DSI Alyson Fraser Diaz talks Allied Media Conference & Hue Design Summit


Creative Writing for Social Designers

Creative Writing for Social Designers
Spring semester
Friday 9:00-12:00 (3/15/19, 3/22/19, 3/29/19)
Instructor: Kate Reed Petty

The maxim that all change begins with language is true in the visual arts to the same extent that it is anywhere else. Yet social impact designers — who make their professional careers developing initiatives that change lives, often with enormous public consequence — are often not taught how to write.  Both the design and social innovation fields are rife with argot and clichés that deaden 16/SIG meaning instead of uncovering it. The goal of this class is to give social designers access to the power of creative writing in order to more fully understand themselves, and combine that self-knowledge with writing that will infect and inspire their audiences.

Introduction to Thesis

Introduction to Thesis
Spring semester
Monday 6:00 – 9:00 (1/14/19 – 5/06/19)
Instructors: Alison Cornyn, Natalia Radywyl

In this course, students investigate a variety of topics, researching each to the point of confirming their own interest and the viability of the concept. Exercises in problem definition, audience identification, research and barriers to change help students test their own hypotheses. Criteria include demonstration of need on the part of the audience, a clear articulation of the concept and metrics for success. By the end of the semester, students have a fully vetted topic for their thesis.

Global Guest Lecture Series II

Global Guest Lecture Series II
Spring semester
Wednesday 6:00 – 9:00 (1/16/19 - 5/01/19)
Instructors: Faculty

This is the second part of a two-semester course. This weekly yearlong lecture course exposes students to the lives and ideas of some of the most important people defining social innovation in the world today. Speakers are curated to inspire new thinking and dialogue on various opportunities for careers in social innovation, and how design plays a role in each of them.
Watch Lecture Videos

Communication Design

Spring semester
Wednesdays 2:00 – 5:00
Instructor: Miya Osaki and Corwin Green

In this course, students use language and verbal and visual communication skills to engage, persuade and shift behavior through story writing and telling, cogent logic and public presentations. Throughout the semester, students develop a personal voice as well as work with external clients and organization to design communication as a system with intentional impact on outcomes. The course culminates with presentations to external clients.

Technologies for Designing Change II

Technologies for Designing Change II
Spring semester
Tuesdays 12:00 - 3:00 (1/15/19 – 5/06/19)
Instructors:Lee-Sean Huang

In this making course, students will explore a range of methods and techniques for taking a concept to completion using design and physical computing. The class will focus on digital and physical prototypes as a method of testing and learning. This learning will support the systematic design decisions that determine the quality, impact and outcome of social design.

Games for Impact

Games for Impact
Spring semester
Thursday 6:00 – 9:00 (1/17/19 - 5/02/19)
Instructors: Mattie Brice, Nicholas Fortugno

Games designed to address social and political issues are one of the fastest growing categories in the ‘serious games’ movement. This course incorporates game theory and analysis with hands-on development of social impact games: interactive experiences that integrate socio-political events, values and messages into their design and game mechanics. Working in teams, students take on game projects from concept to a functional prototype, and refine their projects through several iterations, ending with presentations to a jury of experts.

Mapping and Visualization Design

Mapping and Visualization Design
Fall semester
Thursdays 6:00 – 9:00 pm (9/4/19 - 12/17/19)
Instructor: Edwina Portocarrero

This course teaches mapping and visualizing systems in order to facilitate a journey from thinking to making. Readings, discussions and weekly “experiments” are employed to investigate how mapping and modeling techniques can help develop sustainable frameworks of action. The course helps students visualize and articulate their thinking, explore ways of planning and communicating solutions, and develop new models of engagement and action.

Global Guest Lecture Series I

Fall semester
Wednesdays 6:00 – 9:00 pm (9/14/19 - 12/11/19)
Instructors: Miya Osaki, Emily Herrick

This weekly yearlong lecture course exposes students to the lives and ideas of some of the most important people defining social innovation in the world today. Speakers are curated to inspire new thinking and dialogue on various opportunities for careers in social innovation, and how design plays a role in each of them.

Technologies for Designing Change I

Fall semester
Mondays 6:00 – 9:00 pm (7 classes: 11/14/19 – 12/16/19)
Instructor: Lee-Sean Huang

From Skynet to Hal 9000 popular culture has cast artificial intelligence (AI) as the catalyst of the apocalypse, but what if AI could help humanity instead of dooming it? This course explores artificial intelligence and machine learning and how these technologies might be applied to global issues. We will look at the history of AI from the works of Alan Turing to Elon Musk and examine the current state of the technology, how it fails and where it succeeds. Students will be introduced to IBM Watson's technology and have access to the APIs; a background in computer science is not necessary. The course will culminate in a project to design and prototype an artificial intelligence application for social good.

Understanding Natural and Social Systems

Fall semester
Wednesdays 2:00 - 5:00pm (8 classes: 10/2/19 - 11/20/19)
Instructor: Miya Osaki, Paul Lillehaugen

Social innovation and social entrepreneurship, including novel approaches to financing these initiatives, are part of a vibrant global movement that promotes fresh responses to even the most vexing and complex social problems and needs. At the intersection of various perspectives and sectors, social innovation is largely a practice-led field and can lack common language and frameworks, depending on the stakeholders. What may be called social innovation can emerge from the public as well as private sectors (both for-profit and not-for-profit), from small start-ups as well as seemingly entrenched bureaucracies.

Through the lens of experts across fields that intersect with this one, via readings, instruction, multimedia, case studies, and class discussion, this course will provide an overview of key themes and types of actors in the ecosystem of social innovation. It will also help to place the current focus of innovation and entrepreneurship into context within longstanding efforts at social change.

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