July 29, 2016


What is BarnRaise?

Barnraise was started at IIT Institute of Design in Chicago in 2014. It is a uniquely structured maker-conference that connects design firms, community-based organizations, and participants to address a social topic embedded in a local community. Under the facilitation of a design firm, participants will work in multi-disciplinary teams to develop a user-centered understanding of a problem posed by a community organization and prototype viable solutions.

How does it work?

Teams are composed of a design firm, a community organization, a Capital One design team liaison and outside participants. Each participant will be assigned to be part of an interdisciplinary team of 8-10 people. The design firm, community organization, and the team liaison meet ahead of the BarnRaise event to create a design brief describing an engaging and addressable social problem. The design brief drives the work over the BarnRaise weekend and helps the teams to stay focused.

Over a two-day period, the design firm/group partner will facilitate the team as they seek to understand the problem and prototype concepts together. Teams will be stationed at design offices throughout the city and Adaptive Path will serve as the central meeting hub.

On Saturday afternoon, in front of the general public, everyone gathers together to share their prototypes. Later, we open a “community fair” where each team will have a table to share their work in more detail.


The BarnRaise DC challenge is:

How might we help members of our community achieve sustainable housing, while highlighting the role this plays in their pathway to economic self-sufficiency?


AdaptivePath.org was launched in August 2015 after, Adaptive Path, a leader in experience design, joined Capital One. Our mission is to transform communities by design. We exist to connect the non-profit community with designers and design experts to create great human experiences.


We invite designers, non-profit employees, students, and anyone interested in designing for social good to participate. Together we will co-create human-centered experiences to support our DC community.