Board Search Open Call

We are seeking new board members who share our vision to build capacity for the next generation of justice and place-based designers for collective liberation. Apply by August 12th at 11:59pm PST.

Design Futures is looking for two to three new board members who are eager to bring new and different experiences, perspectives and skills to our organization. We are planning for one or more of the new board members to be a recent student alumni of the Design Futures Student Forum. 

    Design Futures is looking for two to three new board members who are eager to bring new and different experiences, perspectives and skills to our organization. 

    We have been here for over 12 years, and are a newly formed 501(c)3 organization as of last year. We have one half-time staff who serves as the ED and 6 board members. Our work focuses on building the skills, relationships and mindsets needed for students passionate about justice and place-based design to dismantle and redesign systems of oppression towards liberation and anti-racism. Most of our time is spent on our annual Student Forum, which brings together students and faculty from 13 universities and practitioners in the field for 5 days of intensive learning and community building. We also host lighter programming throughout the year to support faculty and practitioners. Read our impact report here, and an example post-Forum yearbook here to get a feel for our work. 

    We are currently in a transitionary period to re-examine our offerings after 12 years of existence to move towards resilience, financial sustainability and movement-alignment, and are looking for passionate and engaged individuals to support this process. 

    If you share our passion and vision for supporting students and the wider place-based design community in advancing this field, and you want to be part of an organization that is working hard to fully embody our values of care, justice, creativity, joy, and courage, we hope you will consider applying. 

    An Invitation
    If you’re interested but maybe also a little unsure if you really have the qualifications to be a board member, let us assure you. You do not need a degree or a salary. We encourage current students who have experienced Design Futures to apply. And you will not be required to fundraise or donate your personal funds. What unites us is our dedication to collective liberation and dismantling systems of oppression using design and creativity, and working with communities most impacted to center their agency in shaping our future. 

    We are committed to enhancing the diversity of our board to better reflect the lived experience of the many communities our work seeks to design with and shift power towards. We value a broad range of skills and experiences and welcome individuals from all backgrounds.

    We particularly encourage those who may bring perspectives that are currently underrepresented on our board to apply, including Black, brown and Indigenous peoples,  people with disabilities, people with poor or working class backgrounds, and people who have not benefited from academic elitism.   

    Additionally, we are seeking individuals with expertise or experience in fundraising in this field, student needs and desires for capacity building and empowerment, creative organizing strategies in the face of institutional or academic suppression, and/or relationship building, who can offer valuable insights into our initiatives and help us address the unique challenges and opportunities facing our organization. 

    Even if none of the specific criteria above applies, your unique perspective, passion and experiences can be valuable to us as we work to support students and the larger field of place-based and interdisciplinary design.

    Some Board Member Basics 
    • Board members can live anywhere in the US.
    • The board meets four times a year for two-hour meetings and may meet more frequently with their committee or the ED. Work is generally lighter in the late summer and fall, and busier in the winter and spring as the Forum approaches. 
    • The board also meets in-person at the annual Student Forum, which often takes place in late May-early June. Board members are encouraged but not required to attend if we have the funds to cover their costs for attendance as we often do. 
    • Each board member participates actively in one or two board committees, which vary in their time commitment. They may meet every other month in the winter and spring, when the Forum approaches. Currently, most of the work happening outside of the all-board meetings happens via signing up for tasks on an individual basis rather than through committee work. 
    • Design Futures does not compensate board members; however, we usually have the funding to cover the costs for board members to attend the annual Student Forum. 
    • Board members serve three-year terms. 
    • While Board members are often involved in fundraising, it is opt-in. Board members are not required to donate to the organization. 

    How the Open Call Process Works 
    • We will review all applications and respond to all applicants. Depending on the volume of resumes we receive, it may take us a while to respond to everyone.
    • The process includes an initial quick interview (20 minutes) to narrow the pool of applicants, then an interview (virtual, 45 minutes).  
    • We anticipate the following schedule for this process:
      • Applications due - August 12th
      • Brief initial interview - Late August  
      • First interviews - Mid September 
      • Final decisions made - Mid October 

    The deadline to apply is August 12th 2024, 11:59pm PST.

    How to Fill Out and Submit Your Application 
    Please fill out the application below and submit it using the Google Form here.

    Application must be received by August 12th 2024, 11:59pm PST.

    If you require accommodations or need to submit the application in a different format, please reach out to Design Futures at We will do our best to accommodate your needs within reason of our capacity.

    Thank you for your interest in joining the board of Design Futures.

    Sign up for our newsletter here

    Design Futures Forum is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit
    ©Design Futures Forum Inc 2023