Denise Shanté Brown

Offering a Holistic + STRATEGIC approach
throughout the collaborative
co-design process




As a Holistic Design Strategist, I co-design transformative possibilities by integrating my creative and strategic gifts with a whole systems, whole being approach. I’m guided by Design Justice Network Principles and see co-design as a collaborative, equitable practice that centers those who will be impacted by the design process and outcomes.


who i work with

I align myself with people, organizations and communities who:

  • care about personal and collective wellbeing.

  • understand the power of community agency.

  • invest in deep change and transformation.

  • center community members directly impacted by the issues.

  • commit to designing a more just and compassionate future.

what my offerings include

As a collaborative consultant, I work in the areas of, but not limited to:

  • Co-Design Facilitation

  • Design-Led Research

  • Healing-Centered Engagement Strategies

  • Meaningful Experience Design

  • Community Building + Engagement

  • Design Mentorship + Advisement

what my process involves

To mindfully address deep challenges within a community, my process is organic and looks like:

  • Building Connection + Understanding

  • Conducting Participatory Research

  • Co-creating Concepts

  • Developing Possibilities

  • Activating Ideas + Celebrating Progress

  • Reflecting + Iterating



Project topic issues include:

Reducing Underage Drinking, Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore + Oliver Youth
Creating Smoke-free Homes Healthiair Intervention, Baltimore City Health Department
Building Graduate Connections, MICA Grad Orientation 2017
Discovering Goals + Visions, MA Social Design Program
Amplifying Our Creative Power for Community Transformation, USDAC Decatur Imagining
Mindful Social Practice, MA Social Design Program



It has been my distinct pleasure to work with Denise over the past year in the development and implementation of the HealthiAir program. Her insights and creativity in approaching social challenges were exciting to witness, but it was her focus and dedication to the humanity of her work that was truly inspiring. At every stage she ensured that our top priority was always respect and tangible support for the people that we endeavored to serve, and she never accepted less from any collaborators or students. That level of integrity is a rarity, even in public health, but Denise never wavered in these ideals.
Baltimore Collegetown partnered with Denise to review and update the reflection journal used during our immersive, engagement program, Collegetown Underground. Reflection is a critical component of the experience for 30 college students who spend four days learning about and exploring Baltimore’s neighborhoods. Denise carefully reviewed previous versions of the journal, added thoughtful questions meant to inspire students, and suggested additional opportunities for group reflection beyond a personal journal. It was clear Denise put herself in the mind of a student and from a place of empathy offered useful feedback.
Denise exhibits not only talent and creativity, but also extraordinary self-motivation, enthusiasm and determination for her work. Her capability and dedication are outstanding, her interest and sincerity inspiring. Carefully navigating the attenuated line between public and private, intimate and environment, her work re-frames our experience with the everyday in essential yet unexpected ways, restructuring places, objects and relationships that are marginalized or taken for granted, leaving us with the gift of the unconcealed. Denise’s quiet energy, conscientious practice, dedication and constant inquiry are critical and supportive, and contribute to the development of new methods for study and work without condescension.
— thomas, mica center for social design

Reach out about Design Strategy
+ Collaborative Work

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