National Design Awards in Detroit: Designing Equitable Healthy Cities

Design is all around us—our cities, homes, and even our healthcare systems are products of design choices. As the U.S. simultaneously faces a global pandemic and a crucial movement for racial equity, designers must consider: if design is problem-solving, then what is the responsibility of design in facilitating lasting change?

Join Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum for a dynamic panel discussion among National Design Award winners and jurors. This online conversation will examine the role of design in creating healthier and more equitable cities and consider how designers must respond to the effects of COVID-19 and systemic racism.

Moderated by Bon Ku, MD, Director of the Health Design Lab at Thomas Jefferson University and co-author of Health Design Thinking (Cooper Hewitt | MIT Press, 2020), panelists will include:

  • Maurice Cox, Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development, City of Chicago (2015 NDA Juror)
  • Jeffrey Mansfield, Design Director, MASS Design Group (2017 Architecture Design Award)
  • Mónica Ponce de León, founding principal of MPdL Studio and dean and professor at Princeton University School of Architecture (2007 Architecture Design Award)
  • Craig Wilkins, architect, academic, and author (2017 Design Mind Award)



This free program will be hosted through Zoom, with the option to dial in as well. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. CART captioning will be provided. Please reach out to us with any information on how we can support your participation, and with requests for services by emailing


This program is being held as part of Cooper Hewitt’s NDA Cities program, connecting National Design Award winners with communities around the country. Find out about additional virtual education programs in Detroit:

ABOUT Detroit Month of Design

This event is an official part of the Detroit Month of Design. 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the festival which takes place September 1-30. Programmed by Design Core, Detroit Month of Design is a citywide celebration of creativity that gathers designers and the greater community to celebrate Detroit’s role as a UNESCO City of Design.


NDA Cities is made possible by generous support from Siegel Family Endowment and Target.