Designmatters started under the International Initiatives department in 2001. With the closing of the department in February 2009, Designmatters branched off and was established as its own department.
In Fall 2010 the Designmatters concentration was launched. In February 2011 a new Designmatters Website was launched, with links to all of their projects and publications.
[From the Designmatters Website in August 2011]:
The College's social impact department, Designmatters is where local, national and global issues are encountered head-on. Values that are embedded into the department are filtered into the curriculum, programs and projects. These values represent the spirit of Designmatters, and consist of sustainable development, global healthcare, public policy and social entrepreneurship.
In recognition of Designmatters' service to society, in 2003 Art Center became the first design school to receive Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status by the United Nations. Designmatters has also fostered a series of prestigious and unique global affiliations that provide students and alumni access to a prominent stage in which to offer innovative solutions to critical issues of our time-with the results widely disseminated beyond the studio's walls.
The Designmatters concentration is offered to students who wish to explore more fully art and design for social impact. Interested students declare the concentration during the third term and must fulfill a series of seven required courses, which vary depending on the student's discipline, and include academic, discipline-specific and studio-based offerings.
Mariana Amatullo, Director, Designmatters and International Initiatives (2001-2008)
Vice President International Initiatives, Director Designmatters (April 2008-Feb. 2009);
Vice-President and Director, Designmatters Department (2009- August 2017)
Coordinator, Designmatters and International Initiatives (2002-2004?)
Assistant Director, Designmatters and International Initiatives (2004-2006?)
Producer, Designmatters and Senior Associate Director, International Initiatives (2006-2009?)
Producer and Senior Associate Director, Designmatters Department (2009)
Hannah Huang, Research Coordinator (2007-2008)
Linda Grabael Coordinator, International Initiatives and Designmatters (2007-2009)