News Release

Design Workshop Foundation Applications Now Open for 2024 Community Capacity Building Initiative

Design Workshop Foundation, a non-profit committed to fostering innovative solutions to promote equity, resilience, and inclusivity within communities across the nation, announced today they are now accepting applications for their second-annual Community Capacity Building Initiative. This comprehensive technical assistance program aims to launch community action and address challenges within the built environment. Community organizations within Chicago, Ill., and Austin, Texas are eligible to apply before the May 10 deadline.

Selected organizations will work in partnership with Design Workshop Foundation utilizing planners and designers from Design Workshop whose teams will provide specialized design, planning, and placemaking expertise through a customized, action-oriented process.

“Embracing a forward-thinking strategy in our commitment to local communities is paramount,” said Sarah Konradi, executive director of the Design Workshop Foundation. “Through the Community Capacity Building Initiative, we harness our internal talent and resources to assist communities in tackling pressing challenges and establishing enduring frameworks for transformative change.”

The Community Capacity Building Initiative addresses the systemic under-funding of projects in historically marginalized communities and provides no-cost support for the community organizations who are selected. Employing an approach anchored in environmental, economic, and social equity, this process is designed to elevate the knowledge embedded within communities to implement positive change. Outcomes for selected communities will vary such as:

  • Development of planning or strategic document to inform next steps and support future fundraising and implementation efforts
  • Design of events and programming to meet community needs
  • Organization of “tactical” or “pop-up” urbanism projects such as painted bike lanes, crosswalks, parklets, temporary parks, and installations
  • Curation of an engagement campaign that collects public opinions and creation of strategies geared toward building stakeholder consensus

“There will be one project selected in Austin and one in Chicago,” added Konradi. “By strategically selecting communities near our office locations, we ensure our teams are fully immersed in every aspect of the project. This proximity enables us to tap into our deep understanding of the region’s unique culture, diversity, and challenges, fostering collaborative outcomes tailored to meet the community’s needs.”

Finalists will be announced on June 3, 2024. Project work will begin immediately and conclude by November 2024. Applications are available here: http://www.designworkshop/dwfoundation.

About Design Workshop Foundation
Established as a 501(C)3 in 2002, the mission of the Design Workshop Foundation is to partner with communities to catalyze transformative change through design assistance, capacity building, and education. For additional information visit us at