Whether you are a beginner or seasoned designer, join us at our events hosted throughout the academic year and summer.

Upcoming Events

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Figma is an industry design tool (FREE for students) that allows you to design your own digital prototypes for your next app or website. Figma Fridays will be hosted by UI/UX Designer Anatole Ayadi who has over 6 years of experience in the design industry. Anatole consistently pushes the boundaries of Figma to create innovative designs.

Past Events

Summer 2020 Session 2: Design Sprint

July 31st – August 14th

See an archive of course syllabus here

Session 2 builds off the skills taught in Session 1.
  • This sprint will be two weeks long.
  • Each project will require 1-3 hours of work per day for the entire two weeks.
  • Teams are optional. You can work solo, find your own team, or sign up to be team-matched.
  • Each project will be matched with a design mentor, to which you send your deliverables to get feedback.
  • Project meetings and workshops are at 12pm EST on Fridays.

Prompt 1: Your school wants to encourage students to find and build inspiring and empowering relationships with mentors. Design an experience that allows mentors and mentees to discover each other. Examples of mentorships include upperclassmen mentors to help first-years adjust to university life; industry and career mentors to advance the skills and networks of students within a particular industry; identity-based mentors to empower and grow the networks within particular communities, such as BIPOC, Latinx, FGLI. You will need to research and decide exactly which pocket of the community you want to design for, and deliver a high-fidelity prototype of your MVP by the end of the sprint. Consider the needs of both mentors and mentees, including how someone may become a mentor and how to connect mentors to mentees.

Prompt 2: Your school wants to help students graduate with a better understanding of their career options and interests. Design an experience that helps students explore opportunities for careers. Career-finding opportunities might include volunteer work, internships (full-time, part-time, remote), pre-professional organisations (on and off campus), undergraduate research, informational interviews, on-site visits etc. Keep in mind that students have differing needs and priorities when exploring career paths, including financial stability, location of work, further study requirements, prestige, and more. You will need to research and decide exactly which pocket of the community you want to design for, and deliver a high-fidelity prototype of your MVP by the end of the sprint.

Summer 2020 Session 1: Introduction to Design

May 22 to July 3, 2020

See an archive of all course content here (including schedule lecture videos and slides)

Session 1 was a 6-week design sprint to help students learn the design process. The main actvities for students were to:

  • Learn design skills with workshops and talks on Friday afternoons
  • Pick a design project and a team to work with for the duration of the design spring
  • Follow Google’s Design Sprint methodology
  • Refine ideas with mentorship from students, faculty, and industry experts
  • Join a community of designers on our Slack workspace.


Maintaining Connections
How might we help people maintain relationships in a more global and fragmented world?

Digital Wellbeing
How might we increase awareness and mindfulness around our increasing technology usage?

Mitigating Behaviours
How might we mitigate contagious behaviors at a personal and public level?

Establishing Routines
How might we help people build a routine during the quarantine?

Shuttle Service Redesign
How might we make Columbia’s shuttle bus service easy to understand and use?

Student Services Redesign
How might we transform Columbia’s digital tools (SSOL / Vergil / CULPA) into a streamlined experience?

Redesign Your Favourite App
Take an app that you use often, identify some pain points, and create improved solutions!

Bring Your Own Idea or Startup
Got an idea on your mind? Working on a startup right now? Bring it along to our summer session!

Spring 2020: Design Days

February 27, 2020

Design Days was the first Design at Columbia Event. Students learned about design as a career, design tools, and the design process.

Day 1: Speakers

  • Harry West, former CEO of frog design, spoke about design trends and what it means to work in design.
  • Panel of current and recent Columbia graduates, who have worked in design at the likes of Google, Nike, United Nations, Airbnb, Tencent, and IDEO.

Day 2: Workshops

  • How to Get a Design Job: Portfolio & Design Recruiting
  • Building Practical Design Skills: Figma 101
  • Creating Your Design Story: Branding & Storytelling