In July 2015, DFA Northwestern members launched the first annual Jiang China Human-Centered Design Challenge. Created by DFA Northwestern student Jenny Wang and alumna Cassie Coravos, the Jiang China HCD Challenge is a two-week design crash course for Chinese college students who want to make a positive social impact. After developing the program over one year, they traveled to China with a team of design instructors to put their plans in action!
- Harriet Festing, Director, Water Program, Center for Neighborhood Technology
- Helen Lekavich, Midlothian Floodlothian Founder & Community Organizer
- Jenny Wang, NU Student, Engineering
- Thomas Burke, VP. Head of Water Resources. Christopher Burke Engineering Ltd.
To kick-off the event, DFA produced and showcased the following clip to showcase the Midlothian story.
To date the Midlothian community has been featured in a variety of press outlets including CBS and DFA continues to support CNT’s efforts to reduce the damage of flooding.
“College campus safety is a key issue for local students and their parents. Now, colleges and universities are coming up with high tech solutions, and on one Chicago area campus, students are providing an innovative answer themselves. There’s safety in numbers, they say, but here Northwestern University, some students realized their peers were not heeding that advice. “Five of the past six crime alerts were people walking alone,” said Cassie Coravos, NU student.” Check out GroupWalks full story here and check-out their video feature below!
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.
It all started last year, when the Jerry the Bear team decided it was time to bring Jerry to life. They took an independent study with Northwestern Professor Michael Peshkin and built a bear that could talk– bringing them one step closer to improving the lives of children with diabetes.
The results are in, the DFA Right Angle is able to reduce water use in cafeterias by half. After two days of testing, team lead, Thea Klein-Mayer galvanized a team of students to watch and observe cafeteria staff during open hours. Day one, the team created a baseline and measured that the for a 9 hour day, the water was on for 5 hours. Day two, with the Right Angle in place, this amount was brought down to 2.7 hours, that’s a reduction of nearly half!
Well, we just had a whirlwind tour visiting all 8 of our DFA studios! From UCLA to Dartmouth, students are plugging away at tackling the most complex challenges of our time. So what have the teams been up to? 170 students from campuses throughout the country have been hard at work establishing local partnerships and understanding community needs. They’ve started out with broad themes such as health or homelessness and been doing deep dives to understand where design can make an impact.