The US is currently in the throes of a homelessness epidemic. While some cities are experiencing a decline in their homeless population, cities such as New York, Los Angeles and yes, our very own San Francisco have seen their homeless populations increase.
In the past decade cities have increasingly turned to designers and design problem solving to combat the issue. From large infrastructural changes to small action items, designers are helping to generate practical solutions to end homelessness on both a local and national level.
In this edition of D.Talks, we’ll talk with designers, nonprofit leaders, and organizations for a critical and robust dialogue about what they’re doing on the ground to address this important topic.
D.Talks is an ongoing series of panel discussions presenting practical information about current trends and hot topics in the world of design and business.
Josh Levine, business author and educator
A company is only as good as its people, and Josh Levine is on a mission to help organizations create a culture advantage from the inside out. His day job is Principal of Great Monday, a 10-year-old culture design company serving technology companies and social enterprises. Curious to experiment and connect with like minds, he co-founded CultureLabX in 2013 and has seen it grow into a nationwide community. And because he just can’t get enough, you will also find him sharing his ideas as an instructor in the MBA programs at California College of the Arts, on stage at culture conferences. His book on designing company cultures will be published in 2018 with McGraw-Hill. Josh holds a BS in Engineering Psychology from Tufts University, and BFA in design from the Academy of Art University.
Kris Kepler, Senior Director, Programs & Impact, Lava Mae
Kris leads Programs and Impact at Lava Mae. She has spent the last 20 years playing dual roles as strategist and creator of physical and virtual experiences for private sector clients. Kris’s strengths are in understanding, strategizing, and designing for impactful human-centered experiences. Kris joined Lava Mae to bring her skills to a very under-served population: our houseless neighbors - with the intent of creating innovative, compelling and empowering programs that make a direct positive impact in their lives. Kris thrives on witnessing the powerful impact that giving the gift of respect to someone who never receives it has - both in their lives and in the larger community.
Brian Singer is a San Francisco-based artist and designer. He is best known for his provocative social projects, such as TWIT Spotting (Texting While In Traffic), which attracted international news coverage as an unconventional approach to curbing distracted driving. He is also the creator of The 1000 Journals Project, a global art experiment that resulted in a book, a feature-length documentary, and was exhibited at both the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Brian has managed creative teams at both Pinterest and Facebook, and ran his own studio working with such companies as Apple, Adidas and Chronicle Books. He has won numerous awards, authored three books, and served on both the national board of AIGA, the professional association for design and the advisory board for the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. His favorite App is nachos.
IG and web: @someguy.is
Guided by a deep love for her City and a drive to do the next right thing, Stephany's work has taken her from the streets of the Tenderloin, to the throes of electoral campaigns, to the belly of City Hall, and back again. Stephany got her start in anti-poverty work at the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center, where she volunteered providing harm reduction and HIV services. She soon became involved in budget justice advocacy and in fighting for the rights of people in the sex industry. She has since served as President of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, as legislative aide to Supervisor David Campos, and as Executive Director of the St. James Infirmary. No matter where it takes her, Stephany's work is aimed at decreasing the harms of stigma, poverty, and criminalization.