Community Design Studio


Community Design Studio (CDS) is a non-profit comprised of designers from multiple facets of the design industry. Together with a strong passion for Winston Salem, NC, we work to foster creative thinking in solving community oriented problems such as homelessness, environmental degradation, and racism.


CDS partnered with Mixxer, a new workshop for makers and tinkerers, who needed help facilitating discussion around the equipment going into their new shop. Our goal was to gather members of the surrounding community and help foster conversation around what is needed to make Mixxer a useful collaborative workspace.


Board Member | Workshop facilitator


Using an adaptable workshop developed by the CDS team, we led a group of 20-30 members of the community through a series of design thinking exercises. Participants were split into groups of 6-8 and given worksheet guides for note taking and guidance.

1. meet your neighbor

"What brought you here tonight?"

Once groups were established, each group participant was tasked with introducing themselves, explaining what brought them to the design session for Mixxer.

2.gain insight on expertise

"What can YOU contribute to Mixxer?"

After introductions, participants were asked to discuss how they can contribute to Mixxer, whether teaching someone a trade skill or having a spare saw to donate. This discussion helped understand how to connect those community members who have skills to those who don't.

3. Understand community needs

"If I had ______, I could ______?"

Each group went into a brainstorming session using the prompt above to determine what hardware or infrastructure was needed and how it could be used. A volunteer group leader then recorded these responses on a large sheet of paper to display to the rest of the groups. After displaying all of the ideation boards, we asked participants to up-vote each idea they liked in order to crowd source the popularity of each idea. These insights were given to Mixxer to use for planning the rest of their shop.

Credits: Forrest Causby | Lauren Frye | Kristen Haaf | Clair Dias.