We are always experimenting and testing ways to deepen our students' understanding of design. Here you'll find some resources and tools we've gathered and created along the way.

In honor of the local public libraries we grew up with, we borrowed the public library moniker because we love what they represent—open access to knowledge, a place of growth, and room to serve our community.

We’ve organized our library around a couple themes. We believe that navigating ambiguity is an essential ability in creative work especially when the context we design in continues to shift. Also, there is a breadth of scholarly research that suggests some answers to the questions we’re often asked about design. We’ve surfaced and summarized these articles to share what we know—and what is not yet known—about how design works.

Inside, you’ll find that our digital libraries are filled with links. Actual links—to online resources—and metaphorical links—to insights from the past and to domains beyond design. We take delight in, and are humbled by, the endless insight that emerges from these links to work being done in the world. We hope you are too.

*Most of the resources or readings are free to download or view online. Even so, some links do feature papers, articles, or media that sit behind a paywall. While we can’t claim to have captured all the nuances of each study or work of art in a few sentences, we do hope our summaries give you a good feeling for the works even when you are unable to access the full article or media. Many can be accessed through your local or school libraries—we encourage you to take a look.

We are looking to add freely accessible sources that don’t violate copyright when possible. If you find one for any of the readings or resources, please let us know


Overall Public Library

Website design:
Vicky Chung and Alex Tapper

Website development:
Alex Tapper

Homepage illustration:
Daniel Frumhoff

Copy editing:
Samantha Pinney

Library of Ambiguity

Concept development & direction:
Kelly Schmutte

Design research & support:
Tessa Forshaw

For feedback on our various prototypes and input on our point of view and purpose:
Carissa Carter, Megan Stariha, Mark Grundberg, and Seamus Yu Harte from the Teaching & Learning team.
Sam Siedel, Director of K-12 Strategy and Research, along with many other educators in the's K-12 network.

Design Questions Library

Concept development & direction:
Sarah Stein Greenberg, Scott Doorley

Carolina Perez

Illustrations and Animations:
Radostina Georgieva

Digital Prototyping:
Andrew Molina

Copy editing:
Sundai Johnson

For sharing their expertise as we culled through the plethora of research:
Pam Hinds, Professor and Director of the Center on Work, Technology, and Organization in the Department of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
Liz Gerber, Associate Professor of Design at Northwestern U. and Faculty Founder of Design For America
Bob Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering / Professor of Organizational Behavior (by courtesy), Stanford University
Michael Barry, Lecturer and Adjunct Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, Co-Director of the University Innovation Fellows, Stanford  
Chris Adkins, Executive Director of the Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership
Justin Berg, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford GSB
Neeraj Satish Sonalkar, Sr Research Engineer, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
Xiao Ge, Design Researcher, Stanford University
Ade Mabogunje, Sr Research Engineer, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
Adam Royalty, Designer-in-Residence at Columbia Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Design
Maryanna Rogers, Design Researcher
Susie Wise, Learning and Organizational Experience Designer / Design Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Playworks
Grace Hawthorne, Adjunct Professor, Stanford
Anja Svetina Nabergoj, Lecturer, Stanford
Thomas Both, Director of the Designing for Social Systems Program, Stanford

For feedback on our various prototypes and input on our point of view and purpose:
Drew Endy, Fiorenza Micheli, James A. Landay, Jay Hamilton, Jennifer Dionne, Jeremy Weinstein, John Mitchell, John Dabiri, Kate Maher, Michele Elam, Nicole Ardoin, Rob Reich, Sarah Soule