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Be a part of our next cohort!

We are still accepting applications for Fall 2024
(just a few spots left!)

DSI is a graduate social design program that asks:

  • How can design offer pathways that shift us towards healthy, equitable systems?
  • What conditions and collaborations enable communities, systems, and nature to thrive?
  • How can social design increase care and our capacity
    for change?


Social design
works with communities, organizations, governments, businesses, and the planet through:

Strengthening Relationships + Care

Advocating for health, equity, anti-discrimination, justice, joy, and healing, Supporting shared values and interdependence, and honoring nature’s wisdom.
Design asks questions over solving problems, with care.


Collaborating with communities, advocating for mutual benefit and abundance. Centering lived experience, while reducing harm.
Design can shift power, while building leadership and creatively responding.

Embracing Complexities

Breaking from things that no longer serve us. Recognizing the continuum and pluralities, and making the invisible visible.
Design supports new thinking over new things to imagine possibility and lead with vision.

DSI Thesis Show 2024

Congrats MFA DSI Class of 2024!

Wed, May 15 (1-5pm EST) - SVA Theater NYC

Our MFA graduates are engaging with an array of diverse communities, from Bronx youth to South Asian diaspora groups, Chinese-American nurses to first-generation Korean immigrant women, from East New York residents to tween girls in Latin America. These collaborations and co-creative efforts exemplify the incredible transformative power of social design.



Talking with Mari Nakano:
DSI Designer In Residence

Thesis 2021

The Missing Ingredient

Nidhi Desai (MFA DSI ’21)

“The Missing Ingredient” is a community space to support the work of New York Common Pantry. It aims to educate, persuade and facilitate conversations which are moderated by nutrition educators about local, seasonal and traditional foods with parents/caregivers to bring nutrition security for them and their families in order to prevent childhood obesity in the Bronx.

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