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Penn Praxis has been created by PennDesign to further the mission of the school in the fields of architecture, planning, landscape architecture, community development, public art and historic preservation. PennPraxis is a vehicle for carrying out practical or applied projects for external clients under the direction of PennDesign faculty.


The mission of PennPraxis is to extend design excellence and innovation beyond the classroom and into the community.

PennPraxis pursues this mission by:

  • Enhancing the academic experience of faculty and students through engagement in practice;
  • Demonstrating the contributions of architecture, landscape architecture, city and urban planning, historic preservation and fine arts in addressing social and community issues;
  • Extending the mission of PennDesign; and
  • Improving the greater public good through positive impact on the quality of life.

The business of PennPraxis is to:

  • Help faculty find practice opportunities that match their interests and that provide real world opportunities to work with students for clients on design challenges

PennPraxis operates at the intersection of expertise and opportunity to serve:

  • The faculty and students of PennDesign;
  • Our clients
  • The broader community.

Faculty and students undertake projects that:

  • Demonstrate inter-school and cross-disciplinary approaches to design challenges;
  • Have the potential for significant impact;
  • Advance new design concepts;
  • Explore and test new forms of design practices;
  • Exemplify the competencies that design professionals will need in the future; and
  • Incorporate innovative thinking.


Get Involved

PennPraxis encourages engagement with design, planning, and development, both from within the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania and in the community-at-large.

PennPraxis is a 501(c) 3 non-profit which enables faculty and student collaboration at PennDesign. PennPraxis has also worked with faculty and students from other schools of design in past projects. Faculty, students, and members of the public can participate in projects in various way:

Faculty/student proposed projects: Faculty members and students may propose projects to PennPraxis and work with different staff to develop necessary organizational, fiduciary, and budgetary tracking systems to successfully manage projects. Interested students and faculty should contact Executive Director Randall Mason at

Students interns: PennPraxis regularly needs interns to on grant-funded projects. Interested students should send an expression of interest to

Members of the public: Many PennPraxis projects involve civic engagement and invite public input into design and planning. Those interested in participating in planning processes, sponsored either by PennPraxis or other organizations, should regularly check PlanPhilly's events listings.



410 Duhring Wing
University of Pennsylvania School of Design
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: 215.573.8720

Fax: 215.573.9600