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DSI / Social Design
About DSI

Welcoming New Faculty

As our program grows, and social design evolves, we continue to add new faculty members who bring the latest technologies and practices to DSI, joining our core faculty, many of whom have been with the program since we launched.

This year, we’re pleased to announce that Benedetta Piantella, Siri Betts-Sonstegard and Maya Weinstein will join us. Their bios and roles are below.

Benedetta Piantella will join us as Thesis Faculty and Advisor
Born and raised in Parma, Italy, Benedetta is an artist and designer turned humanitarian technologist, when she helped organize emergency response efforts during the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 in Sri Lanka. After receiving her Master’s from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU in 2008, she taught Lego robotics and worked for Arduino in Milan. She is the co-founder of GROUND Lab® and more recently T4D Lab®, engineering R&D companies focused on producing sustainable solutions to humanitarian, social, environmental challenges worldwide. Her work experience also includes a stint at Smart Design in NYC.

Benedetta has designed, prototyped and deployed projects in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, and built partnerships with the UN, UNICEF, NYU, Columbia and Princeton. She is also a frequent lecturer, and Open Source advocate.

Siri Betts-Sonstegard will teach Disruptive Design: Research and Insights
SIRI is a Design Researcher & Service Designer who has spent over ten years in various roles within the service industry. She applies her knowledge of service systems to her current work. which includes research and development of cognitive tools for clinicians at IBM Watson Health. Before joining IBM, she worked as part of the Design Innovation Group (DIG) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where she used human-centered design methods to understand patient needs and apply those learnings to develop new digital products and services.

Siri holds a Master in Transdisciplinary Design (MFA) from Parsons the New School for Design and a BA (hons) in Ceramic Design from Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. She is published in The Journal of Service Design and had a previous life in service and hospitality.

Maya Weinstein will teach Technologies for Designing Change I
Maya is passionate about applying human-centered design thinking to cognitive technology. She has worked with IBM’s Watson for the past four years as a product designer for the public sector and a global design consultant. Her job includes helping Fortune 400 companies integrate Watson technology into their products and processes through user-centered design. Maya is also active in creating organizational change within IBM through facilitation, activation and education of design thinking methodologies. She lives in Brooklyn with her senior rescue dog.

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