Photo 3Hello from DFA UC Berkeley and sunny California!

This year, we started working in our permanent studio space at the Cal Design Lab. We love having a studio filled with prototyping materials and plenty of whiteboard space! We honed our surveying skills by going out into the community and interviewing the homeless. We brushed up on our grant-writing skills by entering the Big Ideas at Berkeley competition. We tested our prototypes at UC Berkeley’s annual open house, Cal Day. We showcased our work to students, faculty, investors, and designers at Design Fest. We formed partnerships with other design organizations on campus, such as Design Engineering Collaborative (DEC) and Berkeley Innovation (BI).

Our main project this year was ULoop, a U lock equipped with an alarm for your bike. We noticed that bike theft was a huge problem for our campus and other college campuses across the country. We noticed that while U locks were known to be the most secure type of lock for bikes, very few of such locks were equipped with a sensory component, and none combined strength and alarm capabilities in a satisfactory manner. Check out our display board (shown at Design Fest 2013) for this project, as well as a biography of all team members for the ULoop project, below!

Our studio leads for next year will be Ray Hou, Shannon Cherayil, Tina Tan, and Gary Duan!

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Photo 1: A joint workshop with Sami Nerenberg, Director of Operations for Design for America, DFA UC Berkeley, and Design Engineering Collaborative (DEC).

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Photo 2: The ULoop team prototyping their lock!

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Photo 3: Future studio leads Ray Hou and Tina Tan manning our table at the 2013 Cal Day.