Social Design: Metro Transit
When we were first given this blog prompt, I was pretty confused. What in the world is social design? According to Wikipedia, social design can be "design in its traditional sense, meaning the shaping of products and services." It can also be "the creation of social reality; design of the social world." hmmm.... these definitions didn't help much. But then I got to thinking about the readings we've been assigned. Tom Fisher says that "...almost everything- from the operation of a company to the organization of a community to the order of our physical environment- can be approached as a design problem" in "Design in the World of Flows". I also thought about my sociology class, where we have been learning about socialization. Our sense of self is shaped enormously by the people and things that are around us. Almost everything around us is designed by a designer to appeal to us or make us act in a certain way.
So, a social design issue would be... any issue that is calculated to make us act a certain way. One such issue that I can advocate (because it makes sense) is the public transit system and the ways they are trying to get people to use it. I've noticed recently that ads for Metro Transit are appealing to us by saying that riding the bus is "green".
Going "green" and being eco-friendly is a big and important issue around the world, and these ads designed to make us feel like we should use public transit to support the cause. I don't ride buses often, but this example of design has definitely affected how I feel when I walk past a bus stop or climb into my car. I think a lot people probably feel the same way as me. The ads have succeed in making me, and others, more aware of the issue.