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Everyone is a designer.

We are a multidisciplinary group of creators, designers, strategists, and developers using our skills to solve design challenges with not-for-profit organizations in the Waterloo Region.

We want to provide designers an environment to work on real problems by collaborating with organizations and other problem solvers that work to better our community.

If you are looking to give back to your local community, or you want to explore design problems from different industries, then this is for you.

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Who is a designer?

We believe that anyone who is a professional problem solver is a designer. Engineers, Graphic Designers, Visual Designers, Installation Artists, Architects, Musicians, Painters, Writers - these people are all designers because they output creative solutions to complex problems.

We have created a platform that brings these great minds together.

We work with businesses,
not for businesses.

We are working in collaboration with businesses, but designers own the work. Businesses are free to utilize the creative output from each design challenge, or go so far as to hire a member from the team if they want to explore the solution further.

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While competition can be a driving force of innovation and market growth, collaboration is a core aspect of meaningful community impact. Design.local intends to be the catalyst that connects the right people in our community to solve meaningful problems that benefit everyone.

Our process is simple.

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  1. Start by filling out a design challenge form
  2. A Design.local team member will connect with you for an initial conversation
  3. Once finalized, the design challenge will go live on the website for challengers to accept
  4. Once a challenge is accepted, the team will be introduced and the framework established for completing the challenge
  5. Complete a pre-project survey
  6. Establish a timeframe and contribution hours
  7. The design challenge process is executed
  8. Final report is presented
  9. Complete a post-project follow up survey
  1. Checkout design challenges and accept the ones that interest you
  2. Receive notification when your team has been formed
  3. Connect with your team to introduce yourself and to review the design challenge brief and framework
  4. Execute the design challenge in collaboration with your team and the organization for which the challenge is related
  5. Produce a final solution and recommendations
  6. Use the experience from this design challenge to create a case study that can be shared on Medium, your portfolio or other social channels
  7. Complete post-project survey
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What value does design deliver for organizations?

Design teams can help ideate on solutions to important problems.

Organizations can choose to be as involved in the design process as they want. However, by participating in the process there are opportunities to learn first-hand how effective design-thinking techniques can be.

No, this is not free work.

This is not about exploiting people and using them for free work. Free work means working without any benefits returned to the designer.

We are providing a platform which delivers experience and social-good as value to all parties involved. Local organizations, designers of all experience levels, and ultimately our local community are all able to learn from each other.

Some examples of the values you can get are:

  • Real Life Experience
  • Fail Safe Environment
  • Positive Social Impact
  • Networking
  • Knowledge Exchange
  • Coaching (Short form of a mentorship)
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Design.local is connecting the dots by creating opportunities for collaboration between organizations and problem solvers in our community.

Design challenges

A design challenge is a response to a business problem. Design.local takes on business problems, and reframes them into design challenges where the parameters of success are defined by the designers that have taken on the problem.


Interested in
getting Involved?

Join our slack community

Join our admin volunteer team

Check out our social media

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