Why attend DFALS17?

Grow your studio on campus. Develop your skills as a leader. Practice the design process in interdisciplinary teams. Work with community members to design solutions to social challenges. Make new friends from all over the country. Hear from top social innovators about how they make positive change in their own communities. Unlock job and internship opportunities. Learn how DFA studios function across the country. Engage in workshops with experts from the Chicagoland area and beyond. Learn how to pitch your studio to partners, other students, and sponsors. Get knowledge on how to develop projects and maintain your studio. Get cool DFA swag. Connect with mentors and designers who want to support your studio to success. Grow your personal and professional network. Gain insight into how companies use design to better their business. Get inspired, get motivated, and bring that momentum back to your campus.

Join us this August 3 – 7 to experience the DFA network in action and kickstart your DFA studio this fall. Register by July 1st for tickets at regular price. Ticket prices increase from $75 to $85 after July 1. 

This year’s speaker lineup:

Dawna Leggett, Design Impact
Senior Social Researcher

Dawna’s work combines the best practices from qualitative research and human centered design to solve complex social problems. Prior to DI, Dawna studied nonprofits engaged in workforce development, community-building, and education. She has a passion for understanding how organizations facilitate the social mobility of vulnerable populations. Her interests lie at the intersection of class and culture, with a focus on how people form new identities through encounters with organizations.

Her work has been financially supported by the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research, and Marquette University. Before becoming a professional researcher, Dawna worked at an industrial supply company.  Through management roles in warehouse and finance operations, she created solutions that improved supply-chain efficiency and personnel effectiveness.  Dawna received her PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University and her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Stanford University.

George Aye, Greater Good Studio
Co-Founder & Director of Innovation

George co-founded Greater Good Studio with the belief that design can lead to positive behavior change. Previously, he spent seven years at global innovation firm IDEO before being hired as the first human-centered designer at the Chicago Transit Authority. Since founding Greater Good, he has worked across multiple social issues including autism, criminal justice, education, public health and health care.

George is an Adjunct Full Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was nominated for the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design award’s Design Mind category in 2016 and with his co-founder, was awarded the TED Prize City 2.0 (2012) and recognized in the Public Interest Design 100 list (2013). The studio’s work was featured in LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation (published 2016) and Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook (published 2015).

DFALS17 will also feature participation from:

During a 48-hour design sprint, DFA teams will explore: “How can we expand accessibility in urban areas?”  Teams will work to ensure the inclusion of those with differing abilities into the fabric of our communities and the future development of our cities.

We are thankful for participation from community partners to support the development of this design sprint project:

We can’t wait to see what innovative solutions DFAers will create in collaboration with these partners!


Haven’t signed up for DFALS17 yet? Register here.