Newlab advances technologies that support the health of our planet.

We act as a facilitator, connector, and translator for our community of experts and innovators, helping to build, test, and scale world-changing ideas through investment, venture building, and structured collaboration with industry and government partners.

Recently named Fast Company’s Design Company of the Year, Newlab opened in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2016, transforming what was once a naval machine shop into an 84,000 square foot center for applied innovation. Today, Newlab is home to over 200 companies, more than 900 entrepreneurs, and domain experts – all working together to apply transformative technologies to the world’s most pressing challenges. To date, Newlab has helped its member companies raise over $450M in capital, with over $400M of successful exits, and a collective valuation of over $2.8B. This fall, Newlab will open its second flagship location as part of Ford’s $1B mobility innovation district in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit.


Newlab seeks a strong Design Strategy Lead to join the Detroit based team! You are an implementer of Newlab’s design approach and are known as a creative problem solver.  You apply strategic thinking in new ways and know how to distill best practices from experience. You will run workshops, lead research, build a strong narrative to support the applied innovation team in articulating challenges, shaping projects and delivering successful pilot projects with startups.  We work to bring Challenges and Projects to life through collaborative research, pilot concept creation, and speculative design.  You’ll work on applying systems-level thinking and delivering generative research to inform innovation opportunities and technology development across Newlab’s themes of Mobility, Energy and Materials..  Ready to help us uncover some of the most creative solutions to the complex challenges of our time and play a part in bringing them to fruition? ? Apply to join the Newlab team!  

Key Responsibilities

Conduct Design Research and Support Strategy

  • Manage research workstream for specific projects by building research plans, managing weekly progress, and engaging with advisors 
  • Run key interviews with lead stakeholders and users –  from outreach, to discussion guide development, interviews and synthesis, own the process of generating and gathering interview data
  • Conduct desktop research and literature review – sourcing relevant content, highlighting major trends, and recognizing patterns relevant to the topics Newlab is pursuing
  • Oversee research analyst(s) to build an ecosystem level of understanding by identifying companies, experts, research and investments relevant to a specific sector or industry
  • Collaborate with counterparts in program management to manage deliverables, meetings and presentations to external partners 
  • Lead internal workshopping sessions and meetings to keep program managers and directors on a given project up to date, and collaborate on reviewing insights and prioritizing opportunities 
  • Support the development of new research strategies and methodologies at Newlab in collaboration with Product Design Directors and leadership.

Develop Visual Content and Storytelling Tools

  • Develop decks, illustrations and other visual frameworks for internal and external use with stakeholders that synthesizes research, insights and convey opportunities across Newlab themes that can leverage frontier tech
  • Support narrative development and visuals to guide startup pilot projects and share outs 

Design and Execute Workshops 

  •  Use design-thinking methodologies to design and execute virtual and in-person workshops, brainstorms and impromptu working sessions
  • Develop templates and best practices that can be disseminated to the department and used to guide future workshop development

 Apply Insights to Support Pilot Projects

  • Work with project management peers to support startups in designing and deploying solutions, specifically connecting the challenges and identified needs to measurable project KPIs.


  • 5+ years of experience working in a design consultancy or as part of an in-house design and innovation group 
  • Background in Industrial Design, Interaction Design or Design Research and Strategy 
  • Experience with systems-level design challenges that include collaborating with technical teams, i.e. engineers and technologists
  • Strong track record of delivering engaging and thoughtful work to clients or in-house senior leadership
  • Prior exposure to frontier technologies such as robotics, A.I, synthetic biology and connected systems, to solve “tough tech” challenges in categories including energy, mobility and materials
  • Prior experience running successful workshops with clients 

Compensation & Benefits

  • Competitive salary $100 -130K target commensurate with experience
  • Equity in Newlab
  • Employer sponsored Medical & Dental insurance
  • Generous paid time off 
  • Professional development stipend
  • Access to array of add on insurance options (Accident, Vision, Life, etc)
  • Generous Parental Leave 

We at Newlab are committed to providing equal opportunity and embracing diversity.    We are an equal opportunity employer that strives to go beyond the bare minimum of buzz words to actually make decisions based on individual qualifications, job requirements and business needs, while championing diversity and inclusivity. This begins with hiring. We’re committed to expanding our reach to as diverse a candidate pool as possible. Part of holding ourselves accountable is collecting information to measure those efforts. We ask that you please support us in this regard by completing our EEOC survey. There is no obligation to complete this survey, but doing so would help us uphold our values, and would be greatly appreciated. All of the responses are anonymized; the only information we receive is a summary of candidate responses.