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

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 >

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 >