Open Hand Studio

Creating a tidal wave of impact

Ladder Alliance
CannonDesign helped The Ladder Alliance, a nonprofit that helps survivors of domestic violence and low-income women take steps toward self-sufficient, successful and independent lives, refresh their Success Store. The store is an area where graduates of Ladder Alliance programs can shop for professional outfits that help them feel empowered in job interviews and careers.

Social Sharing

We believe transformative design should be within reach to all individuals and communities.

That’s why we created Open Hand Studio more than 15 years ago. It’s CannonDesign’s public interest design arm — an embodiment of our firm’s purpose to help all people flourish. Guided by a heartfelt commitment to social good, it harnesses our expertise in design, research, advocacy and consulting to develop and scale transformative solutions that directly address crucial human needs. 

Through partnerships with nonprofits, foundations and cause-driven organizations, we use design to advance crucial areas such as education, health, economic development, racial and social equity, and beyond. We aim to not just create a ripple of improvement but a tidal wave of impact that can be scaled locally, regionally and globally, leaving an enduring legacy of meaningful change.

Open Hand Studio exists to design and scale solutions that address essential human needs.

With every project, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the individuals and communities we’re designing for, embracing their perspectives, aspirations and needs. Together, we forge solutions that carry profound significance — generating ideas and committing ourselves to crafting clear, actionable plans that bring them to life. 

Let’s do good together.

Open Hand Studio

If you're interested in exploring potential projects or collaborating with Open Hand Studio, reach out, and let's work together to design a future where flourishing knows no bounds.

Projects we’ve been honored to lead

We are so grateful for the partnerships and projects we've forged via Open Hand Studio across the country and around the world. Here's a look at some of our latest work.

Jamaa Birth Village
We've been fortunate to help Jamaa Birth Village in Ferguson, MO create an accessible safe haven for pregnant black women seeking doula and midwifery services. Now, we're helping the organization shape a postpartum retreat and care center. The projects are steps toward improving maternal health outcomes for black women and their babies.
Valley Settlement El Busesitos
We're working with Valley Settlement to reimagine their El Busesitos (mobile preschools) to be even more impactful for the children, teachers and families who rely on them. These mobile preschools bring invaluable learning and childcare to immigrant families across Colorado's Roaring Fork Valley.


  • It’s amazing to continue to see the impact of Open Hand Studio and also that the vision that we set forth 15 years ago I believe still resonates. I think that's a real affirming and helpful thing to consider — that one can create something that can endure if it's rooted in a really strong vision and is shepherded and stewarded by really passionate people.

    Ashley Marsh Founder, Open Hand Studio

Our past projects

  • Camp Huguenot
  • Neighborhood Design Center
  • Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis
  • Red Phoenix
  • Cook County Bond Court
  • Civic Consulting Alliance in Chicago
  • Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) LGBTQ+ Students Project