Collective of Publicly Engaged Designers

The Collective of Publicly Engaged Designers (CoPED) is a platform for designers/planners to share resources and best practices around publicly engaged design. 

CoPED, an initiative of Imagining America (IA) aims to elevate publicly engaged design work by giving practitioners access to resources through a strong and growing network of publicly engaged designers and planners and providing a forum for discussing and deliberating on the theory and practice of community engaged design and planning. The collective also provides opportunities for showcasing exemplary community engaged design and planning practice, creative activities and scholarship. Since 2018, we have begun to create a toolset for designers that includes:

A map of publicly engaged designers and resources throughout the United States. Have a contribution to this map? Please email: 

A rubric for self and peer-evaluating publicly engaged design. Have a project you’d like to submit? Please email:

Each year, we plan to build on this set of resources. Have an idea you’d like to consider for future resources? Please email:

Who we are

Current Team

Brett Snyder, CoPED Co-Chair
Associate Professor of Design at UC Davis. Research interest in all things publicly engaged design.

Mallika Bose, CoPED Co-Chair
Professor of Landscape Architecture; Associate Dean for Research, Creative Activity, and Graduate Studies. Architect and urban planner with a specialization in environment-behavior studies.

Genevieve Zanaska, Student Research Associate
UC Davis Graduate with a BA in Design, primary focus in Graphic Design. Interested in Exhibition Design and Branding.

Nan Yang, Student Research Associate
PhD student in Architecture, Penn State University. Has a background in Landscape Architecture. Research interest in socio-spatial dimension of social development in China

Past Team


Sekou Cooke, CoPED Chair
Architect, researcher, educator, and curator born in Jamaica and based in Charlotte, NC. Current research centers on the emergent field of Hip-Hop Architecture, a theoretical movement reflecting the core tenets of hip-hop culture with the power to create meaningful impact on the built environment and give voice to those marginalized and underrepresented within design practice.


Tracy Corado, Student Research Associate
MFA in Design from the University of California, Davis and a BFA in Interior Architectural Design from California State University, Long Beach. Designer and researcher with experience in museum exhibitions, residential and commercial interiors, environmental graphics, and community-engaged design.

Zoey Ward, Student Research Associate
UC Davis Graduate with a BA in Design, primary focus in Interior Architecture and an interest in Exhibition Design.


• Participation in a strong and growing national network of publicly engaged designers, planners, and scholars.
Access to resources such as an online discussion space, a designers’ community engagement toolkit, case study materials, and various events throughout the year.
Opportunities to collaborate, to get involved, and to showcase high-quality scholarship and practice.


As practicing designers/planners/activists, we often need methods to showcase our work and get recognition, such as via group exhibitions and citations in publications. These opportunities can also help educate peers who are not involved in community engaged design.
 IA/CoPED is a welcoming place for designers/planners to share their experiences about publicly focused design/planning in academia.
 There is a scarcity of places for community-engaged designers and planners to gather, deliberate upon their practice/scholarship and provide support to one another, and IA fills this need.

CoPED Collective of Publicly Engaged Designers

CoPED 2021 Summer/Fall Survey

CoPED invites individuals to take a quick survey that asks for reflections based on the past (pandemic) year. From all of us on the team, we would like to thank you in advance for taking our survey!

-Mallika, Brett, & Genevieve


In the fall of 2020, CoPED invited respected colleagues, both local and global, to reflect on the twin pandemic during which racial and social inequities were laid bare. Participants responded to questions based on three main themes (Public, Engagement, Design), to which they paired personal images that embodied the same sentiments. The submissions look at the dual crisis through the lens of publicly engaged design, raising questions and posing creative solutions to this critical moment.

Thank you to all that participated in the #engagedinplace Instagram series for offering insightful and thought provoking contributions.

Rachel Berger, GAC, Craig Wilkins, Tatjana Schneider, Tom Maiorana, Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani & Buscada Studio, Anita Bakshi, Virginia San Fratello & Ronald Rael, MODU, Adriana Arriaga, The Open Workshop, Johanna Hoffman, Karen Lewis, Elizabeth Marley, Kevin Lair, UCSC-Open Lab, C+ Arquitectas, Rula Awwad-Rafferty, Beth Ferguson, Adam Flint, Jeremy Till (photo by Noah Berger), Kathleen Gygi, Cozette Ellis, glenda drew & Jesse Drew, Design Radical Futures, Group Projects, Mimi Zeiger, Civic Projects, Karen Kubey (drawing by Lorine Moellentine and McKenzie Vanko, WXY Studio, Traction Nepal, Toolshed, Lori A. Brown, Natalia Deeb-Sossa, Jennifer W Leung, nARCHITECTS, Yiwei Huang, PIXEL, Streetwyze, Sahoko Yui, Mark Gardner, Trace Manuel, Javier Arbon

Click here to follow the hashtag

Watch our session from IA’s ‘Through Tumultuous Times’ series, where participants and members of CoPED discussed #engagedinplace further.

CoPED 2019 Case Studies

The CoPED 2019 Call for Case Studies, as part of the October 2019 National Gathering, yielded 7 community-engaged projects from community-based organizations, higher education institutions, and non-profits. These projects demonstrate a wide variety of contributions with regard to different dimensions of publicly engaged design. These case studies were used in our ongoing effort to develop best practices for community-engaged work.
Click here to access the report: CoPED 2019 Case Studies.pdf