Hello 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.
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.
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.
Between Thursday and Monday, DFA opened its doors to the shop down in the Ford Design Center at Northwestern’s McCormick school of Engineering for 45 of our studio leaders from all 17 campuses nationwide. As in Leadership Studios past, the eager students were posed with a design challenge and given four days to apply the human centered design process to solve a community or social problem. This year, the fledgling designers were tasked with crafting a working solution to aid in the preparation, response, or recovery of natural disasters, specifically urban flooding. The group was split into eight teams before beginning work on the thoughtful and innovative process that would bring them toward creating a sustainable solution while forging lasting friendships around the common goal of social welfare.
DFA’s Liz Gerber was recently honored to participate in a National Endowment for the Arts webinar:
“Universities and design schools are currently an important seat for social impact design training and fieldwork. This webinar will bring together educators and practitioners to discuss strategies for teaching and practicing social impact design. It will delve into the need for diverse skills and curricula to prepare effective social impact designers for the field.”
Wall Street Journal Announces 24 Startups Participating in ‘WSJ Startup of the Year’ NEW YORK, June 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Wall Street Journal announced today the 24 startups chosen by Wall Street Journal editors to participate in ‘WSJ Startup of the Year,’ an episodic video documentary for WSJ Live, the Journal’s online video platform. Premiering June 24, the series matches the 24 startups with global business leaders and influencers, and tracks their progress from startup to success over the course of five months. In conjunction with announcing the 24 startups, the Journal has also unveiled the documentary’s sizzle reel and will host a panel discussion on entrepreneurship at the Northside Festival in Brooklyn tomorrow, June 13.
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!!
Hello from Providence! The joint Brown/RISD DFA studio has wrapped up its second year on a high note. Our teams worked on three core projects, took on a new crew of leaders, and ran several high-energy workshops. With 21 active members this year (6 from Brown, 10 from RISD, and 5 Dual Degree students), our teams tackled ambitious projects where we were able to draw from our diverse interests and skill sets. We’re excited to share some highlights from the year.