The Work Department is a women-led design & strategy firm based in Detroit who delivers worldwide impact. We do more than just make stuff look good. We lead collaborations that build stronger communities and drive organizational growth. We deliver powerful outcomes by blending design and inclusive engagement into one smart and effective package.
People are at the center of our world. We make the complex more accessible and improve the way your team works. Whether you’re a multimillion-dollar business or serving the public sector, success hinges on smarter process design: creating more collaborative management and easier to understand operations.
Since 2008, we’ve had the opportunity to work with and strengthen over 40 local and national, public and private entities. We bring decades of experience in inclusive design methods to facilitate social innovation and manage complex communities undergoing change.
Our core team is based in Detroit, Michigan.
Libby Cole, Partner
Libby is a multi-disciplinary designer whose work prioritizes people, their access to information, and the translation of complex ideas. She is also the founder and owner of I Miss You Already, a handcrafted line of screen-printed goods sold online and in boutiques across the US and Canada. Libby’s work with clients both big and small along with her past experience in teaching, illustration, and traditional media makes for smart, iconic visuals.
Nina Bianchi, Partner
Nina focuses on identifying opportunities, cultivating relationships, and building partnerships both locally and internationally. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), an economic development organization. She’s also the co-founder of OmniCorpDetroit and Detroit Digital Justice Coalition as well as an alumna of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy Leadership Advancement Program. Drawn to complex systems, she is dedicated to unlocking more ways that people can learn, grow, and shape the future together.
Meg Heeres, Project Manager
Meg works collaboratively to maintain communication between our clients, designers, and developers to help realize the full potential of projects and organizations. Her own studio art practice is also collaborative, as she engages with the audience through interactive artworks and experiential pieces that she has exhibited throughout the United States and beyond. Meg is passionate about facilitating spaces where people can uncover and develop their creative process.
Fatema Boxwala, Designer
Fatema designs processes and products that are informed by project stakeholders and her desire to create solutions that transcend aesthetics. She especially enjoys creating and facilitating experiences that authentically engage people in decision-making. Fatema is a lifelong student, always seeking opportunities to expand her analytical and creative skills.
Libby Bogner, Designer
Libby brings an empathetic approach to design. She believes good design is developed by creating solutions that are accessible to communities through process, language, and lateral thinking. She thrives on working in collaborative environments with peers who share core values in design and social innovation.
Denise McGeen, Project Manager
Denise is a seasoned project manager who brings experience in business development and operational planning. She also serves as president of the board of directors for the Michigan Historic Preservation Network. Everyday she applies her background in historic preservation and local history to her passion for community revitalization and believes good design is crucial to an equitable future for cities.
Meghan Sweet, Web Developer
Meghan is a web developer and works together with our clients to plan, build, and maintain long-term and flexible solutions. She is also a co-organizer of the annual BADCamp conference, the world’s largest free Drupal event. Meghan believes in open-source web development and the impact quality software and good technology has on growing capacity within an organization or business.
We believe in partnerships and often collaborate with a network of designers and developers. In recent years, we have worked with:
- Eva Zielinski
- Bianca Ibarlucea
- Michael Gregor
- Nicole de Beaufort
- Benjamin Chodoroff
- Kat Hartman
- Geoff Hing
- Nicole Killian
- Una Lee
- Shar McLeod
- Adam Magaluk
- James McMullen
- Toni Moceri
- Nate Mullen
- Kikko Paradela
- Doug Reith
- Wesley Taylor