Designed by Community

Program Overview 

The Designed by Community Fellowship was a paid fellowship and project funding opportunity to support community members in designing and developing hyper-localized solutions related to the COVID-19 crisis for and with NYCHA communities. The Service Design Studio at the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (“NYC Opportunity”) alongside TakeRoot Justice’s Equitable Neighborhoods practice area launched the new fellowship program in early 2021. The Fellowship training took place from April – August 2021.  

$15,000 grant funds went towards supporting Fellows’ project development, community research incentives and activities, a portion of fellows’ living expenses and a learning stipend. During the program, fellows were introduced to the methods and tools of Service Design and other professional development opportunities to support the design and development of their projects. Fellows walked away from the program with a project launch plan and strategy, including defining an audience, goals for change, and an implementation plan to continue their project beyond the timeframe of the fellowship.

What is Service Design?

Service design is a discipline which develops solutions to complex problems that are rooted in insights about the lived experiences of those affected by public services. It considers people, processes, communications and technology as part of the solution. 

Service design methods and tools can be applied to:

  • Setting the stage of the problem you want to address
  • Talking with people who are directly affected by the problem area
  • Connecting the dots from what you heard
  • Trying things out to see what sticks
  • Focusing on impact to ensure what you create has its intended outcome


Fellowship Teams

HER Power

Rockaway On-Beat

Technical Assistance for Organizers

From Blocks to Beats