Simplifier. Storyteller. Avid sketcher. Designer. and Art Center alumna. Colombian. Entrepreneur. Former auto mechanic. Animal lover.




Using a variety of design research methods, I spend weeks getting to know your target market—their needs, their hopes and their fears—and translating this research into actionable insights and opportunities.


Need to redesign a service? Create an experience? Build a new product? Or a new banking product? No problem. Let's work together to brainstorm, prototype and build our way to the solution. I am a maker and builder of prototypes and crafty little things that can give us lots of useful information.



I’m as much a teacher as I am a designer, and I include my partners in every step of the design process. Want your teams to be more creative? Need to learn how to do user-centered research? Need help getting “unstuck”? As much as I love doing HCD, I love teaching it too. 



With an in-depth focus on social innovation, Mariana Prieto uses design thinking as a tool to explore innovative solutions for complex social issues such as family planning for teenagers in Zambia or creating credit systems for the unbanked. As a teacher, strategist, and product designer, Mariana has leveraged design as a tool to inform and iterate upon existing systems around the world.

Prieto was the Design Innovation Lead for the International Rescue Committee where she led design for the organization’s newest initiative, the Airbel Center. Airbel is tasked with designing and testing large-scale solutions for people affected by crisis, such as war and natural disasters. 

Previously she was a Global Design Fellow at and Co Founder of Blue Barrel Concepts, where she led research and market viability on concepts aimed at improving the quality of life for people without access to running water. She was a Fellow at Polymath Ventures, where she co-lead a team tasked to design companies meant to scale to over a billion dollars in Latin America. She currently works as an independent contractor for various organizations.

Prieto has taught at USC Marshall School of Business and has been a guest lecturer at Berkeley Haas School of Business, Stanford University and speaker at TEDxYouth@Caltech. She is currently a member of the Curious Company Collective

She now lives in New York with her husband and their bulldog, Cholula.