DSI Students Engage in Service Scenario Prototyping for the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity

DSI / Social Design

MFA Design for
Social Innovation

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


How Alums Are Putting Social Design to Work

The first or second question people inevitably ask us is, “What are your alums doing? What kind of jobs do they get?”

We thought the best way to answer those questions is by showing you here, and letting you see what our graduates have to say about how they’re using what they learned at DSI to get jobs, and to excel at them.

One thing to keep in mind: DSI graduates tend to work at things they love, and bring an additional ability to lead change in those fields, to enhance and expand them. For example, Rhea Rakshit was trained as an economist when she came to the program. She wanted to change the way people think about economics, and the impact that economics has on society. Ditto those who came with experience as product designers, educators, environmentalists. DSI helps you think about opportunities in a new and bigger way, then go out into the world and work at that.

So whether you want to work in a big corporation, an NGO, a creative consultancy or your own enterprise, DSI prepares you to become a leader in that field by connecting it to the health of humans and the earth.

So why don’t you APPLY for Fall 2019?

See alumni profiles here.

Jade Broomfield (2017)

Visual Designer, Allbirds

On her prior roles at Uncommon Goods and The Center of Urban Pedagogy: “There’s a point with social design where I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, so it’s kind of nice to just kick back and design for fun at times, but then also have this outlet (with the Center of Urban Pedagogy) where I can say, ‘I’m really interested in the problems going on in the world; please allow me to use my knowledge from graduate school.’ It’s a great balance for me, and it keeps me chill.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Tiffany Gaines (2014)

President, Lovability, Inc.

“Design for Social Innovation is the lens I use to make creative decisions to grow my business, Lovability, Inc. This lens is a unique way of thinking and listening that enables me to respond to the needs and desires of my customers with heightened empathy and awareness. This empathetic feedback loop is my competitive advantage and key to success.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Meryl Natow (2015)

Co-Founder/Creative Director, Chirps
CEO, imposter

“In my job, in my hobbies, in my personal life, I look to unite people around common interests and foster a sense of shared experiences and understanding.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Yena Seo Lukac (2016)

Design Researcher, Nanit

“At Nanit, I am using social design methods to explore how computer vision and machine learning can improve the lives of parents and babies.”

[View Alumni Profile]

David Rojas (2016)

Designer, Arnhold Global Health Institute

“I’m putting design for social innovation to work as a vehicle to navigate through the complexity that our generation is facing, turning daunting challenges into working fields, issues into opportunities and willingness into actions.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Margarita Korol (2016)

CEO, AdaptLab Productions

“At AdaptLab Productions, my job is to design innovative paths to fulfilling careers for filmmakers with learning differences. Human centered design means the systems we build can be flexible to our production team’s unique needs so that they can create meaningful legacies that add value to our audiences’ lives.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Ivan Boscariol (2016)

Government Innovation Consultant, EloGroup

“I am using social design to combine methodologies and co-create a roadmap towards improving the way we measure educational opportunities in Brazil.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Elizabeth Roffey (2015)

Product Designer, Education, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
“I look at systems that have complex stakeholders, figure out what their incentives are, and try to align them in a way that makes tomorrow a little bit better for all of us.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Gabi Reygadas (2014)

Head of Social Innovation, Cirklo

“I’m putting social design to work at Cirklo by helping NGO clients take their first steps out of the donations cycle. Our aim is to help them develop social products and a sustainable income stream.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Pragya Mishra (2015)

Creative Lead, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

“I’m using social design tools to shift the focus from a technology-first mindset to understanding user needs.”

[View Alumni Profile]

MK Loomis (2014)

Experience Design Lead, Airbnb
“I’m using social design to explore how virtual reality can improve the independence and quality of life of our rapidly growing senior population; in particular, those who are living alone.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Rodrigo Muñoz (2016)

Department Coordinator, Universidad San Francisco de Quito
Founder, Andes Materials
“As a DSI graduate, I see every human interaction as a system. As a college design professor, I want my students to see the possibilities for change that design has. It goes beyond the limits of a computer or a nice illustration, it has the power to change our reality.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Akshata Malhotra (2015)

Interaction Designer, Peterson Center on Healthcare

“I’m using social design methods to find alignment between interests of healthcare administrators, providers and patients in the U.S., so that high quality, low cost care is scaled across the country.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Gina Kim (2015)

Product Designer, ACLU
On her former role as a Design Service Expert at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs: “I’m putting social design to work to modernize the appeals process and create a new user centered designed site to help vets access their benefits, and get citizens to trust the government again. Even if we move the needle a little, it’ll have a huge impact.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Bruno Silva (2016)

Director of Design and Product Development, The Mount Sinai Hospital
“I’m using social design to improve health outcomes of global and local communities by creating new care models, process improvements and tools to support Mount Sinai Health System to deliver high value, low cost health care while exporting our learnings to our global sites in Africa and Latin America.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Meghan Lazier (2015)

UX/UI Designer, Federal Reserve Board
Adjunct Professor, University of Baltimore
“I’m putting social design to work in everything. DSI was a holistic experience: research and facilitation, synthesizing data, staying with a problem long enough to solve it. There is absolutely no way I would have this job without DSI. When I went to DSI this is exactly what I wanted to do but I couldn’t articulate it.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Sara Cornish (2014)

Marketing Manager, Minecraft Education (Microsoft)
On her former role as Senior Director of Program Development and Strategy at Games for Change: “At global nonprofit Games for Change, I use social design to teach people that games can be powerful drivers of impact, from a national youth design challenge to a conference for leading educators, policymakers and developers.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Emily Herrick (2016)

Designer, Service Design Studio, The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
“As a service designer, I use the design skills I learned at DSI to organize complex processes to better serve the people using them: constantly switching between the micro and the macro; zooming in to understand the pain points of a single user; stepping back to see how each part of a service flows into larger systems.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Rhea Rakshit (2015)

Vice President – Product & UX, Sourcemap
“Most people don’t understand supply chains and know very little about what goes into the clothes they wear. We’re using social design to make it possible for people to know the stories behind their clothing.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Josh Treuhaft (2014)

Designer, Arup Foresight and Innovation
Founder and Creative Director, Salvage Supperclub
“I’m putting social design approaches into action through human-centered approaches in domains which often don’t consider them. In architecture, and in some regards in urban scale technology implementation, designers often think more about buildings, materials and technical specs than about people. We do qualitative research with oft-underrepresented stakeholders to consider their voices in the process.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Tanya Bhandari (2014)

Design Lead, UNICEF Innovation Unit

“I’m using visual design and strategy in the scale-up of UNICEF’s innovation projects across the world; putting in place systems that allow for agile growth of our technology (and some non-technology) products in places where they are most effective for children and mothers.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Laura Kadamus (2015)

Digital Service Expert, United States Digital Service
“I’m using social design to help the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department understand what their customers need, then design tools that address them.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Monica Snellings (2014)

Communications and Design Lead, Education Reimagined, Convergence

“Everything we do is social design; it’s embedded in every process, every product and every interaction we undertake, from whom we invite to the table to how we design conversations. All is constructed toward a new future of learning.”

[View Alumni Profile]

Sebastian Barrera (2014)

Designer, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

“I’m using service design, rapid prototyping and systems thinking to foster innovative solutions to complex problems and increase social impact, developing design capacity in organizations that have not traditionally embraced these approaches.”

[View Alumni Profile]

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