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SAVE THE DATES: Thesis Show 2020!

This year, our DSI graduates have once again developed ground-breaking projects that challenge and address social and systemic problems out in the world. Their extensive work has begun to prepare them for rewarding careers as designers and creative leaders.

In response to unexpected global challenges, our thesis students and faculty have stepped up in bold, new ways. To celebrate the end of their year-long thesis projects, DSI is excited to announce a brand new series of relevant thematic panels and conversations via Zoom that will be held across two days: March 12 and 13. Our graduating cohort will be joined by industry experts to engage in conversation about their work, insights, and implications on the future of the world. A compilation of thesis videos will also air on Youtube Premiere after the final panel on May 13th. Please see below for more information:

Day 1
Tuesday, May 12th, from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST:
Building Equitable and Regenerative Systems will feature conversations about:

Sky Wei and Cecilia Wang’s “Desire and Reality”: an educational program that helps college students to be more aware of their shopping habits by shifting the way they shop for their sense of security and self-worth.

Caroline Zhang and Tara Maurice’s “PRETTY/UGLY”: radically rethinking sustainability through content creation, live events, and strategic collaborations in work that communicates the interdependence of man and nature. With a sense of urgency and possibility, PRETTY/UGLY’s work makes clear: “there is no garbage in nature.”

Sarah Huang and Joy Yu’s “REBUILDERS”: tackling the increasing global waste crisis by cultivating children’s creative power to develop new mindsets of waste.

Catherine Mazzocchi and Jennifer Ulloa’s “Power is Local”: building Black, Latinx, & Spanish-speaking Northern Manhattan community power, to ensure that people most impacted by energy insecurity’s increasingly harmful effects on community wellbeing can develop critical policy action.

Tuesday, May 12th, from 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM EST:
Race, Gender, Equity and Inclusion will feature conversations about:

Aditi Kapre and Kartik Krishnan’s “Unfair”: untangling India’s obsession with fair skin.

Xuan Cheng’s “Shero Comic”: increasing opportunities for creating positive female representations in mainstream superhero comics by opening up conversations around female life experiences in the comic community.

Ryana Bryan’s “Storied Lives”: addressing intergenerational tension in black families through creative reflection and storytelling. Investigating, creating, and sharing personal narratives builds individual power and can start to break down generational barriers. By connecting those stories to a larger community narrative, this project aims to create an intentional and transformative space where creative storytelling can lead to healing.

Lorena Estrella’s “Youth Action Lab”: an afterschool club for middle schoolers that uses storytelling and creative expression to explore questions on race & identity.

Damian Ashton’s “Healthy Masculinity Forum”: an online community hub for men to connect and explore healthy masculinity through a digital forum as well as downloadable meetup toolkit for them to take their conversations offline and into their local communities.

Vanessa Yip’s “Workways: Building an Inclusive Creative Economy”: a worker-centric data-gathering toolkit built to amplify equitable business models that provide direct pathways into the creative economy for immigrant women of color in NYC.

Day 2
Wednesday, May 13th, from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST:
Community–The Building Blocks of System Change will feature conversations about:

Grace Kwon and Grace Kang’s “Untangling Philanthropy”: disrupting power dynamics in philanthropy by challenging funders to cultivate collaborative partnerships with their grantees and ground relationships in trust

Andrea Miranda Salas’ “Workways: Building an Inclusive Creative Economy”: a worker-centric data-gathering toolkit built to amplify equitable business models that provide direct pathways into the creative economy for immigrant women of color in NYC.

Dorothy Dai’s “IT IS YOUR TURN”: an engagement board game combined with in-person feedback that motivates older Chinese immigrants to formulate, express and share their needs with experts in their local senior centers, and inspire the centers to improve their services.

Dhara Shah’s “Thrival Mode”: holding systems and institutions that affect decisions regarding neighborhood character accountable to the needs of immigrant neighborhoods to affect forces that cause displacement and erasure of culture.

Wednesday, May 13th, from 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM EST:
Accessibility and Information Exchange will feature conversations about:

Danielle Skinn’s “Known”: opening conversation about healthy sexuality with LDS Single Adults.

Monica Tarribas’ “SEMILLAS: Seeding Change”: a set of creative motivational tools for middle school students in rural communities in Mexico that will support, expose and activate students to create an empowered vision of their future self.

Elana Wolpert and Alisha Mahen’s “Sisters Can”: a co-created English curriculum that gives Yemeni immigrant students information on their career paths with the power of inspirational role-model storytelling.

Baitian Yu’s “Talking to the Blue”: helping young artists in Northeast China get the information they need as artists in the world right now.

Kexin Lyu’s “Break the Wall”: building a more inclusive educational environment at SVA to help Chinese International Students with limited English proficiency overcome the language barrier and cultural differences so that they can easily communicate with local English speakers and engage in the host community.


The world never stops and neither does our work as social designers. We will share additional information on how to RSVP on all of our networks as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, please please SAVE THE DATE and spread the word!

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New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205