Announcing New Studios for 2014!

With an ever-toughening application process, 73 schools from around the country applied to be a DFA studio in our most competitive application year to date. After establishing a community, selecting a project topic, and flying a DFA team member out to campus to lead an introductory design-thinking workshop,  ten schools made it into the final round. After rigorous and intense interviews to assess leadership, commitment, and campus fit, DFA is proud to announce that the follow four schools are the newest studios in the DFA network! Learn about their campus and watch their application project videos below.

Driving Independence for Older Adults


This past fall, DFA embarked on a sponsored project with Chrysler Group LLC investigating driver independence for older adults through the lenses of: navigation, alerts & warnings, and staying connected.

SwipeSense Among Top 3 Start Ups of the Year

WSJSOTYThe Wall Street Journal start-up of the year competition, which began with 24 startups in June, matches young companies with global business leaders and influencers, and tracks their progress from startup to success over the course of five months.

DFA’s SwipeSense aims to reduce hospital-acquired infections, which kill an estimated 90,000 people per year in the United States, by providing hospital staff with portable, trackable hand-sanitation devices.

About the size of a pager, the hand-sanitizing system affixes to health professionals’ belts and dispenses sanitizer at the swipe of a hand. A wireless tracking system monitors how often the wearer sanitizes his or her hands.

What is

This is the first in a series of posts dedicated to developmental updates from, a new digital platform for the DFA community.

LOFT  Home

With 17 studios across the nation, hundreds of projects and thousands of members, DFA is no doubt a large community. Yet, common goals hold this large network together. Balancing these two paradigms, hopes to bring together the DFA community through common interests and shared experiences within a digital platform that aims to foster a nurturing online community.

DFA Creators’ Exchange!

photo 3Hello from the Design for America Alumni Network!

Last week, we partnered with incubator + co-working space PARISOMA to host the first-ever Creators’ Exchange! DFA teams from UC Davis and UC Berkeley, along with alumni and professionals/mentors, congregated in the heart of San Francisco for a day of idea exchanging, collaboration, and conversation.

Adobe Sponsors DFA!


DFA is proud to announce a new sponsorship from Adobe, giving all 400 DFAers a FREE Adobe Creative Cloud account for the year. This is over a $150k value! DFA is excited about this new partnership to equip all of its members with the skills and tools to bring their ideas to life and make an impact.

Lulu Mickelson: Social Activist and DJ All In One


Recently featured on Barnard’s campus online magazine, we get a close look at Lulu Mickelson (’14 Urban Studies. Concentration: American History)

What has been your role with Design for America? 

After my first year on campus, I was frustrated with the top-down approach to community service most student organizations employed. I felt like undergrads were volunteering a few hours and calling it a day, slapping a band-aid on local issues rather engaging with the complex nature of our community’s shortcomings.

Thank You Thea & Kayla!

Kayla Thea


DFA Fellows, Thea and Kayla have worked tirelessly over the last year to make DFA a better organization and to help students across the US apply design to local and social challenges. As they wrap up their year as Fellows, we wanted to take a moment to say a big THANK YOU for all their hard work and dedication and highlight some of their contributions to DFA throughout the year.

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