Adam Niederpruem

Adam is a lifelong learner with a penchant for chicken wings, designing education programs, and making up songs.

Adam’s projects have spanned a variety of roles, but share common threads. He wants to give others (and himself) permission to be creative, be resourceful, and have better relationships with others and our environment. The result is most often a life-changing or life-affirming experience. Adam uses his background in behavior change, education, and entertainment to design these experiences.

He joins AC4D after working at the intersection of education and public health in Austin for the past eight years. Previously, he ran a youth improv comedy program, AP Comedy, and has lived and taught in Japan and Tanzania. Recently, his work has revolved around implementing environmental and health programs into schools through creative means. Adam joins AC4D in an effort to ground his practice with more structure, greater precision, in a team setting.

Adam is passionate about family, free nationwide Pre-K education, the Buffalo Bills, and de-politicizing issues with a “common ground” perspective. While he’s worried about his lack of formal design training, he’s pretty sure he can make it up to you with an 8-hour red sauce and a bowl of pasta.

You can see his work at

Recent blog posts

Impending Insights: Audio Reflections on our Client

Susi Brister, Kelsey Greathouse, and myself recorded a podcast to describe our insights for our design research client, Recycled Reads. We dive into our insights, the client reaction, and lessons learned.

Be Advised: Researching in Unknown Territory

Greetings, AC4D blog reader. You may have heard the penchant for ambitious projects at this school. You heard correct. The latest topic and mission will be with us through April 2019- college persistence and completion. Our focus is how advisors create a meaningful relationship with their advisees. In other words, we’re researching how people talk with one another. Or,…

How’d you get your values?

Here’s a quick profile of my values: 40% Catholic Golden-rule centered ethics Heavily family influenced American, but not fervently patriotic Belief in the dignity and possibilities of humankind Broad, sure. But I’ve been trying harder to analyze my particular values this last week of our Theory course. This is because as we read from the…

Recycled Reads: Themes from the Field

Introduction Recycled Reads is our team’s client during the first half of our AC4D year. Recycled Reads is a used bookstore within the Austin Public Library (APL). It’s an affordable resource for the community providing 25 cent kids’ books, $1 paperbacks and $2 hardcover books, among other materials. While the store is packed with formerly…

A Designer’s Carol: An Early Christmas Story

A Designer’s Carol is my attempt to synthesize the writings of seven design thinkers into a narrative comic strip. I will not be present for a live presentation of tonight’s work with my classmates. In planning, I knew I would need to create a narrative where a fellow student could simply press “play”. I recommend watching…

Week 4 Reflection: Lessons from the Marshmallow Kid

Teaching Improv Comedy  For five of eight years of living in Austin, improv comedy was a significant part of my life and work. I ran a youth program, “AP Comedy” for the New Movement Theater (currently the Fallout Theater) and performed regularly as a musical improviser. Improv and its training of action over deliberation has many useful life lessons, but it wasn’t…

The Practical Maverick: A Design Research Coaster

I do not recommend riding the rollercoaster in the diagram below.  Instead, view the coaster in terms of our latest assignment for our AC4D Theory class. We were assigned to create a 2×2 axis which represents eight different design professionals point of view on the topic of design research. I chose to rank and group…

Week 3 Reflection: So Damn Lucky

I’m lucky. Fortunate. Privileged, also, but I’ll get to that in a future post. I’m lucky to be a student at 34 years of age and feel as my best future work is ahead of me. That’s in spite of the ups and downs of AC4D’s intensive program, and the nature of working in a…

A Mixed Drink and a Mixed Bag: Week Two Reflection

The following is an audio reflection on AC4D’s Week Two from Adam, Christina, and Catherine.

Ancient Human Needs: Five Thinkers on Design

In the sixty-two years between 1928 and 1990, there was no shortage of public intellectuals who argued about what humans should achieve or how we should reach those ends. Our first assignment for Design, Society, and the Public Sector involved reading works by five different figures, all influential in either public relations, education, or design.…

Trustfall: Week 1 Reflections from Cristina & Adam

Have a listen to our audio reflection from an intense Week 1 at AC4D.

We are Feral Design Researchers

There’s a problem with unneutered pets. Cats and dogs who aren’t sterilized are prone to jumping on the next attractive thing that comes their way. Our first team assignment for the One Year Course at Austin Center for Design made us feel like a trio of feral creatures. In the course of 48 hours, Kelsey,…

Better Late Than Never

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