Durell Coleman


Durell Coleman

Lecturer in Management


Durell Coleman is the namesake founder and CEO of DC Design, a social impact design firm that uses Human-Centered Design to co-develop validated, long lasting solutions to complex social problems. In his journey as a designer, Durell has worked alongside governments, foundations, non-profits, companies and those they serve to shift entrenched systems toward paradigms that function better for everyone. He has worked to redesign aspects of the foster care system, develop new approaches to criminal justice reform, reimagine healthcare service models, create apps that connect communities, and develop new educational models for the 21st century. Trained in mechanical engineering (BS) and sustainable design (MS), he is a two-time alumnus of Stanford University and its famous Institute of Design (the Stanford d.school).

As an educator, Durell regularly lectures on social impact design, innovation, business, and leadership at Stanford University. He has taught design thinking to refugees designing solutions to challenges in refugee camps, School leaders seeking to redesign the culture of their school, students seeking to create a more inclusive campus, and corporate executives from Sony, Oracle, and Santander. He is the creator and director of Design the Future — an award winning STEM program run in collaboration with top universities that teaches high school students to design products for individuals with physical disabilities. He is an expert in multi-stakeholder, human-centered design; has been awarded the Jefferson Award for Public Service as a result of his work; and is one of the subjects of the PBS documentary: “Extreme by Design,” which is used as a design thinking teaching aid all over the world.

Academic Degrees

  • MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering with Concentration in Sustainable Design, Stanford University, 2011
  • BS in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2010

Professional Experience

  • Founder and CEO, DC Design
  • Creator and Director, Design the Future
  • Board of Directors, Mazzetti

Awards and Honors

  • Jefferson Award for Public Service, The Jefferson Foundation, 2018
  • Most Innovative Hands-On Project Award, US2020, 2017
  • Leader of Tomorrow, St. Gallen Symposium, 2015


Journal Articles

Academic Publications


Other Teaching

Programs and Non-Degree Courses

This pop out is about designing solutions to social problems when there are conflicting viewpoints about the best direction to head in. Students can bring their own social impact projects to this pop out or be placed on a team.

Stanford GSB Affiliations

Stanford University Affiliations