Watch SEED 3.0 Presentation at Intelligent Coalitions on Design and Social Impact


SEED® in the Making: 2005 to 2009

In October 2005, a group of architects, designers, and other diverse experts in the public interest design movement convened for a roundtable at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The group represented over 100 organizations, design advocates, and social activists. Their goal was to evaluate the existing social, economic, and environmental roles of architecture and design, and to strengthen those roles in low-wealth communities that struggle with a myriad of social challenges where they are needed most.

From this initial meeting emerged the SEED: Social Economic Environmental Design Network. The network sees itself as part of a global movement driven by the belief that design can support a community from the ground up. Professionals experienced with design process work alongside locals who know their community and its needs to achieve the best of both worlds. Called “community-based design,” this practice of “trusting the local” is increasingly recognized as the most effective way to sustain the health and longevity of a place.

The original SEED meeting on October 28 and 29, 2005 was organized by Stephen Goldsmith, Kathy Dorgan, Maurice Cox and Bryan Bell with funding from the Loeb Fellowship and assistance from Sally Young and Design Corps Fellow JoEllen Wang.

Four subsequent meetings in New Orleans, Baltimore, Dallas, and Austin have included hundreds of more participants who have developed the concept into a working tool.

The Present

SEED is administered by Design Corps, a 501(c)3 organization. SEED is a registered Trade Mark of Design Corps. The SEED Evaluator program and website are managed by Design Corps.