Starting in September 2011, students already started rolling in wanting to start their own DFA studio. With students from over 60 schools signing up to use design to create local and social impact, we’ve put them through a long and grueling process to choose our new studios for this year. They’ve had to secure interests from students across campus, get faculty involved, interview strangers off-campus, organize a starter workshop, conduct a one-month long design project, put together a video, and top-it off with an interview with our DFA Fellows. This was not your typical application essay and it has NOT been easy. Which is why we are prouder than ever to announce our new studios for this year. They are the 6 college campuses that have proven their commitment and leadership to running a Design for America studio on campus and we are excited to announce them today!! Check them out!

Below are the video clips each campus put together as part of their DFA application. Plus, these guys are already taking off with active groups online. Give them a click and say hello!

YALE! New Haven, CT

Yale impressed us with their progress made within just one month. The team found a very tangible challenge that they could access, did thorough research to understand insights into the problem, and created several prototypes to create a solution! They made the right connections with facilities to create implementation partners down the road and they are continuing on their project. We even learned that some of the team learned Arduino for this project. WOW!

Check them out on Facebook here and say hello! 

How can we reduce wasted heat energy in college dorms? 

University of Illinois! Urbana-Champaign, IL

UIUC, our headquarter’s neighbor did a great job of finding a daring need on campus. They went through the full design process to come up with a useful solution and have made a very compelling story to communicate their concept! The team is also very interdisciplinary with business majors, graphic designers, architects and more.

Check them out on Facebook here and say hello! 

How can we increase campus safety? 

UC Berkeley! Berkeley, CA

As a late entry, UC Berkeley wasted no time getting the ball rolling on their applications. This team not only prototyped and tested their solutions, but they’ve already started fundraising for their concept. They understand that DFA doesn’t just stop with a good idea. We loved watching this team move quickly and their dedication to implementation.

Check them out on Facebook and say hello! 

How can we reduce food waste in cafeterias?

Virginia Tech! Blacksburg, VA

This team really impressed us with their commitment to local issues. With several local community members in their starter-workshop, this team has stuck with the challenge of bike-safety which is near and dear to the community and the campus. After this video was completed, the team actually moved forwarded and created a series of signage to increase the ease of biking in town. They’ve already implemented and this team is already starting to see an impact in their community!

Check them out on Facebook and say hello! 

How can we improve the biking experience in Blacksburg?

Case Western! Cleveland, OH

Case Western was fearless. They went right out into the community and talked to as many people as possible. They looked for challenges within their community and cultivated new relationships. The team brought in students from neighboring schools to join their team so that they could have artists, designers, engineers, business majors and get everyone involved. Additionally, we were impressed with how much faculty support the studio was able to gather so quickly. With Case Western Business School’s focus on design, DFA should be a great fit for bringing students together and work on local and social projects.

Check out this fun clip of leader Sara Mesing after interviewing folks from the area! 

How can we help revitalize libraries in Cleveland?

Vanderbilt! Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt is bringing a very unique lens to DFA, which we are excited about. With the Peabody School of Education heavily involved, this team is bringing in new insights and new perspectives. We know how difficult it is to design meaningful change within the education realm and are really excited to see what this team comes up with. They were able to leverage their existing connections and look at new opportunities for where design and education can meet. We also really loved visiting Nashville and checking out all the country music!

Check them out on Facebook and say hello! 

How can we extend learning while commuting? 

We are so incredibly excited and honored to be growing the DFAmily! Check out all the current DFA studio locations on the map below!


View DFA National Studios! in a larger map

Stay tuned for more updates as DFA wraps up its first year of growth and gets ready for a new year!

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