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

CoPED at Imagining America (IA) welcomes individuals from community-based organizations, higher education institutions, government agencies, and non-profits who are involved in publicly engaged design. We are a collective of designers, planners and scholars working in education programs in design, including programs in architecture, landscape architecture, planning, graphic, interactive, and industrial design and social practice. IA brings together these designers, planners, artists, and scholars as a community to network and develop forward thinking best practices. CoPED helps to leverage one’s engaged work towards community development, social justice, and IA’s mission and vision.

CoPED is co-chaired by Mallika Bose (Penn State University) and Brett Snyder (University of California, Davis). 


• 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.