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

Dream It, Build It, Do It: The Brightmoor Maker Space Celebrates Inaugural Year

May 9, 2019

On May 2, the Brightmoor Maker Space hosted an open house in celebration of its first year in operation. Read More >

Designing for Equity in Public Education

May 9, 2019

Stamps MDes students work with U-M partners and area schools to address equity and access in public education. Read More >

Social Spaces Takes Root with Growing Hope

December 12, 2018

A new Stamps class led by Anne Mondro and Marianetta Porter collaborates with Ypsi-based nonprofit Growing Hope. Read More >

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 >