2022 Spring Mentor

Nicolette Stosur-Bassett (she/her)

Editorial at Think Wood & Creative Director at Do It Better Design

Design Thinking & Ethical Design

Reimagining Design as a Tool for Social Change

Economic growth and its consequences for people and the planet are putting many societies at risk, testing their capacity to survive in the 21st century. Social design – designing for and with society – aims to restructure exploitative systems to improve living and working conditions, with a focus on understanding context, expanding creativity, and increasing human capacity.

  • What is the process of social design?
  • What principles are important to consider?
  • What methodologies can I use to make my design work more equitable and sustainably-minded?

Join Editorial + Creative Director Nicolette Stosur-Bassett, as you explore these questions through interactive in-person and remote mentor sessions. Sessions will include: short, weekly research assignments/reading; group critique; learning from practitioners, and workshopping a social design challenge. Mentees will come away with practical design tools and methodologies to apply in their work.

Hyrbid Sessions:
  • Virtual, Zoom
  • In-Person, East Pilsen Chicago
All Levels:
  • Should believe the design process can, and should, play a role in advancing equity and social justice
  • Is prepared for a collaborative, immersive, hands-on experience
  • Is willing to invest 1-2 hrs per week on group research/summary assignments
Potential Mentor Topics:
  1. Intro to social design (Remote, Zoom)
  2. Independent exhibition critique (individual assignment at Art Institute)
  3. Explore social design and participatory methodologies (Remote, Zoom)
  4. Review and discuss case studies (In-Person @ Do It Better office)
  5. Learn from practitioners via panel discussion (Remote, Zoom)
  6. Team up + workshop a social design challenge (In-Person @ Do It Better office)
Potential Takeaways:
  • Understanding of social design theory and practice
  • Gain insight from real-world case studies
  • Explore participatory design practices and how to put them into action
  • Learn directly from designers working to deliver social outcomes
  • Acquired practical skills to integrate into your practice

Nicolette Stosur-Bassett

More about Nicolette Stosur-Bassett

Nicolette Stosur-Bassett is a creative director and communications strategist with ten years’ experience building brands and campaigns for social change. Her work uses human-centered communications design to inspire behavior change that benefits people and the planet. Nicolette has consulted on diverse projects spanning food justice and carbon sequestration to the opioid epidemic and equity in education.

In 2018, she founded Do It Better Design, a Chicago-based branding and communications studio serving early-stage, mission-driven startups, worker coops, and nonprofits. Nicolette is currently the editorial + creative director for Think Wood, a national communications campaign focused on decarbonizing the built environment. She serves on the Goddard College Board of trustees and Advisory Board of Design Trust Chicago.

Talk to Nicolette about:

Entrepreneurship, behavioral psychology, alternative economics, and the neuroscience of design.