AdvancedDesign (AD) is a community where designers can share, educate, learn, and connect. It is a place that supports students and professionals alike, from high schoolers to tenured designers with decades of experience. Through our Initiatives, AD explores a diverse range of topics including making, media, culture, and mental health, free of charge. With our headquarters in Chicago, AD additionally operates in San Francisco.

AD is driven by three words:

The backbone of AD is its community. We are inclusive and accessible for anyone who takes an interest in design. AD is here to connect with you.

What is innate to designers is their creativity. AD supports the work of human expression and in turn generates content that is forward thinking and remixes the old with the new.

AD celebrates design. It showcases leading designers and their work and champions the potential design has to impact people’s lives. We are positive, uplifting, and celebrate diverse voices.

Origin Story

Advanced Design was founded by Hector Silva in 2016. As a young educator and designer himself, Hector quickly saw many opportunities for improving education. There was a disconnect between the way design was taught in school and what was demanded of industry, however, against the behemoth of traditional academia, there is little power at the individual level. So, he took matters into his own hands, and Hector built a small team to begin to work to fill those gaps through practical hands-on workshops bringing together students and professionals. Fast forward five years, and AD has become a mainstay of design education—offering content that highlights excellence in industry, building diversity in the field, connecting designers through events and workshops, and through its most ambitious task to date, creating our own design school. Today, AD has over 30 members, advisors, and instructors across the US and continues to build its community base globally.

Commitment to Diversity

AD is committed to building diversity in design within its organization and through supporting those underrepresented excluded from design through systemic barriers. There are serious gaps in representation in the American design community. For example, Black designers make up only 1.5% of the industrial design community ( while representing 13.4% of the total population (US Census Bureau) or women who make up 25.4% of industrial designers ( while making up 50.8% of the population! (US Census Bureau). The core of our mission is to highlight these designers as role models to inspire young students, but also support students typically excluded from design conversations. At Offsite, we’ve built a BIPOC scholarship fund to totally fund the tuition of students with expressed financial need, and ensure our student body consists of a healthy mix across the race (65-72% BIPOC students) and gender spectrum (38-45% female or gender non-conforming). Our commitment to diversity runs deep within our own team, with a 100% minority-staffed Board of Directors and an even wider multicultural, multi-gendered team. Design is more inclusive for users when the industry is more inclusive for designers.


Founder & Director
Hector Silva

Board of Directors
Bethany Chan
Betuel Benitez
Dominic Montante
Active Members

Tiffany Do
Fiba Kelani
Chris Ference
Nino Panes
Taylor Mau
Maria Mu
Palmer Purcell
Nicholas Gallagher
Marcos Schneider

Offsite Instructors

Tyler Anderson
Kelly Custer
Michael DiTullo
Rebecca Goesling
Jack Marple
Dominic Montante
Spencer Nugent
Kat Reiser

© AdvancedDesign 2024
A 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization.
EIN# 82-1720724

Terms & Conditions

© AdvancedDesign 2024
A 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization.
EIN# 82-1720724