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DESIGN FORWARD RI is a comprehensive strategic and leadership development skills training program for designers in Rhode Island, presented by DESIGNxRI. Through, DFWD Advance, Emerge, and Explore, we invest in designers at different stages of their career and advance skills, expand colleague networks and mentorship, grow design businesses and add to the design ecosystem in Rhode Island.

The DFWD Resiliency Design Challenge is a Back to Work RI initiative that will accelerate a dynamic learning process, adding value to designers and companies, and creating a more resilient skill base for growth. It will further catalyze the design process towards reimagining how we engage in business and our community in a post-COVID world.

DFWD Advance works with mid-level career designers by offering strategic design
skills and adding know-how and new strategies to already successful design careers. In this four-month skills advancement program, designers increase capabilities in leading dialogue and thinking, improve facilitation and user-experience design, and explore design thinking for innovation strategies.

DFWD Emerge is for recent design graduates launching their design careers – and their Rhode Island employers. The DESIGN FORWARD RI Emerge Cohort program supports the growth and development of fresh design talent through workshops and peer-to-peer networking.

The Explore Design program is an exciting summer session for RI youth ages 14 to 18. Introductions to graphic design, industrial design and architecture are the focus of this six-week summer camp. Offered in partnership with Downcity Design.

The DFWD Workshops are modeled after the Advance and Emerge cohort sessions, and includes a mix of strategic design advancement with professional and business development tools.