What is this?


Many d.school courses engage real-world partners on student design challenges. These challenges need to be open-ended enough to involve students as thought partners and creative explorers; if you are looking for a team to complete design work on an already highly developed concept, a class partnership at the d.school isn't a good fit. 

Here's an example of one successful class partnership between the San Francisco Opera and the d.school's d.leadership course. 

Design thinking is liberating for a company tightly constrained by contracts and expectations! [The d.school project] opened the door for us to be a more creative, questioning, and iterative organization, a little more willing to try and fail.
— Matthew Shilvock, SF Opera General Director

If you think you’d like to partner with a d.school course, please fill out the information form on this page.

If you are looking to partner with Design for Extreme Affordability, please explore this specific partnership criteria information and contact the teaching team directly.


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What makes a great course partner?

Our courses seek partners that are excited about opening a piece of their organization’s inner workings to students. The topics of our classes vary widely, and we partner with for- and non-profit companies as well as public service and other organizations.  If you are looking to take part in a student learning experience, course partnership might be for you. If you are looking for design consulting work, you should probably seek a professional partnership.  

What to expect?

When you partner with a d.school course, you’ll work closely with the teaching team to scope the project and process. 

When will I hear a response?

All of our teaching teams decide on their own partners. A few times per year we let our teaching teams know about organizations that are curious about partnerships. It typically takes months to get a project organized. If you need urgent help or have very a specific design task, we recommend you seek out a professional services firm or freelance designer for assistance.