DFA is excited to share that we have two stellar new Fellows joining us for 2015-2016. Design for America Fellows help to develop and deliver human centered design learning materials to DFA members to empower students to create local and social change in our communities. Please join us in welcoming Allison and Catherine and learn all about them below!

Screenshot 2015-07-08 17.01.45Allison Chen 

BFA Industrial Design, Rhode Island School of Design 2015

Allison seeks to design for learning and play to help us better understand each other and the world around us. While an undergrad at RISD she co-led the DFA RISD|Brown studio 2014-2015, worked on STEAM learning tools, interned at various organizations, and helped build a solar-powered house. Children are her favorite users, and she enjoys designing for the inner child in all of us. She believes in the power of empathy and sticky notes to combat social inequalities in areas such as education, race, and gender, and hopes her work as a DFA Fellow and designer can contribute to this effort.

Past Work Experience:

  • Communications Coordinator – Solar Decathlon RISD/Brown/Erfurt
  • Graphic/Web Design Intern – The Providence Plan
  • Design Intern – Studio Dunn
  • Freelance Graphic Designer

Inspired by:

My teachers, my parents, and the boy who lived

What does being a leader of innovation mean to you?

Leaders believe in their team and innovators believe in something insane. Therefore I think leaders of innovation have that unique ability to mobilize and inspire people to change the tides and try something insane, preferably for the better of humankind, sometimes with some hiccups along the way, and always with a little pizazz.

What is your favorite DFA moment?

Facilitating studio critiques was always great because we got to hear all the progress teams had made and prompt thought-provoking conversations. I had the worst job though, because I had to time them and cut them off even though I just wanted them to keep talking.

What do you hope to achieve as a DFA Fellow?

Primarily, I hope to inspire and instill confidence in young designers and design thinkers. Through the countless all-nighters, harsh critiques, and last-minute slides making I want to be the Sam to their Frodo and help them through it (I can’t carry the design but I can carry you!). I also hope to identify avenues for social impact design, from education accessibility to race and gender equality, because I think designers can be activists and activists can be designers.

 

Screenshot 2015-07-08 17.01.51 Catherine Chung (CC)

B.S. Education and Social Policy & International Studies minor, Northwestern University

Known as “CC” among her DFA peers, Catherine hopes to use human centered design to aid underprivileged communities by finding and implementing sustainable solutions. Graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in Social Policy and a minor in International Studies, she believes that innovative work comes through interdisciplinary collaboration and active patience. CC has been involved with DFA since her freshmen year, and as a DFA Fellow, she hopes to be an empathetic supporter to help studios achieve their potential to become change makers in their own way.

Past Work Experience:

  • Center for Forced Migration Studies, Undergraduate Intern
  • AILA Pro-bono Project @ Artesia, New Mexico, Field Coordinator
  • International Rescue Committee @ Oakland, CA, Financial Literacy Intern

Inspired by:

Friends, Family, and Music. Good food helps (a lot)!

What does being a leader of innovation mean to you?

I believe that a great leader believes in the team’s potential and empowers others to become leaders too. The leader sees the white spaces of innovation and inspires others to join the bandwagon in designing the spaces together.

What is your favorite DFA moment?

My favorite DFA moment happened after the Midwest Meetup that I co-created in 2014. We brought 3 DFA studios from the Midwest region and 40 students together to think creatively about design and collaboration. Couple months after the event, the studio leads told me that the Meetup gave new members ownership of their own studio and the confidence to become leaders too!

What do you hope to achieve as a DFA Fellow?

I hope to foster strong connections among studios and members to create an active national community. The best thing about DFA is the people in the network and their individual stories. I’m excited to support all DFA members to find avenues that can help their personal and professional growth from their peers in the DFA network.

 

 We are excited to see what the year brings with these two DFA rockstars!