Purple Maiʻa

Ka Maka ʻĪnana

Take a deep dive into place-based design methods in this 12-week program

Design is the foundation that everything we see is built upon, from public service programs, to policy, to architecture, to emerging technologies. Ka Maka ʻĪnana seeks to inform the way we think about and practice design to embed equity and cultural grounding in all of the things that we create. On behalf of the Purple Maiʻa Foundation and the University of Hawaiʻi Office of Indigenous Innovation, we invite you to learn Place-based Design in a Hawaiian Context alongside a growing community of practice in Ka Maka ʻĪnana.
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Why you should join

  • Network with both designers and cultural knowledge holders to grow your design skill set
  • Enhance existing design thinking knowledge with new frameworks and perspectives that consider our local and indigenous context
  • Be part of a community of change-makers passionate for designing our future
  • Have an opportunity to use your design knowledge toward real community solutions as a part of the Ka Maka ʻĪnana Think Tank
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Curriculum Overview

Module 1

Context in Community

To build in community, it’s essential to understand the community’s history and culture. In this course participants will learn about both of these things in the context of Hawaiʻi. You will also look introspectively at yourself and share with others to gain an understanding of your role and positionality in our community.

Module 2

Primer on Design

Here participants are introduced to common design thinking frameworks and methods. By building an understanding of existing tools, participants will also learn about their shortcomings and how we can all move toward more equitable design practices.

Module 3

Principles and Ethics of Designing in Hawaii

In this final course, participants explore the intersection of the context established in the first course along with the frameworks and methods presented in the second course. Participants are presented traditional and contemporary Hawaiian design methods and stories from local community design leaders about their lived experiences as creatives in this intersection.

Join the Think Tank

At the end of this journey, we invite participants to put what they learned to practice as a part of the Ka Maka ‘Īnana Think Tank. Through Think Tank, alumni of Ka Maka ʻĪnana stay connected, continue learning, and turn their learnings into real world solutions.

Drop-in co-working hours at Hālau ʻĪnana

Connect with other alumni for a brainstorm session or hop in one of our call booths to take a meeting.

Office Hours with the Mālama team

Reserve time with our team to talk through ways you can level up whatever you’re working on.

Skills building workshops

Join an alumni led skills building workshop on anything from using figma to grant writing.

Community design jams

Put your learnings to work in service of community-based orgs. Support their efforts to craft solutions to the key challenges they face.

Panels and speakers

Sit in on talk story sessions with people across industries whose work touches on design and local communities.


Connect with others passionate about design and place-based work

Who are we looking for?

Ka Maka ʻĪnana is open to anyone interested in problem-solving for social & environmental good using place-based design. Whether you’re a seasoned designer hoping to incorporate more equity focused methods or someone who is just learning about design for the first time, we welcome you to apply.

Participant Expectations

  • All Ka Maka ʻĪnana participants are expected to join weekly virtual workshops on Zoom from 4:30-6pm on Wednesdays.
  • Since weekly meetings are online, it’s highly recommended that participants have access to a computer and stable internet connection.

Applications open 1/17 – 2/24. Cohort 5 Participants will be admitted by 3/1.

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