Platform: A community-based graphic design studio.


PLATFORM Social Design Lab is a socially engaged design studio that is part of the MA in Art & Design for Social Impact. It is a pedagogical model that offers courses and workshops within a dedicated multifunctional studio for graduate students with diverse backgrounds and for undergraduate students in the Graphic Design and Emerging Practices concentration areas. Through the PLATFORM Social Design Lab, students experience real-world learning opportunities working with both local and regional nonprofits that advocate for under-served communities. Students learn the value of an integrative, interdisciplinary design practice that encourages teamwork and collaboration and empowers them to be active members of their community.

PLATFORM Social Design Lab partners with underrepresented communities in the city of Buffalo and the broader WNY area that could not afford these design services otherwise. This visual support defines and legitimizes their identity and mission, underscoring the critical issues that are at stake. Through this assistance, communities can strengthen and develop more robust platforms that greatly aids in their advocacy campaigns and impact on policy makers. 

Say No.

Feng Ting


Participate in a socially-engaged design studio.


Learn skills in teamwork and client management.


Develop your portfolio with real-world client projects.

What Types of Projects Does Platform Create?

Students work in collaboration with a variety of community partners which include Our Outer Harbor, Coalition for Economic Justice, Buffalo Transit Riders Union, Open Buffalo’s Emerging Leaders Mentorship Program and the community-based think tank, Partnership for the Public Good, which is based in Buffalo and provides research and advocacy support. 

Students have collaborated with UB’s Office of Sustainability and developed projects with faculty and graduate students in the School of Urban Planning and the UB Community Justice Clinic of the School of Law. 

Through these partnerships, a broad range of graphic materials have been produced that include branding systems and logos, infographics and visualization, digital marketing and promotional materials.

Jun Yan Chen.

Jun Yan Chen

Speak Up Buttons.

Matt Koons

How Can I Be a Part of It?

If you would like to learn more about PLATFORM please email Stephanie Rothenberg

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