In a global appeal following the devastation in Haiti, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) has launched a call to designers from all disciplines to unite in an open dialogue with international relief organisations to assess potential design-effective rehabilitation projects. In support of the UN's efforts to help the Haitian people overcome challenges in relation to the country's reconstruction plans, designers, academics and design students, as well as experienced developmental workers are encouraged to join the discussion and become a fan of the "Uniting Designers in Disaster" page on Facebook.
Designers have a strong desire to support the relief effort. This forum is intended to help identify tangible opportunities and empower the design community to contribute to the cause. "As an international non-governmental organisation with over 50 years experience implementing projects of global appeal, Icsid is poised with the strategic understanding of the processes required by NGOs to develop and implement result-driven and effective initiatives," stated Icsid President Dr. Mark Breitenberg and Provost of California College of the Arts. "What we aim to do with the forum is engage designers to exchange information about initiatives and opportunities where they may contribute their design and problem solving skills. In addition, we are hoping that the dialogue between the design community, development workers and representatives from international agencies will subsequently facilitate relief efforts, such as those currently being prepared by the UN to help the people of Haiti meet long-term stabilisation and reconstruction objectives."
Among its key mission statements, Icsid strives to provide an international platform for the design community to be heard as a powerful voice. Although active participation and contributions will continue on the Facebook page, in an effort to take immediate action, all information posted via the forum by 27 January 2010 will be actively reviewed in order to select opportunities for immediate international activities.
"This is a call to think in order to act," stated Breitenberg. "Our immediate goal is to gain a better understanding of the relief efforts needed in order to facilitate the development of design-led solutions that impact Haiti's quality of life."