Learn How to
Design Real Apps
That Change Lives

Ready to change the world? 
Let us show you how.

Learn How to

Design Real Apps

That Change Lives

Ready to change the world? 
Let us show you how



Teens 13 to 18

 Date:  M-F, June 13-24, 2022
 Time:  9 AM PST  or 12 PM EST to  2:00 PM PST or 5 PM EST Daily.

Design Expo Event:
 Date:  Saturday, June 25
 Time: 10 AM PST/12 PM EST

View Sample Schedule
Design the Future: Digital is an award-winning Design Thinking & STEM summer program that guides students through the creation of real, life-changing apps for individuals with disabilities.

This highly interactive 2-week program, created by DC Design and developed in collaboration with Stanford University, partners teams of high school students and their university design coach with an individual living with a disability, whom we call a Project Partner. Together, teams create a real difference in the lives of others, all without writing code.

Design the Future is an award-winning Design Thinking & STEM summer program that teaches high school students how to design and build products for individuals with disabilities.

The program, created by DC Design and developed in collaboration with the Institute of Design at Stanford University (the d.school), partners teams of high school students and their university design coach with an individual living with a physical disability, whom we call a Project Partner.

Call, Text or Email Us!

Phone Number: (628) 212-8500
Hours: M-F:10am-7pm
Email: [email protected] 

Meet with our Program Coordinator

Schedule a Virtual Meeting

Meet with our Program Coordinator

Schedule a Meeting

Students learn and implement the key aspects of the Design Thinking process - a creative, empathy-based problem solving approach utilized by many of the world’s great innovators and leaders.

Students gain an understanding of UX & UI fundamentals and design methods such as persona creation, storyboarding, wireframing, and app design and apply it during product development.

Individuals with disability serve as design clients and mentors to the students, sharing their lived experiences and mentoring students in designing for accessibility and inclusivity.

  Students learn from industry experts in Social Impact Design and STEM, and young professionals in human-centered design and technology who are passionate about mentorship, disability awareness, and social impact.

Over the course of the program, students build real apps that improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, and turn their ideas into reality!


Develop long-lasting friendships and become part of an uplifting community that strives to make a difference in the world, just like you do!


But…Is Design the Future right for me?

Design the Future IS incredible…but it isn’t for everyone. You should only apply to our 2022 class if you:

  • Are excited to take on a real-world project with the potential to help other people and make a difference in the world and build real apps that help people using science, technology, engineering, art, and math!
  • Are excited to finally move beyond the basic class project and try out using design thinking for real social impact?  Are you looking for a summer activity to boost your future college application - this is it!
  • Do you want to make seriously amazing friends with other students from across the United States and around the world.  Join a community of like-minded future leaders and network across the globe!
  • Are you a gamer and want to turn your love of video games into a potential career that impacts others?  Gain mentorship on approaches to college, career, and living a full life from professors, professional designers, college students, and Project Partners living with disabilities that leverage technology in so many diverse career pathways.
  • Do you want to prepare yourself for college and develop a unique story for your college application to become a standout college applicant? Check out our student testimonials - you will be able to showcase your WOW factor with impressive skills that demonstrate real-world impact.
  • Do you want to develop real leadership experience?    In this immersive leadership development and internship experience, you will have the opportunity to develop skills and celebrate your journey toward new understanding and skills through an official certificate.

If a number of these things get you fired up, let’s get started!

Let's blaze a new trail and be the leaders, not the followers of tomorrow -

as true World-Changers!

40 + hours of guidance and mentorship by professionals for teens that will be college bound: Designers, university design students, experts in engineering, and more. 
Fantastic speakers in the areas of health, mobility, design, engineering, assistive technology, autonomous living, entrepreneurship, and more
Experience designing
and building a functional app,
while also learning the skills needed
to do it time and time again.
Real-world Design Thinking
knowledge as used and taught by
DC Design and the Stanford University
design school (the d.school).
Life-changing insights from Project Partners about living with a disability and the importance of designing human-centered products. 
Lasting friendships
and membership in a select community of like-minded peers, all striving to make the world better.
The chance to solve a real problem
that negatively impacts your
Project Partner’s life.
An understanding of UX & UI Design methods like persona creation, storyboarding, wireframing, app layout, app design, and more

Possibly, the best experience of your life!

View Application Questions

We're looking for students who are curious, motivated and want to make the world a better place.

Is that you?

Aaditya Pore

“The week I spent at the Design The Future summer camp was one of the most professionally motivating experiences I've had all throughout high school.” 

Anika Jena

“While attending Design The Future last summer, I learned design thinking from awesome coaches and got to know like-minded teens from across the nation.” 

Anika Jena

“While attending Design The Future last summer, I learned design thinking from awesome coaches and got to know like-minded teens from across the nation.” 

Any student who is in the 8th - 12th grade during the 2021-2022 school year can participate.

As long as they have access to...

  • A Computer or Laptop
  • High-Speed Internet
  • A Webcam (We Use Zoom) 
  • A Good Attitude!

High school students from all across the world will be taking part in Design the Future: Digital! Will you?

Please contact us if you have questions about scholarship eligibility or selection criteria.

Lead Facilitators

Industry experts and educators in fields of Social Impact Design, Engineering, Computer Science and UX/UI who guide students through the core learning principles and design processes. Each program is led by 4 facilitators.

Durell Coleman

An award winning social impact designer, Founder and CEO of DC Design, and Creator of Design the Future. He designs solutions that improve the quality of life of those who have often been forgotten by mainstream society. He has worked to redesign aspects of the foster care system, develop new approaches to criminal justice reform, reimagine healthcare service models, create apps that connect communities, and develop new educational models for the 21st century. Trained in mechanical engineering (B.S) and sustainable design (M.S.), Durell is a two-time alumnus of Stanford University and its famous Institute of Design (the Stanford d.school). He is also an avid anime fan!

Tony DeSylva

Has nearly 20 years experience in design, including graphic design and illustration, UI/UX design, rapid prototyping, and user research. He is also self-taught in coding. Tony has held design director positions in several national organizations and start-ups including, Director of User Experience, Wellthon; Director of Product & User Experience, Round Barn Labs; and Senior Product UX Designer, Quotient Technology Inc. Additionally, Tony is a CareerFoundry mentor where he helps people around the world build careers in iOS Development, UI Design, Web Development and UX Design. He lives with a disability called Osteogenesis-Imperfecta which affects the endocrine system and skeletal structure, and uses both a manual and electric wheelchair to get around.

Bianka Quitanilla-Whye

She graduated from Stanford in 2017 where she studied Mechanical Engineering. Since graduating, Bianka has been working on some awesome top secret projects at Google X, a place where radical new technologies are created to solve some of the world's hardest problems. On the side, Bianka has her own business making and selling crystal jewelry.

Rob Harvill

Passionate about community service and gaming, and enjoys using his technology acumen to support non­profits. Rob holds CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, and an MTA in HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals from Microsoft. Rob has always enjoyed computers, technology, and coding, and currently has over 10 computer builds in progress at any time! Rob lives with his two young boys and three small dogs!

Design Coaches

Upper-level university students and young professionals in design, engineering and computer science who are passionate about human-centered design, youth mentorship, disability awareness and social impact. Each Design Coach guides a team of 4-5 students through their 2 weeks of prototyping, team building, and learning processes.

Jeffrey Odia

A recent graduate from The Texas Southern University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology and a concentration in Industrial Design. He has design and programming experience in SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Python, SQL, Figma and is eager to learn more. He loves the design and creation process and truly believes there is no limit to growth and no end in the life journey of curiosity.

Caitlyn Baensch

A rising junior studying communication and experience design at Carnegie Mellon University, with minors in Human-Computer Interaction and Intelligent Environments. She is passionate about design, fine art, and service, and has previous design internship experience working at a wellness tech startup and an energy innovation institute. Caitlyn is excited to apply her design experience and collaborate on impactful projects.

Ethan Kuhn

A Haida, from the people of Haida Gwaii, and is a junior at the University of Washington studying Informatics with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction. He is passionate about the power dynamics of design, has worked with youth in both education and coaching. He has experience with Figma, and front-end programming languages, and is looking to expand his toolkit with ideation programs.

Lucia Tian

A student at Brown University, interested in human decision making and its relationship to economics, psychology, computer science, and architecture. She has a broad range of teaching experience, from being a private flute teacher to running virtual summer camps. She worked on designing a device to help visually impaired musicians learn new sheet music through vibrating motors, modeling the muqarnas structures of the Great Mosque of Isfahan, and developing a plant and lamp combo series called "plamps".

Project Partners

Individuals with physical disabilities who are passionate about disability awareness, youth mentorship and design. Each Project Partner serves as a design client to a team of 4-5 students, sharing their lived experiences and mentoring students in designing for accessibility and inclusivity.

Abigayil Tamara

An artist, a retired: art teacher (grades K-College), clinical social worker, and computer graphic designer. She is an individual with multiple disabilities: a mobility challenge, a bipolar disorder, and a visual impairment. She has been a chair of the Consumer Advisory Council and formerly represented consumers on the Board of Directors of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) in Santa Clara County. She has also been on the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC).

Michele Lee

A disability inclusion activist. She works full-time in finance and volunteers in various committees and boards to promote accessibility and inclusion within community and workplace. Michele is quadriplegic as result of a spinal cord injury from a motor vehicle accident. Michele is joining Design the Future because she is interested in the idea of inclusive design and development, and universal design. As an end user and consumer, she finds her disability has not been considered in almost all the products she uses.

Lamin Swann

A fashion/product designer & creative director with his own company, L.PIERRE, specializing in demi couture with studios in Lexington, KY & NYC. He is currently studying at RISD in Product Development & Manufacturing at a masters level. He is on the all volunteer organizer team for the Lexington chapter of CreativeMornings, a monthly breakfast lecture series, designed for creative communities. He was an Arts community representative on the Grants committee of LexArts, a cultural development and fund raising organization in Lexington,KY.

Gina Lytle

A dancer and a board member of a local company, Cohesion Dance Project in Helena, Montana. She worked in nonprofits, private sector and government agencies where she had a strong understanding of the standards in each and how to navigate through various procedures. She's also an administrator for Montanica, a Facebook page that has grown over the last couple of years to over 100,000 members. Accessibility has been a passion that has given her the opportunity to be on the City of Helena ADA commission.

We are striving to provide opportunities to the best and brightest and we understand financial obstacles you might be facing. To help alleviate, we offer the following:

Have Additional Questions?

Call, Text or Email Us!

Phone Number: (628) 212-8500
Hours: M-F:10am-7pm
Email: [email protected] 

Meet with our Program Coordinator

Schedule a Meeting

Meet with our Program Coordinator

Schedule a Meeting

Learn More About Our 2021 Student Project Apps