Here’s what we’ve been up to lately. To explore our history, visit our archive.


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Placemaking Evaluation Fellowship

Providing hands-on experience evaluating the power of design to bring life to public spaces.

Neighborhoods Now

Long-term, community-led pandemic recovery across four boroughs in NYC.

Flatiron Public Plaza Design Installation

Launched in 2014, the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Installation was a platform for the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and Van Alen Institute (VAI) to bring people together and support inventive visions for an iconic urban plaza.

Van Alen Council Trips

The Van Alen Council is a invitation-only community of leading systems-thinkers spanning the design professions.

Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge

An international design competition that sparked a new public conversation about New York City’s infrastructure.

BetterBin Litter Basket Design Competition

Together with the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), the Industrial Designers Society of America (ISDA), and the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY), we invited interdisciplinary industrial design teams to reimagine the iconic New York City litter basket.

Keeping Current

Designing ways to adapt to sea level rise in Greater Miami.

Van Alen Sessions

A documentary series highlighting current debates about infrastructure.

Van Alen Report

Van Alen Report gathers expert perspectives on subjects that are redefining society’s relationship to cities.

Emergency Contact: New Ideas for Neighborhood Mental Health Centers

Emergency Contact was a one-day flash competition that challenges interdisciplinary teams to design practical solutions for affordable, replicable neighborhood mental health treatment centers to efficiently put patients in contact with treatment.