COMMUNITY D&SIGN
STUDIO



We believe that a community-led approach to design – one that challenges structural inequalities and balances equity, ecology, and economy – can lead to lasting, positive change in our community.

Community Design Studio is a unique student learning lab for community-led social impact design at the University of Michigan Flint. In Design Studio, students gain practical experience working with non-profit organizations, community partners, and/or on self-initiated community projects in Flint and the surrounding region.

Students utilize processes such as collaborative mapping, storytelling tools, and visioning exercises  in our co-creative methodology, emphasising empathy in the design process. Solutions to many of the mutually defined design problems often come directly out of such dialogue and co-design. In this way students work with – not for – our community partners.

This design process leads to decision making that is based less on dollars and deadlines, and more on the actual impact of design on individuals and communities. While this may mean that projects require more field work and face-time, it enhances the student experience by making the design process less abstract.



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