PennPraxis supports design action and thought leadership to advance inclusion, innovation and impact in communities that design doesn’t typically serve.

Our work demonstrates the power of interdisciplinary design, art, planning and heritage preservation to respond to the major challenges of the built and natural environments, and the communities that inhabit them.

Our projects strengthen PennDesign as a school focused on high social impact design. We create opportunities “beyond the market” to help our students develop agency in the world, and we cultivate diversity among the next generation of leaders.

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 our staff to develop necessary organizational, fiduciary, and budgetary tracking systems to successfully manage projects. Interested students and faculty should contact Executive Director Ellen Neises at and Julie Donofrio, Managing Director at

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

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 PennDesign's event calendar and PlanPhilly's events listings.



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

Phone: 215.573.8719

Fax: 215.573.9600