Vincent Purcell

Social Impact Designer & Maker


Baltimore BOOM! Academy

BOOM! Academy is a prototype curriculum that brings the next generation of tools and technology to disinvested communities. It engages young adults to learn building block skills to entering the information economy relevant and interesting to them.

It is an East Baltimore focused program that works to teach and support technology-related entrepreneurship to young adults ages 18-30 who are hard to employ or at high risk of poverty. We partner with existing resident-led initiatives to expand their programming by hosting workshops in the communities we are trying to reach. We connect technology careers to populations that have been excluded from the information revolution. By connecting advanced high-tech skills directly to monetization, we hope to spark new economic development within historically disadvantaged communities, led by residents themselves.


High-technology careers account for massive amounts of investment and growth worldwide, yet people who need this economic development most are unable to access it. In many Baltimore communities, there is little access and no support for high-tech learning. Worst of all, many define success as being able to leave the city.


We layer in technology education with existing community groups and demonstrate the economic potential of learning high tech skills. By showing how little resources it actually takes to do, we hope to generate profits to benefit the individual, but also provide incentives to stay and help rebuild our community from within.

Learn about the workshop series by watching this short video about BOOM! Academy.

Learning by doing from the start: at the beginning of the workshop, each participant learned and taught each other how to use a Kinect sensor to create a 3D scan of each other.

Two participants who'd never seen a 3D printer before this workshop, watched our 3D printer create an object during the workshop.

Upon completion of the introduction to 3D fabrication workshop, every participant received a certificate and a 3D printed medallion to take home.

Outside Links
Ashoka Changemakers
Design Ignites Change
Shapeways Storefront



My work spans many media from digital video, print design, interactive media, digital fabrication, and design facilitation. Below is a selection of recent projects completed in the past few years.

Clients & Partners


I am focused on developing strong relationships between community-led design efforts and organizations supporting socially-driven work. I love technology and media, and have partnered and worked with organizations around the country, including Gensler, Yale Center for Engineering Innovation, the Maryland Institute College of Art, Whole Foods Market, and the University of Kentucky. Please get in contact with me if you are interested in collaborating or hiring me to consult on your creative social impact projects.


What I Do

I am currently a candidate for Master of Arts in Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art. My thesis research looks at scalable and viable models for social enterprises that leverage the booming technology industry to empower people living in disadvantaged areas. Currently I am working to bring together my interests in social impact design and technology entrepreneurship to foster cross-sector relationships that maximize social return on investment.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Media Arts and Studies from the University of Kentucky. As a hacker and a maker, I'm interested in the application of computer science and digital fabrication technology in social impact design.

Design Thinking & Facilitaton

Design thinking is more than a buzzword– I specialize in how to apply design thinking to real world projects and facilitate processes from ideation to completion.

Creative Consulting

I can talk to engineers, to non-profits, architects and every discipline inbetween. I am passionate about how new technology impacts the way we work and live.

Multimedia Design

I have worked in a variety of disciplines from community organizing, graphic design, digital fabrication, videography and computer programming.


Say hello!

If you are in the Baltimore area and want to explore, or just interested in collaborating in a socially-engaged project, send me a note and say hello!

M.A. Social Design Research Blog

Please keep current with my research and work in Baltimore through my research blog:

M.A. Social Design Class

Find out more about the Master of Arts in Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art:

Drop Me A Line
(+1) 859 420-2437
Baltimore, MD

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