The Do Tank is an action-oriented design thinking course, tied to a challenge to translate learnings into local impact. The Do Tank cultivates a group of people with varied skillsets to work together on a real-world issue, from collaborative ideation to collaborative creation.

This half-day workshop or full-day bootcamp for young professionals and graduate students is facilitated by design and innovation experts from Foossa, MILES, Parsons School of Design, and more. With their support, Do Tank participants are guided through a design process which goes through the phases of research and discovery, ideation and prototyping.


May 19 (Sat) 2pm - 6pm

May 20 (Sun) 2pm - 6pm

These are public sessions where where participants will be freely jamming ideas and for the Storefront for the Commons. These are free of charge!



(two identical sessions, sign up for either)

May 19 (Sat) 11am - 2pm

May 20 (Sun) 11am - 2pm


June 16 (Sat) 11am - 5pm

More about these sessions here.



  • hone your design-thinking skills
  • learn by doing: put the Human-centered Design process into practice 
  • level up on your research skills (ethnographic / observational / empathetic research)
  • learn how to conduct effective interviews
  • develop your storytelling skills
  • put your ideas into action
  • produce a project from start to finish
  • create local impact 
  • connect with a collaborative cohort of DO-ers
  • build your portfolio
  • practice prototyping
  • receive mentorship

More info about benefits and learnings here.



We suggest a wide variety of skillsets and experience, from students and seasoned professionals to apply. We embrace the diversity of the team to foster creativity, and welcome beginners as well. We especially welcome “T-shaped” people:

T-shaped people have two kinds of characteristics, hence the use of the letter “T” to describe them. The vertical stroke of the “T” is a depth of skill that allows them to contribute to the creative process. That can be from any number of different fields: an industrial designer, an architect, a social scientist, a business specialist or a mechanical engineer. The horizontal stroke of the “T” is the disposition for collaboration across disciplines. It is composed of two things. First, empathy. It’s important because it allows people to imagine the problem from another perspective- to stand in somebody else’s shoes. Second, they tend to get very enthusiastic about other people’s disciplines, to the point that they may actually start to practice them. T-shaped people have both depth and breadth in their skills.

Suggested deep skills include (one or more of the following):

  • Graphic design
  • Web design
  • UX design
  • Coding
  • Business design
  • Architectural Design
  • Industrial design
  • Storytelling
  • Organizing


Bustling storefronts have long been a fixture of vibrant urban spaces. A storefront is often more than just a storefront. Neighborhood institutions like bodegas, barbershops, cafés and the like serve as places for social interaction and civic engagement. Coffeeshops and restaurants have become makeshift co-working spaces reflecting the present and the future of work. Shop windows serve to entice customers but also as canvases for artists to inspire and provoke. Even as online shopping gains more and more marketshare, online-first retailers are recognizing the importances of brick and mortar shops as showrooms and brand showcases. 

We are seeing new forms of storefront uses emerging : a bookshop sharing space with a boutique, a barber shop and a coffee shop co-existing side by side, temporary use of spaces taking over empty storefronts and lots, and many more. Are these new forms of uses here to last or just another trend? While consumer trends and neighborhoods change, storefronts remain as important as ever. 

  • How might we use a design and futures-thinking perspective to (re)imagine these important “third-places”? 
  • How do we design the future of storefronts as more than just retailing but also places of socio-economic production?
  • How to we use design-thinking to conceive of inclusive ways to design and sustain commercial real estate?



We were inspired by the OpenIDEO approach of activating citizens' idea through challenges that tackle social problems around the world. The Do Tank is an effort to encourage more physical action, beyond the ideation phase. We aim to help move ideas into prototypes that can potentially be implemented with local organizations. The Do Tank itself was first prototyped in Fall 2015, in partnership with OpenIDEO and NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Along with instructors from FOOSSA, NYU, IDEO, and miLES, we mocked up a curriculum that combines Design Thinking, Prototyping, Lean Startup, and Pop-up Experience as the Do Tank Educational Program. 

This is the 4th iteration of the program and we would love to continue the experimental and prototypical approach of working with design-centric and socially-minded individuals to create local impact. 



We will be hosted at Prime Produce, a guild for social good at 424 West 54th Street this year.



  • Design Thinking Half-Day Workshops May 19, 20
  • Public Ideation Sessions May 19, 20, June 10, 17
  • Design Prototyping Full-Day Bootcamp June 16  


  • Public Ideation Sessions Free
  • Design Thinking Half-Day Workshop $150
  • Design Prototyping Full-Day Bootcamp $300