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DSI / Social Design
About DSI

Fall 2019 Kick Off

Welcome back, DSI! These past few weeks, first and second year students have been busy with Bootcamp, an introduction to Fast Track, and the first Global Guest Lecture.

Students were welcomed with Bootcamp, a two-day orientation of sorts for new and returning students. First years started with an inspiring workshop on design futures with faculty Lee-Sean Huang on their first day, followed by 5-minute introductions they had prepared of themselves. The second day kicked off with advice for their first year from some current second-year students, including Catherine Mazzocchi, Jen Ulloa, and Grace Kwon. They then completed a workshop on the Fundamentals of Design for Social Innovation with our beloved faculty Marc Rettig and Hannah du Plessis. As part of that workshop, first-year students developed a list of principles and agreements as inputs to their conversations about the culture they want to create together as a class.

The second-year students’ Bootcamp welcomed back creative leader and alum Jeralyn Richardson, ’18, and began with a reflection on the skills and ideas they learned in the first year and how they can apply it to their thesis in the first year. The second half of their workshop had an emphasis on prototyping, to get students out of their head and back into the making mind-set. Incorporating alumni into the bootcamp process allowed students to learn from the experiences of earlier cohorts.

Wednesday night we welcomed our first Global Guest Lecturer of the fall, Sloan McGurl. Sloan shared their experience of conserving public land across the country, the importance of disco dancing for stimulating a creative process, and how good social innovation is about connecting people to community, to the commons, and to the collective we.

We are excited to welcome new faculty Esther Y. Kang, Wenfei Xu, Edwina Portocarrero, Paul Lillehaugen and Emily Herrick (a 2016 alum of the program). With the start of a new semester also brings new submissions for our Fast Track program, an independent study opportunity for students led by advisors Maggie Breslin and Asi Burak, which has an emphasis on student-led prototyping and generation of a final cohesive product. The application process is rigorous, and both first and second years may apply. More information about previous Fast Track cycles can be found here and here.

We are looking forward to an exciting semester ahead. To learn more about DSI or if you would like the opportunity to speak with current students, faculty, and alumni, join us at our Open House on October 18.

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