Solidarity can take on many different forms. Design and Architecture can also become socially useful and have a beneficial impact on the lives of millions of people. The “Beazley Design of The Year” follows this idea. It is an English prize awarded to the most promising artistic projects of the year. The prize giving will be held in London the next 24 November.
I personally believe that solidarity is a unanimous project. It becomes more effective if it can rely on the help of various players, the result is better when these players are committed in different sectors. We can all do something for the others: every company in every sector is able to contribute. Hence, the many realities – volunteers, restaurant owners, bar tenders and bakers – which decided to commit themselves to helping the community, they are all part of our project Pasto Buono and they are the proof that literally everyone can generate value and help the others.
Among the competing projects, there are for instance the prefabricated buildings, created by Ikea in collaboration with the UNHCR, “the better shelter“, which have been thought as temporary home for refugees. These shelters are actually embracing people in Iraq, Ethiopia and Greece.
The Buero Bauer design studio has conceived one project, which also aims at helping refugees. They designed the First Aid Kit, a new “language” of symbols that helps immigrants on their arrival to better integrate in Europe and communicate with others.
Then, there is the Drinkable Book, a book designed by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, whose pages, interwoven with micro-silver or copper filters, can also be used to purify water, process required for those who live in polluted or arid areas.
In these projects, technology and creativity come together to create something innovative. The innovation resides also in the fact that the aesthetics is not the main point, although they are architecture and design’ ideas, the social responsibility is part of them. I believe that social responsibility is an essential goal: luckily, more and more organizations and companies are applying social responsible values and principles.
I think it’s just as important to talk about it, to circulate the message that Helping is possible and practical for everyone – and that there are many good examples to follow. It is fundmental to also reward the worthy initiatives, as the “Beazley Design of the Year” award does.
A new great Italian venture is the one conceived by Osservatorio Socialis, which since 2003 is promoting the Socialis Award. The prize is assigned to those academic students who decide to talk about CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, in their final thesis projects, by analysing case history of sustainable firms. In its 14th edition 790 theses were presented, a positive signal that also young people are deeply interested in this issue.