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DSI / Social Design
About DSI

DSI / Social Design

MFA Design for
Social Innovation

136 W 21st St,
5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205



Five DSI Students Speak at A Better World By Design

One of our favorite conferences of the year is always this one, created by students of RISD and Brown in Providence, Rhode Island. This year ABWxD focused on celebrating and supporting design processes and solutions that support a society that is inclusive.

DSI in Five

Take 5 minutes to watch this film on what DSI is all about.

DSI: The Movie

To celebrate the close of our third year, here’s a review of what’s been done, and what’s to come.

Congratulations to the Class of 2015

Thank you for being a part of DSI these past two years, and for making us all better as you grew into the extraordinary designers of social impact you have become. Godspeed as you head out into the world to lead the change we need.

Designing Change: How an MFA Program in Design is Leading Innovation

Cheryl Heller is not naive. She knows that real social or environmental change will not happen overnight, nor will it be easy or perfect. As founding chair of the School of Visual Art’s Master of Fine Arts program in Design for Social Innovation, the only MFA of its kind in the United States, she does believe that the real work of creating innovation starts by redefining entrenched ways of seeing and thinking about the issues.

Announcing the Design for Social Innovation Alumni Association

Headed by DSI Alumni Ambassadors Monica Snellings and Josh Treuhaft, the group will provide a platform for our growing DSI Alumni. Look for more news to come soon.

A Weekend of Games for Impact Led by the Masters

The weekend was a great mix of DSI students, designers, gamers, coders and actors working together to create engaging, playable and fun social games. Everyone was eager to collaborate and teams were formed around shared interests. The weekend began with introductions into the Games for Change movement powered by Asi Burak. Participants then dispersed to…

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Games for Social Impact are the play of the future, and DSI designers are there.

In Asi Burak and Naomi Clark’s Games for Impact class, DSI students are tackling social problems with the help of games. The class is inspired by the growing field of social impact game design, which addresses any number of social problems – from gender discrimination to electoral awareness to health disparities – with games. Over the course of the semester, students learn to analyze social problems at a systems level, to develop tactics to visualize those systems, and to create appealing ways for people to interact with them. A game’s got to be played, after all.

Upcoming Events!

We’ve got an exciting schedule of events for this spring, here are a few of the highlights, and stay tuned for updates as they’re confirmed.

An interview redux: A graduate program for visionaries

A little over five years ago, I was interviewed by PopTech’s editorial staff about a masters program that I had already spent two years developing, and that had not yet launched. Looking back at the hopes I had and the assumptions I made is an opportunity to ruminate on the difference between what we imagine, the plans we make to get there, and how reality aligns (or doesn’t) with them.

136 W 21st St,
5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205