Mari Nakano

Mari Nakano practices what design can do for products, services and teams in the social impact space. She is the Design Director for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity where she is helping shape one of the nations first civic service design studios. Prior to this role, she served as the Design & Interaction Lead for UNICEF’s Office of Innovation where she focused on enmeshing designers in a multi-disciplinary global team of innovators focused on developing forward thinking solutions to improve the lives of children around the world. She’s a proud alumni of ArtCenter (MFA, Media Design Practices) and Designmatters and the recipient of the 2015 Young Innovator Alumni Award.

In the Spring of 2019, Mari returned to ArtCenter for a week-long Designmatters Residency. Mari held a workshop entitled “Civil Servant + Civic Design” which gave a taste of what it’s like for designers to work inside city government, the value of service design, and how to design under constraints. She also made herself available for studio visits, individual meetings with students, faculty, and Department Chairs. During the week she was part of a lecture and panel discussion around a new book entitled: Designing for Kids. The week culminated with a podcast interview with ArtCenter President, Lorne Buchman, for his Change Lab Podcast.