Design for America:
Shaping the Next Generation of Social Innovators

Founded at Northwestern University by Professor Liz Gerber and a group of socially motivated students, Design for America (DFA) is a network of innovators using design thinking skills for local social impact.

The DFA experience begins with a campus DFA studio where students act on their commitment to design for social good. They are joined by faculty and staff mentors who share the belief that education happens 24/7, that the college experience extends well beyond the classroom, and that real-world collaboration enhances learning, community and the university alike. The DFA Alumni + Friends Network includes alumni + professionals spanning a diversity of industries and functions.

In 2018, DFA was honored with a National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, in recognition of "excellence, innovation, and enhancement of the quality of life." In 2020, DFA joined with the Watson Foundation.


Support DFA

Give the gift of gratitude. Donate to DFA to support:

  • National Partnerships: DFA students collaborating with industry innovators
  • DFA Curriculum: advancing and refining DFA’s award-winning design thinking process
  • Student Advisory Groups: listening to and learning from the DFA community
  • Community Capstone events: bringing students, alumni, mentors, coaches and participants together for project share-outs and celebrations
  • Studio Launches: bringing social impact design studios to new campuses and communities


Get Involved with the Network

Start a DFA Studio on your campus

Whether you're a faculty member, alumni, or student, we'd love to collaborate with you to bring social impact design to your college or university. Email us at [email protected] with a brief statement of why you are interested in DFA. We'll get back to you shortly to learn more about you and set up an infosession.


Stay In Touch With DFA

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