Winterhouse Institute, founded by William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand, focuses on non-profit, self-initiated projects that support design education, as well as social and political initiatives.




Yale SOM Case Studies
In collaboration with Winterhouse Institute, Yale School of Management has created a new series of case studies focusing on design and social enterprise. Funded by Rockefeller Foundation, these cases place design within the larger context of real world projects, encouraging design thinking as a means to create meaningful social impact. The first case is SELCO, a solar energy company in India.

Bellagio Design Symposium
Organized by the Winterhouse Institute, a group of curators, designers, historians, educators and journalists (22 participants from 11 countries) convened to consider how museums curate, exhibit and archive design for social change. Held at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center April 12–14, 2010, "Reasons Not to Be Pretty: Symposium on Design, Social Change and the 'Museum'" explored the opportunity to educate museum constituencies about important contemporary social issues.

Aspen Design Summit
Hosted by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Aspen Design Summit invited designers, educators, researchers and representatives of NGOs, foundations and businesses to collaborate in addressing large social problems. Split into assigned groups with a specific social challenges around healthcare and poverty, participants worked intensively over three days to develop a solution deemed actionable within two years. Institutional participants included the CDC, Mayo Clinic, UNICEF, SHE, University of Alabama and Auburn University.

Change Observer and Places
Launched in August of 2009 as part of Design Observer Group, Change Observer and Places are new channels that provide journalism focused on specific content zones. Developed by the Winterhouse Institute, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Change Observer is devoted to the many dimensions of design for social innovation. Places, originally an interdisciplinary print journal founded by MIT and Berkley faculty 26 years ago, is now an online journal focused on urbanism and design within the public realm.

Project M at Winterhouse
A collaborative project of young designers for social change in a rural environment. August 15-30, 2009.

Polling Place Photo Project
Initiated by Winterhouse and supported by AIGA, the Polling Place Photo Project is a nationwide experiment in citizen journalism to capture democracy in action: an archive of photographs taken by citizens at their polling places on election day. The Polling Place Photo Project began in November 2006 before the mid-term elections. For the 2008 election cycle, the project was supported by The New York Times as a part of its political coverage.

Winterhouse Writing Awards
The Winterhouse Awards for Design Writing & Criticism seek to increase the understanding and appreciation of design, both within the profession and throughout American life. A program of AIGA, these annual awards have been founded by Jessica Helfand and William Drenttel of the Winterhouse Institute to recognize excellence in writing about design and encourage the development of young voices in design writing, commentary and criticism.

Below the Fold:
An occasional journal from the Winterhouse Institute, each issue of Below the Fold: explores a single topic through visual narrative and critical inquiry.



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desk [at] winterhouse.com