Tinker Turf Encouraging Children to Learn and Play

Untitled-1Tinker Turf, a DFA Northwestern summer studio project from 2011, has been implemented by the Chicago Children’s Museum! Read more about the project and the team’s design process!

How did you guys get started with the project?

Our team was brought together through the 2011 DFA Summer Studio to partner and work with the Chicago Children’s Museum on their prospective “Tinkering” exhibit. We worked with our partner to define “tinkering,” explore existing successful spaces, and generate ideas for the future exhibit.

DFA UIUC Works to Improve Medical Records

We interviewed our friends at DFA University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign about their project, the Blue Button Narrative. The Blue Button re-envisions the patient’s medical record to make it intuitive and therefore actively engage the patient in his/her own health. Read more about their design process and its unique results!


Luna Lights: Preventing Falls for Older Adults

Luna Lights is a project that started at the DFA Summer Studio 2013 at Northwestern University. It focuses on providing a way for older adults to safely and conveniently navigate through their homes at night and therefore prevent falling. Check out the intense process they went through to get to their concept!


How did you guys get started with the project?

Our initial challenge statement was “how can we prevent older adults from falling?” In the beginning of the project, we learned about why this issue was important to us and what the final product would be. It was great to know that we all had a genuine sense of respect for the older adults and were sincerely trying to solve this problem.

Fruit Buddi Pushes on to Help Prevent Childhood Obesity

We interviewed the DFA team at Northwestern University about their project, Fruit Buddi, which works to deal with the issue of childhood obesity and promote healthier food choices. Read about the various obstacles, challenges, and successes that Fruit Buddi has come to face as it has matured and been continued through the design process.

DFA UIUC Featured Ideators on OpenIDEO


As a departure from our usual focus on a single Featured Ideator – this month we’re highlighting a motivated group of students. DFA UIUC stands for Design for America studio at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – part of the national Design for America network of interdisciplinary student-led design studios. They are a mix of over 100 designers, engineers, business students, social scientists, architects, both undergraduate and grad students, American and international. They explore social problems in Urbana-Champaign, seeking to make impact, using human-centered design. They were high-flyers on our E-waste Challenge, with their Chargers & Cords Exchange Box & E-cycle Truck ideas featuring in the winners list.

DFA Wins Online Learning Proposal

Months and months of work came down to a mere ten minutes in one of the most beautiful museums in the country.  Daniel Rees and Jonathan Lesser had just a few minutes to convince the panel of judges at the California Academy of Sciences that their proposal was worthy of winning Mozilla’s Digital Media Learning Competition.  Mozilla, along with partners like the MacArthur Foundation and HASTAC  (the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory), developed the competition as a way to build their Badges for Lifelong Learning initiative.  The project arose from the realization that in the information age, learning often happens outside the classroom and continues after formal education is finished, making traditional transcripts an incomplete picture of an individual’s capabilities.

A Small Step Towards Improving Lives for Veterans on Campus

The Dartmouth DFA team started off looking at the local veteran’s hospital, hoping to use the design process to help solve challenges there.  Soon, they began talking to student veterans at Dartmouth to gain a better perspective on veterans’ issues, and discovered a problem that had nothing to do with the hospital.

SwipeSense Team Accepted into Healthbox Incubator and Awarded $50,000

DFA fellows and co-founders Mert Iseri and Yuri Malina have been hard at work developing a solution to the 4th leading cause of death in the United States: hospital-acquired infections, which result in over 90,000 deaths and over $4 billion in costs annually. Their solution is SwipeSense and as of today, they are on their way to saving lives.

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