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:
2015 was a great year for Luna Lights! The DFA Northwestern project turned health startup participated in the Healthbox Accelerator, where they fleshed out their business model and developed their lighting design and cloud-based data analytics. The mission of Luna Lights is to prevent and reduce nighttime falls in the older adult population. According to … Read More
APPLICATIONS FOR DFA IMPACT GRANTS ARE NOW OPEN! DFA is excited to offer DFA Impact Grants to support DFA studios and projects in their quest to build community, create social impact, and improve their problem solving capacity. Our hope is that financial barriers are eliminated and all DFA members have what they need to make an … Read More
What’s it like working at DFA National as a Fellow? We asked CC and Allison, the 2015-2016 Fellows, to find out! What kinds of projects do you work on at DFA National? CC: I mainly work on 3 projects – managing the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Sponsored Project, developing a studio leadership guide, and supporting the … Read More