Summer Design Project

A virtual program encouraging youth to work together to create design solutions that serve their communities, virtually or physically.

Summer Design Project employs youth to learn design skills that will empower them in knowing that they can create a positive impact on their communities while providing necessary professional skills. Due to the implications of COVID-19, this is an entirely virtual program, born out of Neighborhood Design Project. All instruction and independent work is coordinated through Google Meet and Milanote. Teens engage in 90 minutes of direct instruction from the DME team and have 90 minutes to work independently or in their teams each day. The program runs in conjunction with the City of Cambridge, who provides laptops and internet access to high school students who need them as part of the program. Over the 6 weeks, students will improve their collaboration, presentation, and critique skills, while developing a deeper understanding of the design process. In teams, teens will identify the issues that matter most to them during a time of global crisis and design interventions to begin tackling their identified issues.



  • 90 hours over 6 weeks

  • Teens are paid for their time

  • Direct Instruction over Google Meet

  • Drop in feedback by Design Coaches throughout the program.

  • In partnership with the Cambridge Mayor’s Summer Program

I want to learn about how design can be used for any purpose and any type of job. Since we see design everywhere, I think it would be cool to learn more on the background of these projects that are done. And I would like to see how to do more designing digitally.”

Kiara, 15

I would like to work on group projects where I am able to hear my partners’ perspective on the assigned topic. I find it fascinating to learn what others find to be important about social issues and how they can be addressed.”

Nadira, 15

I would like to create art that I like, such as drawing logos and other drawing. I would also like to learn how to design digitally, and also design technology. I would also like to meet new people that like to design, and learn different points of view and opinions.”

Yosuke, 14