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TYTHEdesign is a capacity-building firm that uses the lens of design and strategy to support clients across the social sector doing good in their communities. We help organizations connect with their stakeholders, drive innovation internally, enhance new and existing services, and share their story. Ultimately, we’re here to deepen existing skills and strengthen the impact of your work. 

MISSON

Our mission is to democratize decision-making and help our clients across government, nonprofits, and foundations build their capacity to create more equitable, scalable, and innovative strategies, programs, and services for their stakeholders and communities. We utilize human-centered design, accountable collaboration, and civic-based engagement practices that allow us to bring traditionally marginalized voices to the forefront, identify insights gleaned from community-based research, and ultimately achieve outcomes that define a Resilient City. 

OUR DEFINITION OF RESILIENT CITY

A Resilient City is one that equitably addresses the current needs of its communities, while actively iterating to further meet future needs. Inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, these needs include accessible and quality housing, food, health, education, and employment. The City is always evolving to sustain a sense of place and belonging for all residents, ensuring all people can adequately live, work, play, engage, and thrive. Simply put, a Resilient City promotes a just society. 
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We attribute the following social values as qualities of a Resilient City:

 

  • Civic engagement strengthens the community’s capacity for democratic participation through collaborative problem-solving and ownership over the decisions impacting it most.
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  • Nimble and responsive government is accountable to it diverse constituents, ensuring civic processes are transparent and recognize historical and political context across all communities.
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  • Economic vitality is driven from a diverse and innovative economy, supported by robust workforce development that challenges economic inequity. Key to that economic vitality is a sustainable economic model for social services, community-based organizations and institutions, small businesses, and corporations.
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  • All civic processes and social connectedness are built from an evolving socio-cultural context- a context that fosters a robust arts and cultural infrastructure where social capital is equitably accessible and accountable to the present demographics and needs of all people.
  • Technology enabled efforts are developed and implemented in response to community needs and insights. There is transparency in the intent for utilizing data, and residents hold agency over how their data is used. Access to technology is equitable and inclusive in respect to race, gender, age, ability and socio-economic status.
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  • The capacity for environmental resiliency is bolstered by community awareness and it acknowledges the need to address environmental impacts resulting from systemic racism. Beyond adapting and preparing for a changing environment, this capacity fosters a stable ecosystem while working toward a sustainable one, prioritizing long-term remediation and preservation over short-term economic gains. 

OUR STORY

TYTHEdesign was founded to both address social sector challenges and cultivate institutional and community resiliency. Conceived of during a trip exploring industrial manufacturing practices in India, TYTHEdesign was founded by Kristina Drury in 2010 in response to the lack of design in social sector work. Our work is grounded in the belief that design tools have great potential to create impact, build empathy, and solve human-centered problems. Since its inception, TYTHEdesign has created change through our facilitation and strategy in over 150 projects. 
 
Our name comes from the historical practice of “tithing”, or contributing a tenth of a harvest to support the community. Victor Papanek (1927-1999), a social designer and educator, believed the design industry could apply the same principles “by giving ten percent of our crop of ideas and talents to the seventy-five percent of mankind in need” (Design for the Real World, 1992:68). In this tradition, we routinely integrate pro bono work into our portfolio. Our name serves as a reminder of this commitment.

Meet the Team

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Our collaborative model allows us to draw on the best talent and tailor our team to your project’s unique needs. Throughout each project we focus on understanding the people involved, making informed design decisions and providing avenues for enduring impact.

KRISTINA DRURY  ||  Principal

Kristina Drury is a social entrepreneur, designer, educator and the founder of TYTHEdesign. By taking a human-centered approach, TYTHEdesign helps organizations connect with their stakeholders, drive innovation internally, enhance new and existing services and develop resource-efficient programs that create social value.

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Prior to forming TYTHEdesign, Kristina worked as the NYC chapter head for Project H Design, a charitable organization focusing on product design for social change. While there, she was a lead designer of Learning Landscape, an educational active-learning playground that was featured at Cooper Hewitt’s 2010 National Design Triennial. Her diverse background includes work in corporate social responsibility, education, social innovation, industrial design, and architecture. She holds a Masters in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and a Bachelors of Science in Architecture.

 

Kristina’s work and publications have taken root around the globe. Most recently, she has been recognized as an Innovation Expert for UNDP and selected to present at Clinton Global Initiative University’s annual conference. As an educator, she has taught classes, workshops and training to build the capacity of over 5,500 change makers, civic leaders and entrepreneurs. Her teaching and speaking experiences include engagements at Columbia University, Harvard University and the Cooper Hewitt Museum.

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HILLARY CLARK  ||  Project Manager and Program Strategist. 

At TYTHE, Hillary Clark supports program management, workshop design and facilitation and community engagement. Hillary has worked as a connector and placemaker in Vermont and NYC, supporting collaborations between stakeholders and the communities they wish to serve. Prior to joining TYTHE, Hillary was an Associate Manager at the New York Public Library where she worked across diverse communities in NYC supporting Adult Programming. Hillary spearheaded library-wide campaigns focusing on civic engagement, ensuring that communities and libraries were connected to and empowered with the resources they need. As a library administrator, Hillary has worked on staff capacity building, community engagement, and program design. Hillary was responsible for creating and implementing a clear vision and strategic direction for programming throughout the 92 branch system. She has led staff training on access, inclusion and facilitation, as well as building partnership collaborations across the Library and throughout the city. Her work is bolstered in system of research and evaluation. She holds a Master in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute and a BA in Sociology from the University of Vermont.

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ALIZA SARIAN  ||  Lead Curriculum Specialist

Aliza Sarian is the lead curriculum specialist with TYTHEdesign, focusing on workshop, training, and program development and facilitation. Her portfolio focuses on civic engagement through New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development. Prior to joining the TYTHE team, Aliza was a New York City arts teacher for 15 years, where her curriculum focused on storytelling, personal narrative, and devising community theatre. She has presented internationally on the impact of the arts on young people’s academic and social-emotional growth. In addition to classroom teaching and directing, Aliza was a professional development facilitator and curriculum designer for the NYC Department of Education and is an adjunct professor at New York University and Hunter College.She has a BS and MA in Education from Appalachian State University and New York University, respectively.

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HANS CALLENBACH  ||  Art Director + Graphic Designer

At TYTHE, Hans Callenbach supports all external and internal visual communications projects. Hans specializes in a range of design skills from info graphics for legal litigation, to books for non-profits and websites for a variety of industries, he combines his passion for driving projects with hands-on contributions to the design and development of new products. He delivers real-world products with a focus on solutions, bringing intelligence and integrity to his collaboration with each client. Hans Callenbach came to NYC from Berkeley for his first editorial design position at SPIN magazine and never left the City. Moving into fashion editorial, his next stop was Fairchild Publications who later sent him to the Paris bureau as Art Director of European W magazine. After three years eating way too much cheese, he arrived back in NYC to take a position as Art Director for North American Bear Co., a wacky unbelievably creative place, creating sets and fashion shoots and catalogs for couture teddy bear costumes.

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TOBY GARDNER  ||  Program Strategist 

Toby Gardner is the program strategist with TYTHEdesign, focusing on community-based strategies, need assessments and research. Toby Gardner has extensive experience in nonprofit management, program design and direct social service. For nearly a decade he served as Assistant Director at Brooklyn Woods, a workforce training program and social venture business dedicated to teaching woodworking, fabrication and math skills to low-income unemployed New Yorkers, many who were justice involved. He cultivated relationships with a variety of community stakeholders to attract new applicants and to place graduates into jobs. He also designed and taught a soft skills curriculum as well as was involved in various aspects of program design. Prior to that experience, he worked in grant writing and fundraising for Fifth Avenue Committee, where he worked closely with programs in affordable housing, grassroots organizing, adult education and policy advocacy. He has also worked as a community liaison for a state assemblymember, a caseworker for medically fragile children in foster care at the Children’s Aid Society and has also taught elementary school.

Current and Past Supporting Consultants

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Ashley Halsey

Graphic Designer

Christopher

Christopher Ranjitkar

Business Strategy

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Daniel Lim

Diversity and Inclusion Expert

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Lina Cherfas

Applied Research + Program Evaluation

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Kacie Lyn Martinez

Social Impact Strategist and Facilitator

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Kena Hazelwood Carter

Education Consultant

MKramer

Michaela Kramer

Strategist and Graphic Designer

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Sahar Ghaheri

Designer & Strategist