Elon By Design offers ongoing workshops and events for students, faculty, staff, and surrounding communities. We have pre-set days & times you can register for below! We will also work with you to create special events to bring design thinking to your course, organization or activity. Just ask!

Abstract diagram of the design thinking process.


fall in love with the right problem


listen to people, gather evidence, reveal insights


create options based on what you gathered


use what you created to make to learn


choose a solution to nurture and grow

About Our Workshops

Elon By Design offers a variety of workshops connected to Elon’s design thinking process to support design thinking learning paths, design projects in courses, service learning projects, entrepreneurship, and higher education innovation at Elon. All workshops are hands-on experiences where participants apply the design methods and design thinking concepts.

Also, check out our Professional Development Collaborative for more workshop opportunities in the Better Together Series.



Review a list of potential workshops below and submit a request for your group using the form at the bottom of the page.

All toolkits for applicable workshops can be accessed here.

Introduction to Design Thinking

What is design thinking? What are basic methods and approaches? How and when might I use these methods to support my professional, personal, and civic goals? This workshop answers these questions and more through a group-selected ideation session in the Center for Design Thinking. Participants leave with an understanding of Elon’s unique approach to design thinking, ideas for applying design thinking and a new way to approach problems, challenges, and opportunities.

Watch our video on the Introduction to Design Thinking workshop here and download this toolkit to practice using basic, design thinking techniques. 

Designing for Purposeful, Playful Learning

How might we move from procrastination-full learning towards purpose-full, passion-full, and play-full learning? This workshop harnesses research on purposeful and playful learning and Elon’s Act-Belong-Commit framework in order to help participants frame barriers and challenges, explore the relevance of their project goals, and visualize their preferred play styles. Participants will design a learning prototype for their projects that integrates their own goals and play-styles.

Watch our video on the Designing for Purposeful, Playful Learning workshop to learn more here and use this toolkit to practice incorporating purpose, passion, and play into your own life. 

Elon by {Your} Design 

How might we design Elon graduation plans that genuinely support our personal, professional, and civic goals? This workshop harnesses the FIRE toolkit to help participants reflect upon their past learning experiences. Participants will also explore their preferred learning styles, Elon’s Act-Belong-Commit framework, and experiential learning opportunities. Request a workshop now and design more intentional and flexible pathways forward.

Cocreated by Academic Advising, the Center for Engaged Learning, the Student Professional Development Center, and the Center for Design Thinking.

Register for pre-set Workshops below, watch our video on the Elon by {Your} Design here, and download the packet to design your own Elon experience. Access the preparatory packet for Elon By {Your} Design workshops here.

Identifying Your Journey with Anti-Racism: Exploring the 2021 Common Reading & Elon’s History and Memory Report

Where are each of us in our journey towards anti-racism? Where do we want to be? How might we get there? This student-designed and led workshop explores prominent themes from Stamped and the Elon History & Memory Report, helping participants frame and explore the impact of histories of oppression. Participants leave with actionable models for supporting their own journey towards anti-racism while learning practices for staying resilient throughout the process.

Flop Shop: Designing for Resilience

How might I fail forward instead of falling flat? Sign up for this workshop and gain a better understanding of what it requires to be resilient in the face of life’s challenges! Through design thinking, we investigate how to better understand and cope with failure, how to reframe our flops, and how to support others. Participants leave with actionable strategies to help them fail forward versus falling flat.

Watch our video on the Flop Shop workshop here and discover how you can practice failing forward with this toolkit.

Experience Mapping

How might I better understand how people experience complex situations? How might I use what I learn to change how I engage others and address problems? 

Experience mapping is a key design research method that helps participants understand how they and others are experiencing complex situations. It can foster the empathy necessary to better understand the problem, target areas for deeper exploration, and generate novel ideas to explore with others.

Create your own experience map with this template.

Cultivating Mentoring Constellations

How might we design a lifelong constellation of mentors? How might we learn-to-build developmental networks that include our peers, staff, and faculty, as well as people beyond the university? 

Students in this workshop will generate a mentoring constellation, explore opportunities for enhancing their current connections, and leave with next-step strategies for cultivating a lifelong network of support.

Use this toolkit to reflect on your experiences with mentors and where you would like to be.

Learning to Prototype

Why do students and professionals prototype their ideas? How might we build effective prototypes that address real world constraints? 

Participants in this workshop will practice thinking-by-making with a preconceived idea from their organization. The workshop discusses the importance of prototyping, provides actionable strategies for testing designs, and allows participants to practice prototyping techniques. Participants will leave the workshop equipped with a variety of prototyping methods they can apply to their personal and professional projects.

Customize a workshop to fit your needs

Do you have a unique design problem that might require a more customized approach? Do you have a new idea for a Design Thinking workshop? 

Contact us to collaborate on a workshop specifically tailored to your needs!

Workshop Series

This series is student-designed and led in partnership with the Center for Race, Ethnicity, Diversity Education. Each workshop helps participants frame their own journey towards anti-racism and generate actionable opportunities for redesigning oppressive structures, processes, and cultures within their own lives and communities. You can request just one of the following workshops or participate in the full series and deepen your journey towards anti-racism.

Addressing Implicit Bias

How might we recognize and address our own implicit biases?

Implicit bias is a distorting lens that influences the way humans think and act in the world. This workshop helps students frame the role of bias in their own lives, explore the current impact of bias, and generate actionable opportunities for how they might contribute to redesigning oppressive systems.

Use this handout to map your journey with implicit bias.

Designing Liberatory Cycles

How do cycles of socialization play a role in our daily lives and impact our mindsets? How might we unlearn oppressive cycles and generate liberatory cycles that support more diverse, equitable, and inclusive places?

Students in this workshop will explore opportunities for unlearning oppressive cycles, generate actionable strategies for transformation, and leave with prototypes for creating more inclusive and equitable places.

Practice designing for liberation with this toolkit

Cultivating Anti-Racist Practices

Where are each of us at in our journey towards anti-racism? Where do we want to be? How might we get there?

This workshop explores prominent themes from Stamped, helping participants frame and explore the impact of histories of oppression. Key terms, such as ally, accomplice, actor, segregationist, assimilationist, and antiracist are explored. Participants leave with actionable models for supporting their own journey towards anti-racism while learning to stay resilient throughout the process.

Learn how you can cultivate anti-racist practices using the tools in this handout.

If you do not receive a response to your workshop request within three business days, please email