Across many realms of art, media, and design, some practices are distinguished as fundamentally “good.” Humanitarian design, design for social good, design for social innovation, social impact design, socially engaged art, and social practice art: These distinctions set both the practices, projects, and creatives they describe apart as ones that privilege the common good and/or prioritize benefits over profit. But, what constitutes “goodness?” Is good intent good enough? How might a project’s process or outcomes outweigh its good intentions? Throughout these two workshops, participants will explore these questions; critically examine art, media, and design projects that describe themselves as benefiting the greater good; and collectively rethink these approaches in light of their critiques.
Over dinner, participants discussed what constitutes the “goodness” of design for social good and social practice art and help select projects to focus on in the following day’s workshop. During the workshop, participants collaborated to dissect various projects described as socially “good” art or design and collaboratively respond to that critique through discussion and making.