Denzel Washington once quoted the Roman philosopher Seneca and said, “luck is where opportunity meets preparation.” As a DFA Fellow Julian Bongiorno seized opportunities when they arose. In his first year as a Fellow, Julian received the PAVE Fellowship to attend The Feast Conference along with a $10k investment in his future, attended The StartingBloc Institute for social innovators, has been a guest lecturer at a variety of universities including Duke and most recently began working as an innovation workshop facilitator for a large healthcare firm after being approached while at a pitch event with DFA team. For twelve weeks, Julian will apply the design, mentoring and user-focused skills he’s learned in DFA to three innovation teams in Chicago.
Sara Mesing, co-founder of DFA Case Western| CIA, is part of the Business Development team at XPLANE. She introduces new clients to XPLANE and acts as an advocate and liaison throughout the duration of client engagements. She got connected to XPLANE through a friend at DFA’s Leadership Studio back in 2012.
Thanks to Sara’s efforts, XPLANE will be partnering with Design for America to develop a 5-year strategic plan to accommodate all stakeholders in the organization’s high growth trajectory. As such, XPLANE will lead and facilitate dialogue to uncover the current state of the organization, envision the future state, and determine what steps are needed to get there.
As we approach a new year and start the search for our fifth year of DFA Fellows, we wanted to take a moment and have a look at where our past Fellows are now.
2011 Fellows Mert Iseri & Yuri Malina: SwipeSense
Recently recognized among Forbes’ Top 30 Under 30, check out what Mert and Yuri have been up to!
What are you Up to Now?
The DFA fellowship helped us by giving us space, time and money to grow, raised our profile as young entrepreneurs and mentoring distributed talent helped us learn the best practices in communication and accountability.
On October 24th, 2014, Jenna and Katie spent the day in San Francisco coaching design and maker workshops for elementary school students. While driving back to Stanford campus later that night, they could not have felt more physically exhausted but intellectually awake and inspired. It was on this drive home, ironically enough, where they began to craft a dream together for this summer that involved a much longer drive of its own.
DFA’s Northwestern Studio, supported by The Barry and Mary Ann MacLean Fund for Art & Engineering, hosted Midwest Meetup 2014! It was a weekend-long exchange between Design for America student representatives from the Northwestern, UIUC, Michigan State and Case/CIA studios!
This year, DFA is prototyping a new growth model: hosting a DFA Fellow sponsored by Cornell. Since August, DFA Fellow, Sarah Kurland has been working out of Cornell for both DFA and the office of Engaged Learning + Research (EL+R). Last month, Cornell launched a $150m initiative for the next 10 years called Engaged Cornell, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up with Sarah and hear a little bit about what she has been working on. Read her interview below.
Tech or Treat: this hauntingly memorable event for kids of all ages, featured yellow brick road-themed technologies in a family-friendly environment. Virginia Tech students and faculty from a variety of disciplines across campus collaborate to bring this event together. DFA Virginia Tech participated in the schools recent festivities with a few exhibits of their own to introduce kids in the area just how fun technology can be.
Following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, DFA students at Barnard|Columbia wanted to target an area that had been severely affected by the storm. Thus, they partnered with Gensler and the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance (RWA) to design the physical and programmatic plans for a community center in the Far Rockaway’s area. The summer culminated with the development of seven designs that were presented to the community as options for the renewal of a firehouse that could serve as the center.