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All Work
Public Programs

We develop inventive design competitions, provocative public programs, and cross-disciplinary research.

For 125 years, we have been organizing inventive design competitions that shape the built environment. We see the design competition as a vehicle to mobilize people across disciplines to develop innovative approaches to complex social, cultural, and ecological challenges around the world. Explore a continuously updated selection of our recent competitions:

We host energetic and engaging public events in New York City for a broad audience of urban enthusiasts and professionals. Explore the continuously updated selection of our programs that investigate a diverse range of topics designed to provoke, enlighten, question, and critically examine the themes of multi-year inquiries.

Van Alen’s research is grounded in a firm belief that design is a crucial tool for investigating the most pressing social, cultural, and ecological challenges we face. Our research projects draw on the expertise of leaders from the world of policy, science, the arts, economics, medicine, and beyond. Our goal is to advance new thinking and creative solutions to evolving problems.

Our councils offer platforms for exchange and support of Van Alen programs at local and international levels. Together, the International Council and Climate Council set the tone and inspire the content for our ongoing inquiries into how design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions.