Improving Driving for those with Disabilities

DFA @ Chrysler 2014

Five teams from around the country just returned from a trip of the year, presenting at the headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Tasked with designing for those with disabilities, these teams met the challenge and shared innovative ideas with top executives within Chrysler’s Tech Plaza. Learn about some of their work below!

DFA + Gensler NYC on Natural Disasters

Screenshot 2014-12-29 15.20.06

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.

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.

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.

Bridging Spaces for Learning: Ben Shapiro’s TEDx Talk

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 10.28.32 PMDFA Vanderbilt’s co-founder Ben Shapiro gives a TEDx Talk at Furman University. With the theme of Redesigning Education,this conference describes itself as, “Redesigning Education is no small task. Since the ways that we share ideas, process information and create knowledge are changing every day, the places and spaces where we teach and learn must change, too. Let’s rethink how we think about thinking. Let’s relearn how we learn about learning. Let’s redesign our schools, our classrooms, our lectures and our diplomas to prepare learners for success in this age of constant change.”

Vote on Autism Sensory Wall for Dell Challenge!

Exciting News! The Autism Sensory Wall by DFA Oregon’s team is a semi-finalist for the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, and they need your votes!

CLICK HERE to register and vote!

This project revolves around the difficulties of interaction for non-verbal children with autism. It has specifically focused in on how they can engage in an immersive, multi-sensory experience through light, touch, and sound, to play and interact with each other.

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.

“Design it Together” DFA at IDSA

Every year, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) brings together some of the most prominent figures in design to discuss new ideas and strategies for innovation.  DFA faculty founder Dr. Liz Gerber had the opportunity to speak at the IDSA Midwest Conference on April 13th in Chicago alongside a variety of major members of the design community, such as Walter Herbst (founder of Herbst LaZar Bell, Inc.), Zach Kaplan (founder and CEO of Inventables), Larry Keeley (president and co-founder of Doblin Inc.) and Jim Wicks (Vice President of Experience Design at Motorola).

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