When I think about my decision to pursue design as a career, an intrinsic desire to change the world for the better was at the core of that. It still is.
I like to think that this is what makes a lot of designers tick: our incessant drive to make a difference and leave the world better than how we found it. As designers, we all do our part. But for many of us, our day-to-day responsibilities keep us from being able to create an impact with real people in our local communities.
BarnRaise is an opportunity to create impact in a way that’s real, personal, and local. BarnRaise brings together design firms, community-based organizations, and participants to address a social topic embedded in the local community. Interdisciplinary groups are formed and each focuses on tackling a unique challenge that a community-based organization is facing.
The BarnRaise model originated at the Institute of Design in Chicago, where I dove head first into my pursuit of design. This year, BarnRaise will be in San Francisco and is being hosted by Adaptive Path.org, which is part of Capital One, where I now work. From dotorg’s inception, one of our main goals was to not only to create opportunities for Capital One designers to partner with community organizations but to also to create similar opportunities for the design community at large. In this way, we could all come together for the greater good. The Institute of Design’s BarnRaise model was the answer. I’m honored to be a part of these purpose-driven communities of designers and I’m eager to see how we will positively have a positive impact in our wider San Francisco community.
The challenge for BarnRaise SF is: How might we create experiences that support people who are transitioning into a new chapter of life? We already have a great group of community-based organizations and design firms participating. Now we’re looking for others to join us: designers, students, non-profit employees, and anyone who shares our passion to change the world for the better!
Jessica Striebich is a Service Experience Designer with Adaptive Path @ Capital One and an alumnus of the Institute of Design.