Becoming a DFA studio is no easy task. Students must demonstrate interest from a large set of interdisciplinary students, get a faculty advisor on board, start assessing needs in their community by doing at least 5 interviews with strangers off-campus, organize a 2 hour workshop with at least 20 attendees, do a one-month project, make a video of said one-month project and wrap-up with an interview. WHOAH!!  After months of work, we are proud to announce the newest studios to the DFA network!!


UC Davis

UC Davis got an early start with their workshop held in January. They made some great progress within their one-month project, but what really impressed us was that they didn’t stop there. After their first project, they spent the spring term working on another project to reduce water use during recreational activity among the heat to provide safe play for all families. They’ve got a strong leadership group and growing support from faculty and administration on campus.

How can we improve bike-safety on campus?


Spearheaded by Johns Hopkins & Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), students from throughout Baltimore have been getting involved with this start-up DFA campus.With active members and interest from Goucher College Stevenson University, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Loyola University Maryland, and University of Maryland these guys embody what we mean when we use the word interdisciplinary. Their interesting joint MBA/MA in Design Leadership also caught our attention and we were thrilled to see the amount of faculty support behind DFA even in this start-up phase. After doing their interviews with community members off-campus, they came to more deeply recognize the history of the region and the stigma it still carries in the public media. Therefore their project addressed the question:

How can we improve the public perception of Baltimore? 


After starting an application last school year, we were thrilled to see Duke re-apply, and with great fervor! Duke had a tremendous turn-out for their workshop and their passionate bunch of students took no pause in celebrating the potential DFA could have on their campus. With a nascent design and innovation community on campus, we are excited to bring on Duke to see what type impact students can make in their community on and off campus.

How can we decrease the number of times people accidentally leave their lights on and waste energy? 


Centered in Houston, Texas, DFA Rice applicants wasted no time jumping into one of the biggest local issues: alternative transportation. Focusing on bicycling on campus, the team looked for a small change where they could make a big impact within their one-month project. With an interdisciplinary group of passionate students and nearby access to a bustling city, Rice is ripe to launch a DFA studio on their campus.

How can we make properly locking bikes easier and more intuitive to reduce the risk of bike-theft? 


Check out our expanding network and try to identify the new pins!

Don’t have a DFA studio on your campus? Sign-up here to apply next year!