The Social Design Pathways is an instrument.
How you play it will determine what you get out of it.
Use it to map different projects, precedents, or inspirations to one another.
“What kind of project is that?”
Use it to guide your research, design and development processes.
“It used to be that we reinvented the wheel with each new project, now we use the pathways matrix to help us understand the scope of the project at the start.”
“I think you need to think way bigger or way smaller with your project. Run it through the Pathways matrix and let’s figure out what’s reasonable given your resources and expertise.”
Use it to index the specific skills, resources or partners necessary for a successful social innovation project.
“I want to be a social designer but I don’t know what skills I will need to be successful.”
Use it to assess your project outcomes and impacts.
“Before using the pathways matrix, I frequently confused my own ambitions for an initiative with what that outcomes that kind of project could actually achieve.”
The Social Design Pathways matrix with two axes. Range of Expertise refers to the collections of expertise brought to bear on a problem. While Scale of Engagement describes the size of the solution being pursued.
Illustration by Craighton Bermann
Charlie Cannon presents Social Design Pathways. Video courtesy of LEAP Symposium (Art Center College of Design).