About ID

About ID

Building intelligent futures

IIT Institute of Design (ID) navigates paths to a more equitable, sustainable, responsible, and just future. Committed to social responsibility since our founding by László Moholy-Nagy as The New Bauhaus, ID is known for pioneering human-centered design and systems design. We use design to tackle today’s complex and intersecting challenges. Through our graduate school, Action Lab, and Continuing Education, students, designers, leaders, and changemakers unlock opportunities for businesses to pivot and prosper, and for communities to thrive. Learn more about ID at

Our international design community

But ID is more than a graduate school. ID is an international community of learners and practitioners who embrace complexity and drive impactful change by eliciting a power unique to humans: creativity.

Powered by optimism, our inspiring and supportive community uses empathy, logic, and collaboration to move design forward and demonstrate its ability to address the biggest issues of our time.

Addressing the biggest issues of our time

Our work at ID makes an impact in three broad areas:

Our work in three areas


Repairing Critical Systems and Services

By taking the large view of systemic problems and the human-centered view of individual cases, we work to improve both individual experiences and system efficacy. Considering various levels of literacy and competency in given domains, we improve accessibility and achieve more equitable outcomes in areas like healthcare and education.

Reimagining Civic Infrastructures

Today’s biggest and most important issues affect large populations on the local, federal, and global levels. Creating distributed governance, ID responds to large-scale problems effectively, ensures access, and promotes equity and sustainability. As a result, we are a key partner in urban reinvention, in addressing policy issues, in building new civic approaches, and in improving the lived environment.

Developing New Value Models

As pioneers of human-centered design and early champions of applying design principles to business, ID is at the vanguard of creating value out of emerging technologies. Going further than considering our audiences’ individual needs as consumers, we consider the impact of a new product or platform on all levels of society, both now and over time. Combining our expertise in entrepreneurial innovation, speculating futures, and behavioral design, we ethically leverage technological advancements to produce results.

Honing 21st century design competencies

Our impact across these areas and industries is possible because we hone critical 21st century competencies in our students, including:

  • Future Framing
  • Human-Technology Relationships
  • Distributed Agency
  • Moving to Action
Future Framing

To support intelligent decision making now and for long-term sustainability, we remain always open to new logic and approaches. We identify opportunities by generating and articulating a range of future possibilities.

Human-Technology Relationships

Extending our pioneering human-centered approach to design, we focus on human behavior, human-technology relationships, and their implications. We surface unintended consequences, confront biases, and ethically produce products, platforms, and policies that work with, for, and among humans. Ultimately we are able to find better uses for emerging technologies and demonstrate the efficacy of our solutions at scale.

Distributed Agency

To ensure true collaboration, ID integrates multiple perspectives and inspires commitment and dedication among stakeholders. Taking into account diverse interests and needs (sustainability, culture, etc.), we promote accessibility and build understanding of new problems, solutions, and information—all while activating new ways for communities to come together and equipping them with design tools for the future.

Moving to Action

To activate the best ideas, ID makes them tangible. Putting our insights to work, we build concepts, prototypes, and narratives that promote understanding and adoption of nascent ideas. We consider how they affect individuals and society, both now and over time. We experiment, discover, and refine. Ultimately, we move from the abstract to the real, from strategy to action, and take design from thinking to doing.