California has the largest homeless population in any state in the country. In San Francisco and Oakland, cities in which we’ve headquartered our studio, Elefint has witnessed the effects of the high-cost of living, shortage of housing, mental illness, and a range of other complex and interconnected social issues facing our community.
As a design studio committed to social impact, we wanted to understand the problem more deeply and be part of the solution. Through our initial conversations with Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, SF LGBT Center, Landed, SPUR, and Community Housing Partnership, we realized how complex and interconnected this issue is. We also have yet to find a single universal term that NGOs, politicians, and community members alike can get behind. As we close out 2018 with continued design research, we’re also looking ahead to the new year and creating opportunities for designers to enter the conversation.
The Desgnit Model
Through our unique 3-day event called Desgnit, creative leaders work side-by-side select nonprofits to help kickstart a campaign with essential branding, messaging, and distribution strategies. With a pre-defined scope of work and clear understanding of project goals, the event creates a tremendous amount of design work in just three days! The model has helped launch campaigns such as MeetYourDA for the ACLU of California, branding for Black Girls Code, and a bilingual identity system for Mission Promise Neighborhood. To learn more about the model, watch this explainer video.
Invitation to Bay Area Designers and Nonprofits!
In 2019, we’re making some changes to Desgnit. Rather than hosting a single event in the spring, elefint is taking up a larger on-going initiative focused on housing and homelessness in the Bay Area. Over the course of the year, we will host a series of learning and design events in Oakland and San Francisco that involve designers and key players working towards solutions to the housing and homelessness problem in the Bay. If you are interested in being a part of our initiative, sign up to our newsletter and we’ll make sure to keep you posted on these opportunities. Design can be a unifying power and by working together across disciplines, we are hopeful that more people will have a safe space they can truly call home.
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