This Giving Tuesday, Get to Know Design for Good

This Giving Tuesday, we’re proud to re-introduce you to our two Shapeways Design for Good charities. Your purchases in their shops directly support their work, whether it’s helping the ADA get children with disabilities the adaptive tools they need, or funding world-changing media projects through Creative Visions. Read on to learn more about these incredible organizations.

Many designers have used their Shapeways shops to bring attention to important causes and raise money for organizations they care about. We love to bring their stories to light, but we wondered, “Isn’t there more we can do to support this good work?”

So, we went to the nonprofit community to explore a collaborative approach. We began by reaching out to two organizations about the opportunity to create a shop on Shapeways, with design help from our community to develop the inventory. It was simple, really: pair a generous member of our design community with a nonprofit organization, and let the shop develop. After just a few design iterations, the Adaptive Design Association and Creative Visions Foundation had complete jewelry shops of their own, and a new way to raise money for their organizations. Shapeways Design for Good was born.

Independent designers Carol Butkovsky and Apoorva Vijh worked with Shapeways and the nonprofits to create jewelry pieces that were thoughtfully designed to reflect each organization’s story and mission.

The Adaptive Design Association (or ADA) was established in 2001 by Alex Tresdell and Antoinette LaSorsa. ADA’s mission is to help “ensure that people with disabilities receive the custom adaptations they need to live healthy lives and fulfill their developmental, academic, and vocational potential,” while using their platform to “promote education, inclusion, widespread replication, and social justice.” Headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, their two-story complex houses a bustling shop, consultation facilities, and a number of beautifully painted pieces of adaptive technology. The tools can help with any variety of activities from something as fundamental as sitting to music and recreation.

adaptive design 3D printing charity nonprofit

A child creates art with help from ADA-created adaptive seating

The team at ADA helps to fabricate and create custom pieces of adaptive technology with the specifications of the child or person who will end up using the tool. The main material that is used to create the designs is a thick corrugated cardboard. This versatile material is used for a variety of reasons including ease of use, cost, and strength. This material requires far less heavy machinery than metals or wood and is accessible to everyone.

adaptive design 3D printing charity nonprofit

Carol Burkovsky’s designs for ADA were inspired by a cross-section of corrugated cardboard

Carol Butkovsky of Seriaforma designed the jewelry pieces in the recently opened ADA shop. The inspiration behind the designs came from the corrugated material used in the majority of adaptive tools. Butkovsky explained, “…I love that one of ADA’s primary goals is to help families accommodate their loved one’s individual needs, affordably. So corrugated cardboard became a launching point for several designs.” The XO pieces in the collection are a nod to the communication cards created by ADA. She repurposed the symbols of X & O in earrings and a necklace, highlighting the double meaning: hugs and kisses, yes, but also X for no and O for yes in the organization’s communication cards. The design points to ADA’s dual role as an organization that offers both loving compassion and pragmatic solutions.

Creative Visions Foundation (CVF) is inspired by the life of Dan Eldon, an artist, adventurer and activist killed in Somalia in 1993 while covering the conflict as a photojournalist for Reuters News Agency. To honor his legacy, in 1998, his mother Kathy Eldon and sister Amy Eldon Turtletaub founded the Creative Visions Foundation, a publicly supported organization, to help others like Dan use media and the arts to create meaningful change in the world around them.

The late Dan Eldon during his career as a photojournalist

Over the past two decades, CVF has incubated more than 100 projects and productions on 5 continents, by providing fiscal sponsorship, mentorship, inspiration, fundraising, connectivity, and step-by-step toolkits for launching projects. To date, creative activists under the CVF umbrella have touched more than 90 million people and raised more than $11.2 million to fund their projects.

For Creative Visions’ shop, we paired the foundation with Apoorva Vijh. CVF and Apoorva spoke about the foundation’s passion for creativity, photography, and the overall spirit of Africa. Apoorva translated the core of CVF into a complete jewelry collection that includes earrings and pendants inspired by cameras, celebratory dancing figures in the form of pendants and earrings, and a bangle engraved with a mantra of CVF: “Safari as a way of life.”

Your purchases from the Adaptive Design Association and Creative Visions shops will support these organizations and help them to continue to help others. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to the nonprofits.

Help us celebrate!

We’re celebrating this release at ADA’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan on July 31. Just RSVP on the Meetup page to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!

How can I take part?

Let’s keep Shapeways Design for Good expanding. If you would like to take part, please take a short survey to get started:

If you are a nonprofit, follow this link.

If you are a designer, please reach out directly to the organization of your choice. Once you have received confirmation, fill out this form. and we will be in touch to help you and the organization launch a shop.

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