Design Futures Student Forum

 DF 2016 is fast approaching!

We look forward to seeing you at the end of the month! In the meantime, check out the recently released workshop abstracts and schedule for the week, and visit our Workshops, Schedules, and Speakers Page

 Workshops and speakers for DF 2016 have been announced!

Design Futures is proud to announce its 2016 forum lineup! We are so excited to learn with this group of talented people. Check out the 2016 poster for a list of workshops and speakers that will be attending DF 2016.


University registration for DF 2016 has opened

University faculty, visit the registration page to sign your university up for membership in 2016! Contact Sarah Wu at with questions regarding registration or payment.

DF 2016 RFP now available!

The 2016 Request for Proposals is now open! Visit the 2016 forum page under “future” to access the document. Proposals may be submitted through Friday, February 19th, 2016 to with the subject line “RFP”

Impact Design Hub features 2015 conference testimonials


Read Impact Design Hub’s most recent feature, testimonials from four past attendees, here!

YAF’s Connection features DF!


The AIA Young Architects Forum interviewed conference leaders Barbara Brown Wilson, Dan Etheridge, and Sarah Wu for its most recent issue of Connection. Read the article here!

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Future Conference Locations Announced!

The Design Futures Student Leadership Forum is pleased to announce future conference locations for DF 2017 at The University of Minnesota, DF 2018 at the University of Detroit Mercy, and DF 2019 at the University of New Mexico! 

About the Conference

The Design Futures Public Interest Design (PID) Student Leadership Forum is a five-day, interdisciplinary forum bringing together student leaders from across the country with practitioner- and university-faculty who represent some of the most important thought leadership in this emerging sub-discipline. We frame the conversation broadly, but try to engender leadership and skill-building for future leaders hoping to use design as a tool for social equity and positive change in underserved communities. Our guiding principles include striving to build the next generation of leadership in the field; continuing to diversify the ecosystem of PID in terms of discipline, background, race, gender, and scale; elevating the rigor and critical capacity of PID curricula; and curating a national network of thought leadership drawn from contributing universities and practitioner-faculty committed to the advancement of the field. We do this through the five-day forum, as well as through the nurturing of our student and faculty (both practitioner and academic) networks, and our consortium of committed member schools. Our goal is to foster peer-based professional development through enrichment and critique and to counter the dispersed nature of this emergent movement by creating opportunities for collaboration and collective innovation.

We are collecting participant feedback and ideas, and are working with university consortium membership and practitioner-faculty to identify strengths to build upon and new opportunities for collaboration and increased rigor in the curriculum; all of which is being incorporated into the 2016 program to be hosted by the University of Virginia.

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders and we look forward to helping provide a solid foundation around which to build a successful career path within this emergent field of design practice.  We hope to continue growing the university consortium, so students and faculty from universities across the country passionate about elevating this work to a higher standard of rigor can contribute to the Design Futures learning community.

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