DesignConnect strives to empower students and citizens by advancing collaborative, democratic, and sustainable design and planning projects in local communities.
DesignConnect is a multidisciplinary, student‐run, community design organization based at Cornell University.
DesignConnect is rooted in collaborative, democratic, and sustainable principles for the advancement of towns in Upstate New York.
DesignConnect provides practical experience to students through cooperation with local municipalities and non‐profit organizations while providing design and planning services for these groups that may not have the resources to hire professionals.
DesignConnect was formed in the spring of 2008 by students as an initiative of the Design & Planning Group and became an independent student organization in 2010.
Values and Principles
DesignConnect has at its heart several values that are self‐evident. These values inform the collaborative management structure, shape the multidisciplinary teams, and form the foundation of the participatory approach to community projects.
DesignConnect provides students with opportunities to engage in a collaborative process with a dedicated community partner.
DesignConnect has a commitment to engage upstate communities by addressing local needs (stemming from Cornell’s mission as a Land Grant Institution)
DesignConnect allows students to serve as active nonpartisan citizens in their host communities.
DesignConnect brings together students from multiple disciplines, enabling them to learn from one another as well as from the project itself.
DesignConnect exists by the will of its participants and is run by an all-student administrative board that is responsible for the leadership and direction of the organization.
DesignConnect projects incorporate attention to both immediate and long term impacts as well as the ability of the community to achieve its goals.