Rachel Abrams is the Principal of Turnstone Consulting, New York. Founded in 2006, Turnstone makes organizations, public places and digital spaces legible, visible, navigable, to improve civil society by design.
At Turnstone, she has co-edited Roads Forward, a seminal study on New York’s taxi services, rebranded the Queens Museum, served as graphic facilitator to the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly Sustainable Development Summit, and as special advisor to Walk NYC, the New York Department of Transportation’s citywide way-finding program, among other projects.
She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a former fellow of the Design Trust for Public Space, the Municipal Arts Society at Rockefeller, Bellagio, and the Open Society Foundations US Program’s Technology and Future of Work initiative. As a Board member of AIGA New York, she conceived its Design/Relief response to superstorm Sandy.
Rachel is on the faculty of the Products of Design MFA program at the School of Visual Arts, where she has taught since 2009. Between 2007-9, she taught at NYU in the Interactive Telecommunications Program.
Rachel’s writing on the social impact of design and technology, and her business illustrations have appeared in over 25 international publications. She regularly gives talks and interviews about Turnstone work, locally and internationally.
Before founding Turnstone, Rachel worked as a strategic designer with IBM and Imagination in New York, and in London, for the BBC, The Economist and the UK Parliament. She is a graduate of Cambridge University (Social and Political Sciences) and the Royal College of Art, UK (Computer-Related [Interaction] Design).
Since 2006, she has taken two breaks from Turnstone, first to work with PentaCityGroup on Walk NYC and later, to lead strategic design at Arup, New York. She returned to independent consulting at Turnstone Consulting in 2021.