“It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying” Finds New Life as Designer Bags

An advertising billboard becomes a space for socially-conscious art and then transforms into sustainable bags and accessories.

This is the story of a three-way collaboration between Lamar Advertising Company, the largest out-of-home advertising company in the United States,RAREFORM, a Santa Monica-based producer of bags and accessories repurposed from billboards, and Milton Glaser, the legendary artist and designer famous for creating the I ❤ NY logo.

Last year, Glaser launched the “It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying” campaign to create new urgency around the issue of climate change and to shift the language and narrative away from benign terms like “global warming.”


This year, Lamar Advertising has provided a billboard in Los Angeles at Crenshaw Boulevard and West 59th Place to showcase Glaser’s “It’s Dying” campaign. The billboard with Glaser’s artwork will remain on display until the end of October. After the billboard comes down, RAREFORM will repurpose Glaser’s artwork into approximately 300 limited-edition backpacks and accessories.


Designers and artists like Glaser looking to make a statement about environmental sustainability have the challenge of walking the walk as well as talking the talk. Campaign collateral like buttons, stickers, posters, and billboards all require natural resources to produce and often turn into waste after they have served their purpose. This collaboration between Glaser, RAREFORM, and Lamar provides a system for the sustainable reuse of these materials.

For designers working to be more sustainable, the lesson here is to think beyond creating collections for a single season, and instead design systems for reuse and transformation across the lifecycle of a product.

At the end of November, RAREFORM will host a gallery show in Los Angeles. The exhibit will feature exclusive videos, photos, and products from the collaboration, as well as some of Glaser’s other work.

Learn more at igg.me/at/art-lives.

Mischievous Movement

On Saturday, August 8, 2015, I taught an experimental movement workshop as part of the Sextantworks Placemaking Lab on Governor’s Island.

Every day in New York City we find ourselves interacting in urban space, on crowded streets and subway trains. Crossing paths with strangers, near collisions, conversations without words. How do we decode the grammar to these kinesthetic conversations? Learn how to inject fun, freedom, and a little bit of mischief into your everyday interactions and gain new insights for designing social experiences. This workshop will draw upon diverse disciplines including experience design, social science, martial arts, and choreography. Come ready to move your body. No dance or martial arts background necessary. All are welcome.

View more documentation from the workshop on Medium.

Mischievous Movement

Building Networks for Good

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Earlier this month, I had the privilege of presenting a workshop on Building Networks for Good at the CAPS2015 Conference in Brussels, Belgium. The slide on the screen features the work of Sextant.Works, an Awesome Foundation grantee.

What happens when people come together to take collective action without needing traditional organisational and institutional structures? What tools and strategies do we need for these “Networks for Good” to thrive? In this workshop, designer, storyteller, and community-builder Lee-Sean Huang (Purpose) will explore these questions by drawing from his own experiences building international networks like UX for Good, The Awesome Foundation, and Wisdom Hackers.

Foossa Spring Newsletter 2015

Community News

Our partners at Made in the Lower East Side are offering free co-working space for businesses and residents affected by the recent East Village explosion and fire.

Happy Mango, an alternative credit rating start-up, was recently featured in USA Today. Foossa designed Happy Mango’s brand identity and user interface. 

Upcoming Classes & Workshops

Design Thinking Innovation Lab
May 7-8, Cornell University, NYC
Lee-Sean Huang will be a facilitator and mentor at this two-day executive education course based on the pioneering curriculum developed at IDEO and the Stanford d.school.

Transformative Storytelling
May 11, Centre for Social Innovation, NYC
Learn how to use narrative to inspire and activate your community. Use coupon code LeeSean25 for 25% off.

Un-School of Disruptive Design Summer Fellowship
June 14-20, NYC
Lee-Sean will be a mentor at this week-long program in design, sustainability, and social innovation. The deadline to apply for scholarships is Wednesday, April 8, while the general admissions deadline is April 15.

Recent Publications

Social Good Guides – Authored by industry experts, the Social Good Guides are a collection of subject-specific guides created for startup changemakers. Lee-Sean wrote the Intro to Strategy guide.

Innovation Spirit Animals: How 5 Mythical Beasts Can Help You Tackle Real-World Challenges

How (Not) to Design Meaningful Civic Conversations

#WeWashing: When “Sharing” is Renting and “Community” is a Commodity

India and the Culture of Innovation – Co-authored by Foossa’s researcher-at-large, Kris Hartley


Join the Awesome Foundation for #AwesomeTalks‬
April 30, Orbital Space, NYC
Hear from former grantees and learn about our $1000 grants to forward awesome in the universe.

Do Good Data
April 30-May 1, Chicago
Foossa’s David Colby Reed will be in Chicago for the Do Good Data conference and looks forward to others interested in data science and civic technology. Connect with him on Twitter to meet up.

Become a Disrupter by Design


Think of the best conference you can imagine. Combine it with a vacation where you meet a random group of wonderful, whip-smart, people that you embark on a series of unforgettable adventures with. Top off all that awesomeness with the fact that you’ll be cerebrally stimulated and learning game changing skills for active participation and purpose. That’s what our fellowship programs are. Join us in NYC! I hope to see you there.

Learn More and APPLY NOW!



12 Fellows. 7-Day Intensive Program.
Sunday 14th – Saturday 20th June 2015 in NYC
By Application Only

Extensive Experiences In Disruptive Design and Social Innovation. Amazing Mentors. Curated Networks. Mind-changing Activations.

Real World Projects and Challenges. Clients. Change. Sustainability. Design. Social Innovation.