Sarah Sandman

PDA Co-director

Sarah was selected as a 2017 Senior TED Fellow and 2015 TED Fellow for her work using design to create social experiences that bring people together. She has over 10 years of experience working as a professional graphic designer in both freelance and agency roles. Sarah's work has been exhibited at The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY, the 2010 Open Engagement Conference in Portland, OR and the 2013 Playtime Symposium at Eyebeam in New York, NY. 


Jill Allyn Peterson

PDA Co-director

Designing systems for community engagement has been Jill’s passion since before she knew what to call it. For ten years she’s worked in advocacy, media and design, bringing skills in writing, photography and user experience design to social causes and nonprofits. Jill teaches design at the City University of New York and has been a visiting lecturer and critic at American University, Syracuse University, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Arizona State University.



PDA is based in Brooklyn, New York and grew out of its founders' shared passion for community-oriented, participatory design.  Their collaboration began when they were both grad students in Graphic Design (Sarah) and Industrial Design (Jill) at the Rhode Island School of Design. 



PDA works with collaborators and partner organizations across the country.


Kelley Sullivan

architecture + design


Molly Rose Kaufman

community organizing

Gregory Beson

product design + concept


Kirsten Nordine

web development

Eddie Mendez

graphic design


Shoham Arad

art, design and strategy