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90 | Building Coalitions the Right Way

Building upon an expansive career aiding in the education and support of designers, Jason Schupbach is the Dean of the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University.

90 | Building Coalitions the Right Way

Throughout his career, Schupbach has worked to support designers as they create art, architecture, and community. He was formerly the Director of the Design School at Arizona State University, the largest and most comprehensive design school in the United States. Before that, he served as Director of Design and Creative Placemaking Programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw all design and creative placemaking grantmaking and partnerships, including Our Town and Design Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, and the NEA’s Federal agency collaborations. 

In addition, Jason served Governor Patrick of Massachusetts as the Creative Economy Director, and was tasked with growing creative and tech businesses in the state. He formerly was the Director of ArtistLink, a Ford Foundation-funded initiative to stabilize and revitalize communities through the creation of affordable space and innovative environments for creatives. He has also worked for the Mayor of Chicago and New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. 

During his time at ASU, Schupbach started the ambitious ReDesign.School project to reinvent design education for the 21st century.  Two years before the COVID pandemic, Schupbach’s team at ASU was praised for their adoption of a technology-based learning format. He is currently a key advisor to ASU on diverse projects such as the Studio for Creativity, Place and Equitable Communities, Roden Crater, the Creative Futures Lab, and ASU’s Los Angeles downtown home.

Schupbach has written extensively on the role of arts and design in making better communities, and his writing has been featured as a Best Idea of the Day by the Aspen Institute. His body of work represents an ongoing commitment to support the value of design in public space, and offers instruction as to how designers and design supporters can work together to create better futures.

We had a chance to speak with Jason on Social Design Insights. Have a listen at the link below.


Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our Producer and Sound Engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Leah Freidenrich, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation. Our theme music for 2018 is "Alright With Me" by Reggie Young from his album "Young Street." The break music for this episode is "Waiting for Yesterday" by John Trudell from his album "Madness and the Moremes."