PennPraxis is the center for applied research, outreach, and practice at PennDesign. Our mission is to pursue projects that enhance the built and natural environment locally, nationally, globally and within the school by extending public interest design practice, research and scholarship outside of the classroom. To fulfill this mission, we provide opportunities for multi-disciplinary student and faculty collaboration through partnerships with public, private and non-profit organizations.

PennPraxis engages in practice projects, fee-for-service consulting, applied research, community convenings, and educational programs. Our work draws on the School of Design’s five departments and programs (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, City & Regional Planning, Historic Preservation and Fine Arts). As a 501(c)3 educational non-profit, PennPraxis is committed to educating the next generation of leaders in social impact design and promoting the public good.

PennPraxis exemplifies the vision of the Penn Compact to increase access, integrate knowledge, and engage locally and globally in the University’s core endeavors of teaching, research and service.

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