Joanne Cheung 张涓 teaches at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University School of Engineering and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. She previously served as a Director at the global design firm IDEO, leading its Racial Justice Impact Fund and a portfolio of social impact programs with partners including Project Drawdown, City of San José Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Knight Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She has been a Fellow at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and the American Association of University Women. Her work has been exhibited internationally and featured in Wallpaper, Wired, Fast Company, and the New York Times Magazine. Joanne holds a M.Arch from Harvard Graduate School of Design, a MFA from Bard Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, and a BA from Dartmouth College, where she was a Davis UWC Scholar.  

ProjectsGlossary, CV ︎  ︎  @joannekcheung


I believe design has a moral responsibility to human and planetary health—and design practice is now at a pivotal moment for reinvention. Take cities as an example. The adoption of the steel-reinforced concrete 150 years ago gave cities their iconic skylines but burdens the planet with a colossal carbon footprint: buildings currently generate nearly 40% of global carbon emissions with 8% coming from the cement industry alone, and the demand for buildings continues grow alongside rapid urbanization. This is an unsustainable path. To decarbonize at the scale and speed urged by the IPCC, we must fundamentally transform why we design, what we design, and how we design within the next 10 years—this is what motivates me as a designer. The question I’m investigating these days is inspired by a research paper from Nature Sustainability, “Buildings as a global carbon sink”: Instead of being carbon sources, what if cities could become carbon sinks? I spend my time researching technological innovations in carbon sink materials like mass timber, studying climate policy and forest management reforms, and thinking about how the creative community can wield its collective ingenuity to meet the shared responsibility of climate change.

Lecturer, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University School of EngineeringHaas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Strategy Advisor, Institute for Rebooting Social Media at Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
Mentor, Accelerator.
Member, Zebras Unite, Cultural Evolution SocietyAnthropocene Curriculum, Sustainable Economies Law Center, Design Justice Network
Previous: IDEO, RadicalxChange, Institute for Quantitative Social Science, AAUWThe Jewish Museum, EyebeamPerforma Biennial.


“Upstreaming Health”, a social impact design course on human and planetary health.

“Designing the Future: Climate Change”, an MBA course on climate innovation. 

The Anthropocene Guide to Venice, Wetlands Books (forthcoming).
Real Estate Politik: Democracy and the Financialization of Social Networks, Journal of Social Computing.
Policy Prototyping for the Future of Work, Harvard Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
First Mile Health, IDEO Journal.

Global Meeting on Law and Society, ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon, 2022 (forthcoming).
The Tower and the Park, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, 2022.
Anthropocene Campus Venice, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2021.
Novartis Biome Summit, 2021. 
Interface Women’s Summit, 2021.
Data Governance Design Conference, Duke Center on Law & Technology, 2019.
SocialxDesign, Harvard Business School, 2019.
Honoring All Expertise: Social Responsibility and Ethics in Tech, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, 2018.
Role/Play: Collaborative Creativity, National Academy of Sciences, 2018.
ArtTechPsyche III, Digital Arts & Humanities at Harvard University, 2017.
The Future of Urban Innovations, Harvard Reischauer Institute, 2016.
Fukuoka Next: Urban Innovation Forum, Fukuoka Mayor’s Office & Kyushu University, 2016.


The Technology Future We Want: Imagining Positive Futures for Social Media, Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, 2021.

Social Media as a Crisis Discipline, Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, 2021.

InfluencexDesign Conference, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2018.