September 27, 2017

Designmatters Releases Vital Higher Ed Resource in Social Innovation LEAP Dialogues: The Educator's Guide

Digital publication from leading practitioners and educators in design, engineering and business to inform students in pursuit of social innovation pioneering careers

Today, Designmatters at ArtCenter College Design published a digital guide for educators to help students better understand the spectrum of challenges and opportunities for designers building career pathways in social innovation. LEAP Dialogues: The Educator’s Guide, edited by Mariana Amatullo, Andrew Shea and Jennifer May, is available as of September 27, 2017 as a free downloadable PDF on the Designmatters website to anyone interested in the complexity of navigating the rich opportunities that are connected to shaping meaningful career pathways in the emergent field of design for social innovation.

Created as a response to the enthusiastic global reception to the 2016 Designmatters publication, LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation edited by Mariana Amatullo, Bryan Boyer, Liz Danzico and Andrew Shea, the Guide represents a curated digest of the original book’s content, this time tailored for an educational setting. Envisioned as an approachable and rich set of texts including conversations between leading practitioners and educators as well as case studies, the Guide is ready to inform syllabi, discussion and debates in classrooms within and outside art and design institutions. The 12 selected dialogues are accompanied by a set of open-ended questions to provoke critical reading and to jumpstart classroom discussions. The five case studies strive to ground the theoretical conversations about the future by showing what the emerging field looks like. The Guide also includes an annotated bibliography of complementary readings from the field of social innovation design to inspire new and expanded directions of study for educators and students.

The intention of the Guide is to accelerate the process of getting insights about the current and future landscape of design for social innovation into the hands of many: those of design educators and students, naturally, but also of educators and learners in other fields who may be interested in the pluralism of methodologies and rich know-how that designers are bringing to the social innovation arena.

The key target audience for the Guide are emerging designers who might use it to launch and steer their careers. The editorial team suggests that the text might inspire seasoned designers to envision opportunities that leverage their practices to work on projects that take design as a form of agency for social innovation.

The pioneering Designmatters department at ArtCenter College of Design, which has been an international leader in shaping design for social impact education for 15 years, published the collective wisdom of 84 game changers in the field in LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation (lead editor: Mariana Amatullo with Bryan Boyer, Liz Danzico and Andrew Shea). LEAP Dialogues is the first publication of its kind to present a comprehensive overview of new professional pathways to successful and meaningful careers as experienced first-hand by a who’s who of respected thought leaders (practitioners, researchers and educators) who are making seminal contributions to the field.

LEAP Dialogues looks at the changing role of design in the marketplace and examines why these changes are occurring, what skills are needed to stay relevant and how effective new practices are emerging. The book offers tangible insights for designers as well as professionals outside the field of design who are looking for new ways to harness innovation. LEAP Dialogues is also a practical guide for designers who want to pursue emerging career pathways.

Additional information can be found at

LEAP Dialogues: The Educator’s Guide Book Credits:

Editor: Mariana Amatullo
Editor: Andrew Shea
Editor: Jennifer May
Designer: TwoPoints.Net
Graduate Research Assistant: Justine Esquivel
Copy Editor: Alex Carswell

The limited first print edition of LEAP Dialogues is currently available on

LEAP Dialogues would not have been possible without the early support and partnership of the Autodesk Foundation and the support of VentureWell. We are so grateful to these organizations for their leadership in the intersecting fields of design, innovation and entrepreneurship.

©2017 Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design

All rights reserved

LEAP Dialogues content ©2016 Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design


About Designmatters: Founded in 2001, Designmatters is a groundbreaking, college-wide program that serves all academic disciplines at ArtCenter College of Design. The department sets a global standard for art and design education in social innovation. Designmatters advances art and design as a force for innovation and social change through research, advocacy and action. Designmatters collaborates with nonprofit organizations, industry, and national and international development agencies on immersive, outcome-oriented research and projects. ArtCenter students, alumni and faculty participate in cross-disciplinary design studios, workshops, independent studies, fellowships and internships that yield high impact results which are widely disseminated. In recognition of Designmatters’ leadership, Art Center was the first design school to receive Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status at the United Nations.

About ArtCenter College of Design: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

Teri Bond
Media Relations Director
O 626 396-2385
M 310 738-2077

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