On campuses across the country,
interdisciplinary student teams collaborate with faculty, staff, and community leaders to address challenges in their local communities. DFA uses design thinking for positive impact.
Our tools, model, and coaching instill community, encourage creativity, and build student capacity to take on any challenge. Together, we use design as a force for good.
Local Teams Create Positive Impact
Tackling challenges with local partners
Generating solutions with mentors
Putting ideas into practice
It's a unique approach to social challenges - and it works.
Where We Work
Design for America is proudly housed at Northwestern University. Student-led studios are currently on 29 college and university campuses around the country, hosting 125 teams with over 1000 volunteer members, mentors, and community leaders. Studio members share ideas, resources, and best practices, while being supported by a network of more than 9,000 partners and fans.
Don't see a studio nearby?
secured to scale ideas
Founded at Northwestern University
"Design for America encapsulates the power of design innovation. Students from multiple disciplines come together to address real problems using design thinking to create impact. It benefits everyone."
- Julio M. Ottino, Dean, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University
DFA is possible in part because of the generous support from:
This past year, DFA students, mentors, and community members have collaborated to accomplish some truly amazing things through the DFA design innovation process. From educating liver transplant patients about their newly acquired diabetes to diverting clothes and other goods from the landfill, DFAers worked on a huge range of meaningful, local, and scalable projects. Check … Read More
Design for America’s headquarters at Northwestern University, just outside of Chicago, gives us unique access to top leaders in social entrepreneurship and civic technology. We had the pleasure of being interviewed by one of these leaders, Adam Hecktman, for the web series Big Shoulders – which features Chicago’s leaders and drivers of civic technology and … Read More
New studios are now on the map! Supported by our flagship DFA National at Northwestern University. The DFA network is growing with a group of exceptional new studios joining the network! This past year, they’ve worked to build excitement on their campuses, build relationships with their community members, apply the human-centered design process to a … Read More