How might we use design as a catalyst for solving real-world problems?  

During this professional development workshop, educators and nonprofit professionals will dive into designing for change and using a design mindset with guest designer Monica Ponce de Leon.

In a rapidly shifting world, design can advance equity, dignity, and new ideas. From redesigning environments affected by the pandemic to amplifying voices in our communities, educators can empower students to meet this moment with fresh ideas and new perspectives.

Participants will develop strategies to enhance curiosity, creativity, and experimentation, allowing students to yield human-centered solutions.  

This interactive session will make use of free digital tools that participants can bring back into their own learning environments. It will also provide educators with an introduction to design, design processes, and Cooper Hewitt’s virtual resources.


Former National Design Award winner, Monica Ponce de Leon, is the founding principal of MPdL Studio and dean and professor at Princeton University School of Architecture. Her highly acclaimed and broadly published work has received 13 Progressive Architecture Awards, 13 awards from the American Institute of Architects, and the Harleston Parker Medal. She was recently inducted into the National Academy, and has been honored with the Academic Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the USA Target Fellow in Architecture and Design from United States Artists, and the Young Architects and Emerging Voices awards from the Architectural League of New York.


This free program will feature live instruction hosted through Zoom. A link will be emailed to you upon registration.


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


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.