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DSI / Social Design
About DSI


Why DSI? Wenfei Xu. That’s Why.

Along with teaching Metrics and Data Visualization at DSI, Wenfei Xu is urban planner, data scientist, and designer whose research uses data-driven methods to understand the geographies of urban inequality. She has worked at organizations such as CARTO, the Civic Data Design Lab, Stamen Design and Senseable Cities Lab at MIT, and is currently pursuing…

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It’s Not Too Late to Apply!

Now that our priority deadline has passed, we wanted to clarify that applications to join the Class of 2022 this coming fall are still open! It’s not too late to make your voice heard and complete your application. 2020 is your year to make an impact, and applying to DSI is the first step. We’ve…

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International Students’ Advice to Applicants

From how to prepare, what to expect, what you’ll learn… our current students from all parts of the world have answers for you!

Nick Chan’s (’18) Advice for Budding Social Designers: Adopt a Transition Mindset

Nicholas Chan (‘18) has certainly kept busy since graduating from DSI. Along with continuing to develop his joint thesis, he is currently working full-time as a Senior Design Strategist at Doblin: a human-centered design firm that helps companies address existing problems and seize potential opportunities for growth. These days, his work encompasses a combination of…

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Faculty Lee-Sean Huang launches podcast “Design Future Now”

Lee-Sean Huang, who teaches both semesters of Technologies for Designing Change, has kicked off a new podcast for AIGA called “Design Future Now”. Each episode features a guest or two from the world of design, but not necessarily in the way one might expect (as expected from Lee-Sean, our favorite provocateur). The trailer for the…

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Student Spotlight: Fast Track Course

Fast Track is an honors program open to first and second years that allows a small number of students the opportunity to design, prototype, and propel their idea into the real world at an accelerated rate. Once a project is selected, students work with a faculty panel on connecting with outside experts, advisors, and potential…

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Student Work Spotlight: PRETTY/UGLY

Fashion, Waste, and Consumption… it’s PRETTY/UGLY. Pretty/Ugly is an in-progress graduate thesis by Tara Maurice (‘20) and Caroline Zhang (‘20) exploring the discomfort and disconnect between the reasons we love fashion and it’s oversized negative impacts on the environment. The aim is to transform the anxiety that creative professionals feel about the impacts of their…

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Story Of/ Workshop

DSI students Tara Maurice (‘20), Xuan Cheng (‘20), Ryana Bryan (‘20), and Grace Kwon (‘20) kick-started December by attending MFA Visual Narrative’s annual Story Of/ Workshop. This hackathon-style workshop challenged attendees to put storytelling first. Given the theme “Full Circle”, participants were encouraged to investigate experimental structures and explore new frameworks of thinking than they…

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Karina Davila (‘17) is Using Social Innovation for Economic Equity at Visa and Beyond

For the past year and a half, ‘17 Alum Karina Davila has been honing her skills in research and user experience design with Visa’s Innovation Centers in San Francisco. As their Senior UX Designer of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, her work varies from client to client, but the ultimate goal is advancing widespread financial inclusion…

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Are you a Design for America Alumni?

MFA Design for Social Innovation (DSI) at the School of Visual Arts is offering a scholarship awarding $10,000 per year to one Design for America member who applies by Jan 15, 2020. DSI is the first MFA of its kind, located in the heart of New York City. It’s a two-year, STEM-certified social design program.…

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