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Do you have a complex challenge?

Partner with us

Are you a government agency or organization facing complex challenges? A partnership with the Lab to address your issue through the lens of human-centered design can help you to surface rich insights and consider new alternatives. Our team can help guide deep investigations of human perspectives to improve the experiences of people that engage with the government across programs, services, and experiences. Over the years, we’ve worked with numerous partners across the public and private sector.

How we work

With a government-wide mission and as a revolving fund in the federal government, the Lab works with other agencies on a fee-for-service basis. We work with a wide variety of agencies that approach us, seeking to have a conversation about our work and how it might align with their current needs. Some engagements are very small and short-term, others are substantial and partnerships last for extended periods of time.

We employ a flexible approach to helping you find new avenues for solving problems. Most of our partnerships start with an initial discussion of your concerns and expectations surrounding a potential project. Please email us at for more information.

Our ideal partner

  • Is faced with a complex public sector challenge in need of new solutions;
  • Is interested in developing internal design-focused capabilities within their team or organization;
  • Has leadership committed to actively supporting a project;
  • Dedicates staff to work side-by-side with the Lab team during the design process;
  • Is invested in responding to the needs of their stakeholders and working through the implementation stages of the design process.

What a partnership looks like

Design partnerships with the Lab build capacity for design at agencies in various overlapping ways:

Design projects

The Lab's experienced designers, with a complementary mix of skills and expertise, work with agency partners on real projects. On top of project-based services, we provide instruction, coaching, and other support as needed.

Design capacity building programs

We use our work across government to inform our educational content and approach. In some instances, we bring a cohort of partners through a customized series of educational offerings to build capacity more deeply across a team.

Design program management

We connect our partners to each other and the broader design community in government to share best practices and experiences. We also advise our more mature partners as they hire designers and build design into their program.

Our partners

Projects and collaborations at the Lab include individuals and teams from the following government agencies:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • General Services Administration
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Contact us

If you are interested in a partnership with the Lab, contact us at and we will work with you to develop a way forward.