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The School of Design Strategies is an experimental educational environment. We advance innovative approaches in design, business and education. In the evolving context of cities, services and ecosystems, we explore design as a capability and a strategy in the environmentally conscious practices of individuals, groups, communities and organizations. We explore strategy in action. How can we use design strategies to promote change, foster creativity, to envision the new urban? How can design improve or re-imagine a broad range of established systems, from fashion to healthcare to low-income housing? Considering the myriad of challenges in the modern world, how can we use all of our abilities to affect positive change? The School of Design Strategies confronts these challenges in both theory and practice, academically and practically, through rigorous research, experimentation and critical application.

Mission & History

As a school, we apply design strategies to address issues in the urban realm, the environment, business innovation and services and systems. The school was formed in recognition that fundamental changes will profoundly impact all of us from large-scale urbanization, rapid climate change, food inequity and lack of access to affordable housing, for example.

The School of Design Strategies was established to develop new and innovative design methods to address these global problems. Bringing a wealth of expertise to the classroom, faculty members offer students fresh perspectives on how design can have impact on the world. As we develop these programs and the school itself evolves, one thing remains consistent: the curiosity and passion of both the students and faculty. Professors and students are using integrative and transdisciplinary design to co-create new tools and approaches for industries, governments and non-governmental organizations. They are change-makers, visionaries, innovators and entrepreneurs.

The School of Design Strategies


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In an increasingly designed world, art and design reflect and shape all kinds of experiences.

"The School of Design Strategies is a place where students, teachers and communities work side-by-side, grappling with the difficult questions of our time. In the marketplace, healthcare, education, climate change, access to housing, and a range of other issues, SDS students explore strategy in action: researching, designing and prototyping their design responses to these challenges, to propose new ways to create positive change in the world. We are the social entrepreneurs and the future change makers."

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Associate Dean

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“The leading problems of our time – climate change, the integration of the developing world into the global economy, the safe and affordable provision of water, food, and shelter worldwide – are too complex to be solved using the resources of any one discipline or type of expertise by itself. SDS not only orients its students toward problems like these, but trains them for effective collaboration in interdisciplinary contexts. Design today has moved far beyond its traditional focus on the production of beautiful objects, and has emerged as a set of tools for marshaling and aligning diverse inputs in the service of addressing the most intractable challenges facing humanity today.”

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Culture & Place

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There is a buzz at the School of Design Strategies, a frenetic mixture of creativity, ambition, passion, activism, innovation and curiosity -- much like New York City itself.

At SDS, students have the unparalleled advantage of NYC as their campus, with endless opportunities to live and learn in one of the world’s greatest cities.


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