Collaboration with professionals from the local design community is a critical part of the DFA Model as a complement to our faculty expertise and domain-specific partner interaction.

It goes without saying that our students benefit greatly from the participation of design professionals in DFA, and we appreciate all the volunteer hours our communities devote to DFA.

What we hope you gain from working with DFA

  • Opportunity to apply your design skills for the benefit of local (and scalable) social change projects that have the potential to affect the quality of life for others.
  • Opportunity to network with faculty, fellow professionals, and local organizations from different design domains and areas of expertise.
  • Opportunity to introduce your field and organization to enthusiastic, talented, motivated students. This might even lead to interns and future employees for your organization.
  • Opportunities for new learning, experimentation, and practiced teaching and facilitation skills.
  • Opportunity to highlight your and your company’s involvement with the local community and social innovation. We are happy to provide any collateral that may be useful for you to share your experiences in working with DFA that you might include in a newsletter or blog update.


We recognize that design professionals are busy and client emergencies can derail a DFA commitment.  That is why we have structured involvement with DFA to be as flexible as possible for design professionals and an openness to collaborating virtually, so that student needs are covered and design professionals have a satisfactory experience with the their studio.

DFA ANCHOR- Let’s Build a Community Together
Approximate time commitment of 5hrs/month, although this will vary according to the time of year:
The role of a DFA Anchor is to develop a network of professionals within the studio’s location and connect DFA teams to needed expertise throughout different phases of the design process. As a DFA Anchor, you are the connector between the students and the community of professionals in the area.
  • Meet/skype with student teams once a month to get project updates and connect teams to any relevant design professionals if needed.
  • Respond to and coordinate local interest from professionals to get involved.
  • Invite design professionals to studio review sessions.
  • Organize social events throughout the school year with students, faculty and professionals to help build the local community.
  • Correspond with DFA HQ and fellow Anchors to share best practices

TEAM COACHES- Let’s Work on a Project Together
Time Commitment:1-2 hours ever week/ every other week
Team-anchored coaches meet on a regular basis with their specific teams throughout the term, sometimes in person, sometimes virtually, to guide them through their design projects from User Research to Implementation Plan.

WORKSHOP FACILITATOR- I’d like to Share My Skills and Expertise
Time Commitment: 2-4 hours + prep time
Help students from all majors understand the different stages of the design process. Presenters design and facilitate a session related to a specific topic for an interactive workshop with a studio’s members. These bootcamps generally contain an intro presentation with background information, examples from the field, followed by a hands on experience and reflection to get the students involved and run-through of the learning. You will work with the student leaders and studio mentors to go over any logistics in arranging your bootcamp.

Bootcamp Topics Can Include:

  • UNDERSTAND: How cans students best conduct user-research and makes sense of their data to inform meaningful projects?
  • CREATE: How can students brainstorm as many ideas as possible, prototype them or test if they work?
  • IMPLEMENT: What are the ways teams can secure resources to implement their ideas and tell their story to inspire others?

GUEST REVIEWER- I’d Love to Stay Updated on Projects
Time Commitment: 2-4 hours/term
Guest Reviewers join us during our review sessions throughout the term to offer professional insight into each team’s project.  Your feedback during these times will be invaluable for the growth and development of the teams.

Sign up to be a mentor here! 

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