different learning outcomes for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Since its publication in September 2017, the Educators Guide has been received with critical interest as attested by its inclusion in syllabi across the country (in colleges such as ArtCenter and Parsons where members of the editorial team teach, but also nationally and internationally). In a field of design that remains sparsely populated in terms of comparable readings that communicate teachable lessons, the data compiled to date about downloads of the guide demonstrate significant interest distributed across the world: as of May 29, 2018, the Educator’s Guide has been downloaded 567 times by 460 unique users across 25 countries, including the United States, the UK, Australia, China, Germany, Finland, India, Uruguay and South Africa. Approximately 40% of the downloads have been from users at educational institutions, including Arizona State University, Illinois Institute of Design, MICA, Indian School of Design & Innovation, Aalto, Stanford, EnsAD, University of Toronto, MassArt, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, Tshwane University of Technology and University of South Australia.

LEAP Dialogues: The Educator’s Guide is available for download here: https://designmattersatartcenter.org/leap-educatorsguide.

In 2018 the editors partnered with AIGA National and the AIGA Design Educators Community to make available a series of “how to” instructional videos, produced by AIGA, that include a range of scenarios on how the Educators Guide might be used in the classroom: https://www.linkedin.com/company/aiga/

An April 2018 article by editor Andrew Shea about the pedagogical value of the case studies in the Guide published by AIGA DEC is available here: https://educators.aiga.org/design-over-time-the-value-of-case-studies/

Mariana Amatullo is an Associate Professor of Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design, The New School. She joined Parsons in August 2017 after 16 years at the helm of Designmatters at ArtCenter, the social innovation department she co-founded in 2001. Amatullo’s expertise is in developing design curricula and conceiving international and national educational projects, research initiatives and publications at the intersection of design and social innovation. Her scholarship and teaching engages broadly with questions about the agency of design in organizational culture and social innovation contexts. Amatullo holds a Ph.D. in Management from Case Western Reserve University; an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Southern California, and a Licence en Lettres Degree from the Sorbonne University, Paris, where she also studied Art History at L’Ecole du Louvre. A native of Argentina Amatullo grew up around the world.

Andrew Shea is an Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Integrated Design at Parsons School of Design, and principal of the design studio MANY. He wrote Designing for Social Change: Strategies for Community-Based Design and was on the editorial team of LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation. His design and writing have been featured by Design Observer, Fast Company, Slate, 99 Percent Invisible, Core77, and Print, among others.

Jennifer May is the Director for Designmatters, where she oversees a dynamic portfolio of external partnerships, curricular and extracurricular projects and an active slate of special initiatives and publications. Jennifer also serves as a faculty adviser on Designmatters Transdisciplinary Studios, working directly with department chairs, faculty and partners to create educational experiences for students. Jennifer first joined Designmatters as the manager of the LEAP Symposium, a 2013 gathering of 150 thought leaders to discuss career pathways in the emergent field of design for social innovation. She continued with the LEAP initiative as the managing editor of LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation, an award-winning publication on new practices in social innovation, and editor of the open-source LEAP Dialogues: The Educator’s Guide.  Jennifer earned her M.B.A. from USC Marshall School of Business, where she was a Society and Business Lab Graduate Fellow, a Forte Fellow, and Vice President of Programs for Net Impact.