About Stamps

Social Engagement

Banner image: Social Engagement

Successful 21st century artists and designers are socially aware, entrepreneurial, and deeply connected to the communities where they live and work.

“Engaged creative practice” is a phrase that the Stamps School uses to describe the rich collaborations that happen when artists and designers work in honest, meaningful ways with community partners. Together, they generate creative work; discover fresh approaches to policy; and address real-world challenges in innovative ways. Engaged social practice is a core component to the Stamps School's undergraduate curriculum. This approach helps students build a solid understanding of the agency they possess as artists, designers, and visual communicators — and how to use that agency to impact the world around them.

All engaged creative practice efforts share a unifying mission: to help Stamps students, staff, and faculty generate collaborative, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial creative projects with community partners locally, nationally, and internationally.

Socially engaged projects allow the Stamps community to:

  • Respond to a need or set of needs in a particular community or communities
  • Facilitate connections among diverse groups and disciplines
  • Broaden participants’ experiences and understanding of the world
  • Broaden participants’ view of the role of art and design in the world
  • Put theory and practice together through hands-on collaborative projects or public interventions

Recent Engagement Stories

Stamps Gallery Hosts Inaugural Symposium: Talking About a Revolution

November 28, 2018

In November, the Stamps Gallery hosted its first symposium, "Talking About a Revolution: Art, Design, and the Institution." Read More >

Neil Zemba on Engaged Community Practice

June 25, 2018

Neil Zemba (BFA '13) on pursuing socially conscious design and community engagement both during and after college. Read More >

Interactive & Inclusive Spatial Experiences

May 2, 2018

Design students in Ann Arbor and Doha, Qatar collaborate across 7,000 miles and 8 time zones. Read More >

Caring for the Caregivers: 2018 MDes Thesis Talks

April 25, 2018

Graduating MDes students presented Caring for the Caregivers: public thesis talks at the Stamps Gallery on March 23, 2018. Read More >

Witt Visiting Artist Tunde Wey Discusses Equity, Race, and Privilege through Food

April 12, 2018

Chef and Witt visiting artist Tunde Wey uses food to call attention to issues of equity, race, and privilege. Read More >