desigNYC + Coffee = Inspiration

Posted April 26, 2010

Today was an inspiring day. The desigNYC community — client organizations, design partners, desigNYC advisors, as well as our volunteer communication specialists and documentary team — met for an informal get-together to mix, mingle, share updates and celebrate the progress of these exciting collaborations. The event was generously hosted by Maddy Burke-Vigeland and Monica Schaffer at Gensler’s gorgeous Rockefeller Center office.

About two and a half months ago, desigNYC launched its first round of pilots by matching 12 organizations (nonprofits, community groups and city agencies) doing great work in the city with 12+ talented design professionals who are leaders in the fields of architectural, landscape, interactive, interiors, lighting, graphic and communications design. The projects are creating solutions impacting a range of range of social and environmental issues including affordable housing, sustainable development, social justice, health, green space, urban farming / local food systems, youth leadership, and more.

It was rewarding to hear that all twelve projects are going strong, and that one will actually be completed and presented to the public on Earth Day next week! The project is a collaboration between the Rooster Design Group and the New York City Housing Authority to create a green guide that will assist the organization as they personally engage the 700,000 residents of public housing in a conversation around how to live more sustainable, healthy lifestyles. The guide, called The Power is in Your Hands, is an integrated component of Commissioner Margarita Lopez’s Green Agenda to reduce the environmental impact of public housing in the City. She will present the guide with the Rooster Design Group and their desigNYC advisor Lauren Yarmuth of YRG Sustainability at an event on April 22 at the John Lovejoy Elliott Center in Chelsea.

To learn more about desigNYC, visit our website (currently being redesigned by the amazing Eric Grant at Hot Studio). For updates on current projects, our summer celebration at Pratt Manhattan Gallery and the next round of project / collaborator sourcing, please become a newsletter subscriber and follow us on Twitter @desigNYCnow.

Michelle Mullineaux

Michelle is an experienced strategist, marketer, business developer and change agent. She joined ESI in 2004 and is charged with building and implementing successful business development and marketing strategies for the firm. She also serves on the Leadership Team, which guides and supports ESI’s strategic growth across all disciplines and functions.

Michelle is recognized as an expert and leading advocate for public interest design, an evolving practice area that operates at the intersection of design, service, sustainability and social impact. She is one of the co-founders and an active board member of desigNYC, a nonprofit with the mission of improving the lives of New Yorkers through the power of good design. She is featured in the Public Interest 100, sponsored by Autodesk, and served on both the Steering and Community Development Committees for NYCxDesign, New York’s inaugural citywide festival celebrating and promoting design of all disciplines. Prior to joining ESI, she held business development, marketing and new media strategy roles for METROPOLIS Magazine, Acoustiguide, and Christie’s. Michelle holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School and BS/BA degrees in Journalism and Art History from Boston University.

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