We live in a complex world. 

Complex communities. Complex individuals. Complex technologies and systems attempting to solve complex issues. At the Center for Socially Engaged Design, we believe complexity must be addressed using multiple perspectives. How? By asking intentional questions. By engaging with others. By considering the broader context of design. By applying rigorous, collaborative design processes. By
co-creating solutions with the people and communities who will use them. The result? Solutions that
are more contextually relevant. More sustainable. And more complete.


Welcome to C-SED. Let’s design for this complex world, together.

What we do.

We provide resources, programs, and services that enable students, faculty, and practitioners to build and practice socially engaged design skills with stakeholders. This looks like:

  • Customized workshops for your course or student team to build and apply specific socially engaged design skills.
  • Research on engineering education and socially engaged design methodologies.
  • Courses which allow you to put your new skills to work with community stakeholders, locally and around the globe.
  • Socially Engaged Design Academy (SEDA) combines asynchronous online learning with in-person practice.
  • Innovation in Action, a campus-wide program giving groups the opportunity, the tools, the people, and the room to take on the world’s biggest challenges.
  • Design Jams, a quick, engaging and energizing 4-hour experience centered around a stakeholder challenge.


Our approach. 

Socially Engaged Design is human centered and incorporates knowledge about the broader social, political, economic, and environmental contexts in which a design solution exists while pushing designers to analyze how their own identities and cultural context shape their approach. Learn More about the socially engaged design process.


Our team is dedicated to supporting students in building a foundation in socially engaged design. Bringing diverse perspectives and expertise in a broad range of disciplines, they help drive C-SED’s environment of curiosity and collaboration to help solve real-world problems.


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C-SED supports our partner, the U-M Ginsberg Center, as they serve our local community during COVID-19. Find ways you can support: Connect2Community