Leverage our network to gain new ideas, new talent, and new solutions. DFA offers a variety of partnership opportunities. Let's start the conversation.
Sponsor a Project
Each year, DFA offers Sponsored Partner Projects to its nationwide network of student innovators and designers. Over nine weeks, five interdisciplinary teams of top students from campuses across America work with companies and organizations on partner-defined areas of social need. Students provide new perspectives on the topic and users and new product or service concepts. Sponsored Partner Projects provide a source of eager, young talent poised for future engagement.
“The students were so well prepared and professional that our upper management took extra time to talk to them!”
Marilyn Vala, Former HMI Lead, FCA, DFA Sponsor
“All the student presentations were fantastic. I think that we can really use the information that the students brought to us, to take forward into projects that can help Newell Rubbermaid make workers more safe.”
Lea Stewart, Industrial Design, Newell Rubbermaid, Former DFA Sponsor
“The product concepts were on the mark and simple but useful.”
Curt Edgar, Head of Processes, Tools, and Configuration - NAFTA, FCA, DFA Sponsor
Sponsor Leadership Studio
DFA’s National Leadership Studio is an annual four-day immersive experience in design innovation and social change. During this fast-paced national training, students will tackle a community challenge, develop leadership and innovation skills, and gain best practices to bring back to their campuses. By sponsoring Leadership Studio, you can extend your reach within the college market, build relationships with top designers and innovators, and help drive social change.
“DFA is one of the very few organizations that uses a real-world approach to innovation. It is multi-disciplinary and demonstrates how things really happen.”
Michael Muilenburg, 3M Manager - Operational Technology Office & Strategic Planning, FMSCO, DFA Sponsor
“When I interviewed, one company was absolutely floored by my experience at Leadership Studio. DFA continuously provides amazing opportunities to learn beyond on my regular education."
Joe Bruzek, Computer Science, DFA Virginia Tech ‘16
“The excitement and passion exhibited by the DFA students was palpable. It was an extremely positive experience.”
Amanda, Miseracordia, DFA LS ‘15 Project Partner
Support A Fellow
The DFA National Fellowship is a one-year position based at Northwestern University. DFA Fellows mentor local campus studios, conduct site visits, lead workshops and training sessions, and share DFA's design and innovation thought leadership with the DFA national network. Fellows learn about growing an organization using human-centered innovation principles and have opportunities to participate in a variety of professional development and networking opportunities with other DFA alumni, Northwestern faculty members and staff, and Chicago area innovators.