Dick & Rick: A Visual Primer
for Social Impact Design

More and more people are practicing some form of community-engaged design, or social impact design, or human-centered design. Whatever you call it, are there right and wrong ways to do it?

The Equity Collective, a group of practitioners in the field, worked with CUP and illustrator Ping Zhu to create a tongue-in-cheek storybook that shines a light on how good community-engaged design practices can not only create good projects, but also advance social justice, and how poor practices are hurting not only the field, but the communities it claims to serve.

Download your own copy of the guide here!

Resources & Links

Equity Collective is a group of practitioners advancing issues of social equity in the community-engaged design field.

Ping Zhu is a Brooklyn-based illustrator, who received the ADC Young Gun in 2013 and has been recognized by American Illustration and Communication Arts.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by the Surdna Foundation.

Special Thanks

Oscar Nuñez, Mark Torrey, and the other members of the Equity Collective: Barbara Brown Wilson, University of Virginia; Jess Garz, Surdna Foundation; Nicole Joslin, Austin Community Design & Development Center; Katie Swenson, Enterprise Community Partners; and Jess Zimbabwe, Rose Center for Public Leadership.


  • CUP
  • Project Lead
  • Christine Gaspar
  • Project Support
  • Matthew Ledwidge
  • Equity Collective
  • Project Leads
  • Christine Gaspar
  • CUP
  • Theresa Hwang
  • Dept of Places
  • Liz Ogbu
  • Studio O
  • Ping Zhu
  • Illustrator


A punchy new guide from the Center for Urban Pedagogy shows architects how not to be Dicks
  • The Architect’s Newspaper
  • July 08, 2016

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) teamed up with the Equity CollectiveChristine Gaspar, executive director of CUPTheresa Hwang, founder and director of Department of Places; and Liz Ogbu, founder and principal of Studio O—and illustrator Ping Zhu to produce Dick & Rick: A Visual Primer for Social Impact Design, a gently didactic pictorial for architects on the dos and don’ts of community-engaged design.

As their names suggest, Dick is the Goofus to Rick’s Gallant. The 15-page spread walks readers through the design process in each architect’s respective office: In a stroll around the neighborhood, Rick spies a flier for a community meeting about parks, and wonders if he could lend his skills to the project. Dick reads a news piece about the same initiative and, pen aloft, offers help to “them.”