Divergent Design Studios

Helping neurodivergent people design lives that really work

Welcome! We'd love to have you join us in DDS ❤️ 🌀.

We are freaks and misfits, young and old, trans and queer, disabled and disenfranchised—but also mystics and makers, artists and activists, seers and healers. 

For almost three years now, we have been meeting multiple times a week to create art (or just get shit done!) together in body doubling sessions which we call Studio Time, and most importantly, for peer support sessions that feel very much like coming home. 

Together we have created a space where time operates differently, where the monstrous and dysfunctional become the norm, where gentle loving patience disrupts shame, and where we have learned that our longing for a sense of rootedness can also be rhizomic, spreading laterally far and wide, and that “online friendships” are every bit as “real” as “brick and mortar” ones. 

Our DDS community spreads from Australia to India to Africa to Europe to the British Isles and Ireland and to every time zone across the United States and Canada.

Wherever you're from, welcome! 

DDS offers an online (but off social media) community forum on the Mighty Networks platform with no algorithm and no ads for conversations, sharing, and seeking support. Sometimes these forums are more active than others, but the beating heart of DDS is our many weekly Zoom Events.

Free with your membership:

  • Three weekly peer support groups, including group and 1:1 Listening Turns formats

  • Bi-weekly peer support groups in the Somatics Lab, the Small Business Lab, and the Writer's Room

  • Almost daily 2-hour Studio Time sessions (aka body doubling or co-working) + pop-up sessions 

  • Occasional workshops about all sorts of topics of interest to our members, and artist salons that showcase the creative talent of DDS members

When you Join us—

There is no such thing as being late or leaving early and you will never be called on to introduce yourself. 

Feel free to leave your camera and mic off and observe as long as you like. 

If you'd like a sense of the values and norms that guide our time together at DDS, these are the guiding values we read at the opening of every Peer Support session:

Peer Support Guiding Values:

• We value all ways of showing up and sharing: camera on, camera off, verbally, in the chat. There is no need to share at all, just by being present we're all part of the space and supporting each other.

• If you would like your message in the chat to be read aloud, simply add that to your share. If you want to speak but the conversation is moving very fast or you're having trouble jumping in, raise your hand and the facilitator will invite you to speak.

• We value silence. If there is a natural pause after someone shares, it means that people are processing, thinking, gathering their own share, or typing in the chat. It never means that you said something wrong or awkward. People may also jump in immediately. That's all part of the natural ebb and flow of the conversation.

• There is no being late or leaving early. Feel free to come and go whenever, no need to explain or apologize, or to che3ck out before leaving.

• There is a weekly topic that serves as a starting point for shares. From there we spiral out and the conversation evolves naturally. Tangents and sidetracks are welcomed and encouraged.

• We are peers: we leave the professional "hats" we might wear at the door. We do not speak from a place of authority and we do not give advice, although it is always appropriate to share what has worked for us in our own lives.


Why do you charge a fee for memberships?

Our expenses as a group include paying for our Mighty Networks plan, Zoom, and most significantly, paying members for their labor in hosting various Peer Support groups. Our budget is extremely small and no one is making a living, much less getting rich, from DDS membership fees.

How does the sliding scale work?

We are committed to accessibility at DDS, including financial accessibility. Our sliding scale is no-questions-asked, but we ask that you make your decision based on the understanding that $29/month is the value of the membership and that the lower priced plans are meant to make DDS accessible to people who are living with significant financial insecurity. If you are not sure about the value of DDS, we do offer a two week free trial period before you will ever be billed!

If even $9/month is beyond your means right now, email Marta at [email protected] and we will figure out how to make it possible for you to join. We won't turn anyone away who is unable to pay for membership.

Do I need to have a neurodivergent diagnosis to join?

No. Anyone can join, as long as you understand that neurodivergence is normative and honored in this space.

Do I have to be a designer, artist, or some sort of creative?

No. (Well, we would argue that if you are alive, you are probably all of those things, but you don't need to self-identify as such.)

I don't have a credit card, can I pay with PayPal or Venmo?

We can only take a credit card through this site, but in a pinch, we can work something out for you if you email Marta at [email protected].

Can I cancel my membership any time?

Yes! And it's really easy. You will get an email each month informing you that your membership is about to renew, and that email will tell you how you can cancel.