“Increasingly, society operates pre-factually. In such cases, analyzing existing options may not provide the necessary insights needed to respond successfully because the challenge is one that has not been dealt with before and the facts do not exist yet.”

                                                            Horst W.J. Rittel – 

                                                            The Reasoning of Designers 1987


Speaker : Mariana Amatullo, Co Founder and Vice President of Designmatters, Art Center College of Design

We can only understand the future as a possibility.  But it is one that implicates designers deeply.  They are the makers, strategists, visualizers, dream weavers and communicators whose work is essential to envisioning the material and immaterial forms of a more humane world.

Ten years into my work leading Designmatters, Art Center’s social impact design program, the question that is on my mind incessantly is what does it mean to engage our students effectively and responsibly in a knowledge domain fraught with complexity and uncertainty.   What does it take for art and design education today to enact new forms of knowledge, and directly engage with future-oriented forms of teaching, learning and practice?    Why does it matter so very much?  I am looking forward a dynamic conversation with you all!

Respondent Lorraine Gamman, Professor in Design Studies, in the School of Graphic and Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design.

Tickets : Free at  eventbrite

Location Michael Young Room, The Young Foundation, 18 Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green, London ,E2 9PF



At Bethnal Green underground station follow the signs for the Museum of Childhood exit, once at street level, cross Museum Gardens, which will be immediately on your right, cross the park diagonally and we are directly opposite the exit at 18 Victoria Park Square.

Bethnal Green is on the Central Line – one stop east of Liverpool Street and two stops west of Stratford.


The closest over ground station is Cambridge Heath, turn right out of the station and walk down Cambridge Heath Road, turn left into Old Ford Road and take the first right into Victoria Park Square; we are opposite the gardens on the left.


The following buses stop at Bethnal Green:
8 Victoria Station to Bow Church
106 Finsbury Park to Whitechapel
254 Holloway to Aldgate
309 London Chest Hospital to Canning Town
388 Blackfriars to Hackney Wick
D3 London Chest Hospital to Crossharbour
D6 Crossharbour to Hackney Downs


Bio: Mariana Amatullo

Mariana Amatullo founded the college-wide initiative Designmatters at Art Center College of Design, based in Pasadena, California in 2001 with a task force of faculty, chairs, staff and students. In her capacity as the lead of the Department, she develops strategic educational partnerships and oversees a portfolio of research collaborations, communication campaigns, exhibitions and publications that enhance Art Center’s commitment to be at the forefront of international  art and design education and contribute solutions to humanitarian issues of critical urgency.

At the curricular level, Amatullo is at the helm of the Designmatters Concentration in Art and Design for Social Impact, a formal course of study that affords Art Center students from all undergraduate disciplines the opportunity to graduate from the college with an emphasis in art and design for social impact and innovation; she also partners with the Media Design Program in the oversight of the Media Design Matters (MDM) track within the Media Design Program MFA.   This is an innovative and immersive graduate track that brings design and new communication technologies into areas such as international development, public policy and economic innovation, where students and faculty delve deep into systemic issues with a consortium of partner organizations.  Currently, she is participating in the development of the ARTMATTERS Concentration, a parallel course of study to Designmatters, focused on socially engaged art practice within the Fine Art Department at the college. Through Amatullo’s leadership, Art Center is the first design institution to be formally affiliated with the Department of Public Information at the United Nations as a non-governmental organization (NGO); and a civil society organization member with the Organization of American States (OAS/OEA). The award-winning and tangible outcomes of the student projects that are developed under the mantle of Designmatters have established the program as an exemplary effort within the landscape of social impact design–uniting educational objectives with highly effective advocacy and action-oriented outcomes.

An active essayist and lecturer, Amatullo also serves on a variety of advisory boards and networks engaged in the arts, design education and social activism, including, the Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journal Tassmeem: Design-Research-Connect, Design 21 (in partnership with UNESCO), Intelligent Mobility International (IMI) and the University of Southern California International Museum Institute.

Amatullo is currently a Non-Profit Research Fellow with the Doctorate of Management Program, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.  Her doctoral research focuses on the shifting role of the designer in the social sector. She holds an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Southern California (1994) and a Licence en Lettres Degree from the Sorbonne University, Paris (1990).  Her undergraduate studies included two years at l’Ecole du Louvre, Paris.  Amatullo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and brought up internationally through the Argentine diplomatic corps.


Bio: Lorraine Gamman

Lorraine is employed as Professor in Design Studies, in the School of Graphic and Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, London, where she has taught for over 15 years. She is also Director of Design Against Crime (DAC) at the University of the Arts London, which she set up in 1999, and which was validated as a new Research Centre by the University in 2005. She is currently Vice Chair of Designing Out Crime Association (DOCA), and a  member of the Home Office’s 2007 Design and Technology Alliance

Lorraine Gamman is currently co-directing several collaborative externally funded research projects on bag and bike theft. These aim to use research to create pragmatic design resources, as well as new designs against crime. Design innovation generated by DAC projects is user-tested, prototyped with industry and applied in the real world to prove efficacy, prior to being disseminated more broadly.

Gamman wrote her PhD on shoplifting at Middlesex University in 1999. She has published widely on design including articles on DAC as ‘socially responsive design’ (with Adam Thorpe). Her publications on crime include In the Bag: Get Smart Quick about bag theft, pick-pocketing and street crime, (2000 currently being revised for 2007 publication). Gone Shopping, the Story of Shirley Pitts, Queen of Thieves (Penguin 1996, film rights sold to Channel 4 in 1997). On visual culture publications include Female Fetishism: A New Look (with Dr. Merja Makinen, L&W Pubs 1994) and The Female Gaze: Women as Viewers of Popular Culture, (with Dr. Margaret Marshment TWP Pubs, 2000) and numerous articles. Her work has attracted research funding from the Design Council, the Home Office, Department of Health, British Transport Police and Transport for London (TfL), and more significantly from the Arts Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as well as the Engineering Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC).

Gamman’s most recent publications include papers on Liberty Versus Security (co written with Adam Thorpe) presented to the European Academy of Design conference in Izmir, Turkey, 2007, and ‘Design Against Crime as Socially Responsive Innovation?’ – presented at the July 2007 ECCA conference and the international Crime Science conference (both at UCL).



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