Where Do You Give?

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May 09, 2012 by Sasha  | 

Tyson Brady is a design student at the University of Washington, who wants to make giving a more interactive experience.

WDYG: What is your educational and professional background?

TB: I am currently a sophomore design student at the University of Washington. Although my focus is achieving a BDes in Industrial Design, I have also been greatly exposed to Visual Communication and Interaction design. Together these grant the abilities to approach any type of problem with confidence and expertise. And I have done so. I have worked on such projects as redesigning parking meters, packaging, product design, and graphic design, and also have a basic knowledge of computer science and structural engineering. I am also a co-founder of Step Design, a new and rapidly growing design firm that is currently involved with rising companies in the Seattle region.

WDYG: What inspired you to enter our contest?

TB:Where Do You Give? was first brought to my attention by my design director. After I did more research on what the competition entitled and the purpose this organization had, it was easy to recognize that I had the ability to make something that could potentially make a great impact on the world. This idea quickly became real to me, and the hours I spent tackling ideas, sketching, and rendering various models became exciting and progressive. I knew that through design, charity could become a more rewarding and interactive experience and that I could develop a system that could lead to great change in the world. I was committed to this project from the beginning.

WDYG: Tell us a little bit about the message you hope to get across through your design.
TB: Right from the start I knew that I wanted to make charity a more interactive experience; to make a stronger connection between people and their donation. Too often, charitable giving goes unnoticed. There is no way for a person to see where that money is going, what it is doing, and whose life it is changing. I began to develop numerous ways to visualize change and to objectify charity. My design became a very simple shape that people could interact with. As they donate money, the object will change and by doing this people are able to see visually the difference that they are making. Without knowing it, I started to realize that this quickly became a way for society to unite over charity. Families at home as well as people in public places could join together and see the change they are making by watching this design change over time. Of course, these were originally just hopes that I had for my design, however I put it to the test. During public voting I created a three-dimensional virtual model of this design; one that changed as people voted. To my surprise, it worked exactly as I had hoped. People were drawn to the appealing shape and interaction and worked daily to try and fill each square.  The unity and connection I had hoped for became real.

WDYG: How do you think art can shape or change the way we think and talk about giving?

TB: Art has been an effective way to share information, thoughts, feelings, and emotions since the beginning of time. More recently I have been involved with the connection people make with art which can be incredibly powerful and stimulating. Art can draw people in to learn more about charity, make them feel for those in need, and reward them. When artistic tools are used in the right way and for the right causes, they can be essential. 

WDYG: Who is your favorite artist/designer?

TB: I have done many research projects and studied a lot about the painter and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci. Still today it amazes me how beyond his time he was and his work, primarily his inventions and designs, has made a big impact on how I think and work today. However, I’d have to say that my favorite artist and designer is my father. He taught me that work in this field is more than just making something new and beautiful. He taught me to work with a passion. The work he has done has inspired me and the devotion to his work and family has defined me.


Sasha Feldstein is a program associate in the education and community engagement department at AJWS, where she manages WhereDoYouGive.org. Aside from wanting to be and play outside all of the time, she is interested in radical reconceptualizations of ancient traditions and in deeply exploring why we give, where we give, how we give and what it means to define giving tzedakah as pursuing justice. Sasha can be reached at sfeldstein@ajws.org.

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