AIGA Design Ed K12

Empowering the designer in every kid.


DesignEd K12 is an AIGA initiative to inspire and sustain design education programs for elementary, middle and high school students.

Our mission and philosophy

The AIGA members involved in DesignEd K12 aim to instill creative confidence and a design thinking mindset at a young age through hands-on experiences in creative problem solving. Design thinking is a methodology that helps children ask big questions, explore diverse solutions and work together to shape new outcomes that change the world bit by bit.

We believe that design thinking is not just for designers. It is for firemen, scientists, astronauts, doctors, teachers, mathematicians and cowboys, too. In other words, we are not teaching kids design just to create future designers. We teach design to kids because the ability to see the unseen, forge unchartered paths, stretch one’s imagination and create beauty is truly powerful—no matter what kids choose to be when they grow up.

We aim to connect designers with educators and students, make visible your efforts, motivate you with real-life success stories and provide relevant resources.

Get involved

We’re seeking case studies from all corners of the country—stories of how you’ve brought design to K12 students in your local community. If you have a K12 design education story to share, let us know.

Many AIGA chapters are actively involved in design education and mentoring projects. Contact your local chapter to learn more!

DesignEd K12 identity by Kiss Me I’m Polish
7 results
  • Case Study: Design Is...

    Case Study: Design Is...

    Through the AIGA Chicago Mentor Program, a group of Chicago-based graphic designers designed a newspaper to inspire and inform Chicago high school students about the power, potential and possibilities of design.

  • Case Study: Inneract Project: Bringing Design To The Community

    Case Study: Inneract Project: Bringing Design To The Community

    Inneract Project (IP) is an organization formed for the purposes of providing under-resourced youth access to fields in design via professionally supported education, collaboration and community-based initiatives, connecting design with urban communities, schools and families.

  • Case Study: This is My Philly

    Case Study: This is My Philly

    For these workshops, graphic design students from local colleges were paired with children ages 8 to 12. Under the guidance of AIGA Philadelphia and Spells Writing Lab, the participating children created poems and collages that showcased “their Philadelphia.”

  • Case Study: Discover Design Mentoring Program

    Case Study: Discover Design Mentoring Program

    This mentoring program in Jacksonville, Florida pairs high school students who have expressed an interest in graphic design with professionals from the local design community. Over the course of three to four months, the mentoring group meets on weekends to complete individual projects that use social design to give back to the community.<br />  

  • Case Study: Shout: A High School Design Studio

    Case Study: Shout: A High School Design Studio

    This high school design studio teaches students to use the creative process as a problem-solving method and develop smart communication solutions that better their communities. The students work on projects in teams, with support and guidance from a professional design mentor.

  • Case Study: Design For The Future Youth Workshop

    Case Study: Design For The Future Youth Workshop

    Design can be a foreign concept to young students in rural Illinois. The goal of these workshops was to introduce design concepts and discuss employment opportunities to area middle school students. Following a presentation about design principles, the students were asked to put these principles to use, thinking about visual metaphors and creating engaging copy.  

  • Cultivating design thinking in kids

    DesignEd K12 is AIGA’s initiative to encourage members and chapters to become involved with local schools and school districts to improve understanding of design practices among young people, and to encourage the use of these practices as problem-solving techniques.