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Championing the future of design for all.

We help designers join social change movements and nonprofit organizations. Our goal is to bring design into the civic processes that deeply affect our communities; to make designers better citizens, to educate, and spearhead ways in which design can help movements for change.

We organize. We solve problems. We create impact through dialogue and action.


Interested in participating or learning more?



Throughout the year CDN! organizes a series of meetups, forums, and other public events aimed at the New York design community at large.

Upcoming events in Citizen Designer Now!
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Our 2017-2018 Fellows

Sam Holleran

Sam Holleran is an artist, writer, and educator, working in visual art, graphic design, and civic engagement. He is interested in mobilizing popular forms of visual culture, like hand lettering, vernacular printing, model-making, and animation, to address real-life issues and explore under-examined histories. He has helped to create, curate, and produce numerous artists books, print portfolios, installations, and public art projects. From 2014-2016 he was the Participatory Design Fellow with the Design Trust for Public Space, working with the Design Trust for Public Space, the Queens Museum, and NYC Parks to establish a pilot community design program: a new, replicable process for engaging park users in the design and planning processes. Sam has also worked as a design educator with the Center for Architecture, Hester Street Collaborative, and the 92Y in New York City, developing art, architecture, and urban design curriculum for public high school students. He previously worked at the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). Sam is a graduate of the Cooper Union, where he was the recipient of the Lubalin Fellowship for Typography and the Menschel Fellowship for Creative Inquiry.

Carmen Lopez

Carmen Lopez is a design researcher and social innovator with the heart of an artist. She wants to combine her visual communication skills, design thinking, and ethnographic research to positively impact the world.

Born and raised in Ecuador, she moved to California to study fine art at Art Center College of Design. She was a resident at Fabrica, the Benetton Communication and Research Center in Treviso, Italy, and also worked at La Facultad in Ecuador, an independent advertising agency focusing on products and campaigns to improve people’s lives.

She is a recent graduate of the Design for Social Innovation Master’s program at the School of Visual Arts. Her thesis project used ethnographic research and participant observation with English language students and teachers to develop Karaoke Club (to Learn English), an alternative space for English language learning. She was also an intern with the Outreach Department of the Brooklyn Public Library, where she worked on projects that provide library services to underserved communities including incarcerated individuals and their families.

Join us in affecting change within the NY design community as we dedicate ourselves to solving problems larger than the ones we already know.