The Center for Social Design has developed a number of post-graduate opportunities providing select MA in Social Design (MASD) graduates with a one-year, paid, Associate position to continue to build their professional practice. Associates are embedded into funded projects with outside partners to put the human-centered design process into practice in professional contexts, serve as mentors to current MASD students, and engage in other initiatives of the Center for Social Design.
Our Social Design Associates program builds upon the success and learning of a post-graduate fellowship program launched in the Center for Social Design in 2012 with support from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation to keep innovative ideas and social design talent in Baltimore. From 2012-18, the RWD Fellowship provided a year-long stipend, institutional resources, and studio accommodations to 11 Fellows to continue their thesis research, implementation, and evaluation.
Ashley Eberhart (MASD’18) is a current Social Design Associate with the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Center for Innovative Care in Aging, where she is tasked with integrating the human-centered design process into the work of Community Aging in Place – Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE). CAPABLE was developed for low-income seniors to safely ‘age in community.’ CAPABLE teams up a nurse, an occupational therapist and a handyperson to address both the home environment and the strengths of the older adults to improve safety and independence. CAPABLE is operating in Baltimore and 21 other cities around the country. Ashley is working to design ways to communicate the CAPABLE story, onboard new affiliates, and set programs up for success.
Mengru Liao (MASD’18) is a current Social Design Associate with the Cochlear Center for Hearing & Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she is tasked with integrating the human-centered design process into the Center’s work to develop accessible and affordable hearing care for older adults. Mengru is working as part of a multidisciplinary group of researchers, clinicians and public health experts to advance the scientific and public health basis for how to address hearing loss in older adults. Mengru is also supporting the Cochlear team to expand these efforts overseas into China, Australia, and other countries that are developing strategies to best optimize the health and functioning of an aging society.
Smile Indias (MASD’17) was a Social Design Associate in the Center for Social Design in 2017-18, with support from the T. Rowe Price Foundation. Smile spent her post-graduate year advancing the work she began during her MASD thesis in collaboration with the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) toward the development of mechanisms for gathering officer feedback as the BPD worked to update policies identified in the mandated Department of Justice (DOJ) Consent Decree. Smile also assisted Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (BCAN), an initiative that provides entrepreneurship support for Baltimore creatives of all disciplines and backgrounds, with the conceptualization of the BCAN Mobile Unit to engage Baltimore City residents in community-based projects.
Unapologetically prioritizing the wellbeing of black women to co-design transformative possibilities for inner and outer healing.
Serving the Black and Brown community in Baltimore and beyond by providing graphic design services and design solutions for Black and Brown led grassroots/community organizations and entrepreneurs whose work combats the imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal culture in which we live.
Co-designing with Baltimore's returning citizens to create new pathways for people coming back from prison and jail to connect with resources and each other.
Advocating for and addressing the invisible problem of LGBTQ youth homelessness in Baltimore through cross-disciplinary & collaborative problem solving.
Exploring the intersection between design and immigration rights by making information accessible as a form of decoding the highly disjointed U.S. immigration system.
Unlocking the potential of people to be creative entrepreneurs and change makers in their community by providing access to technology, resources, and a network of mentors.
Addressing urban blight through a mobile, interdisciplinary skill building workshop designed to help young adults build confidence and increase their desire to learn.
Using design to support Baltimore communities in preparing for climate change, balancing the top down bureaucracy of government initiatives with on the ground grassroots organizations in an effort to create and foster environmental resilience.
Promoting economic sustainability for urban farming in Baltimore through design interventions, focusing specifically on the awareness of benefit (EBT, FMNO, and WIC/Senior FVC) acceptance at community farm stands.
Creating well-designed tools and curricula to help public school teachers succeed in addressing the holistic child.
Designing and building kid-focused, healthy playscapes to address the lack of access to play in Baltimore’s blighted and under served communities.