Skip to main content

The annual DSI Thesis Show presentations will be held on Thursday April 28th, from noon to 5pm at the SVA Beatrice Theater. Please join us as the Class of 2016 presents their thesis projects on the important issues of our time: health, education, food security, democracy and sustainable fashion, among others.


Watch Here

Thesis Projects

Pink text on a dark blue background that reads:

Art Pact

Teachers experience the weight of system-wide challenges and are left feeling unmotivated and uninspired by school and state standards. By inviting teachers to explore tools outside the area of their expertise through collaboration, Art Pact provides an opportunity for increasing classroom creativity, arts literacy as well as granular problem-solving within their own practice.

A woman in a light green hijab speaking to a white man in a red plaid shirt. Next to this is a white vertical bar with text on it. Inscribed in a black box are the words

Ask Me About My Hijab

The hijab is being misrepresented to the American mainstream, causing negative social attitudes and perceptions towards the women who choose to wear it. Ask Me About My Hijab is a tool that invites open conversations between women wearing hijabs and non-Muslims, giving them a chance to share their perspectives and reclaim the image of hijab today.

An orange tinted image of three boys playing football on grass.

Backyard Lots

Backyard Lots showcases the benefits and potential of vacant properties. The idea behind Backyard Lots is to take what some people may see as a liability and turn it into an asset for the community. Backyard Lots provides secure and convenient locations for youth to organize and participate in sports. The program provides residents with the necessary recreational outlets they don’t currently have, and attracts new residents and retains current residents in order to fill vacancies and create a thriving community once again.

A background image of rows of light grey blue icons of men and women's heads. two of the heads have drawings of faces on them. In large blue text reads:


Sexism is one of the major barriers for women’s advancement in their careers. Self-reflection is the first and leading step to influence responses to sexist incidents, and can overcome confusion,self-doubt and fear of confrontation. Cass is a text based self-reflection tool that generates a tangible conversation, deliberately building trust in the contemplation process.

A blurred image of various people walking with shopping bags.


Clo is a clothing sharing platform for college age women that uses borrowing to reduce the consumption of new clothes.

A yellow icon of a man and woman graphic in red and blue respectively. They are enclosing a smaller green circle that has a little girl and boy icon, in red and blue respectively. This is next to green text that says

Common Bond

Common Bond is a method for educators with diverse student bodies who want to build a strong parent community – across class – that supports and encourages the diverse friendships their children form in school. In our research, we found that while children form diverse relationships easily, parents do not. To encourage their children’s relationships, our platform enables parents from different classes to better communicate and relate to each other through their children.

A graphic of a cog with a small sapling inside of it. Below that in black text reads


In urban areas like New York City, it is incredibly easy to make trash every time you eat. But uneaten food isn’t trash. Until people moved into cities, food used to decompose in the ground becoming more food – over and over again. Now we send it to landfills, discarding those nutrients forever. Compostal, enables urbanites to easily send their food waste to a community garden, where it will be converted to soil and used to grow city trees, vegetables and flowers.

A graphic of a white smartphone over a blue background with white and blue fish swimming around the smartphone. On the smart phone white and orange text reads:


You can find 7,200 sushi restaurants on Yelp in NYC, but it’s hard to make a sustainable decision when it comes to eating sushi. Even people who love eating sushi rarely know about the available substitute options. The current system in restaurants is not providing transparent information nor direction on what kinds of sustainable options people can choose when they are ordering. Fishwish curates the existing menu based on the Seafood Watch standard recommendation to sushi consumers when they are selecting sushis from the menu. By making the eco-eating process easy and convenient, sushi consumers can make sustainable decisions without the hassle of making secondary efforts to check the information about their choice of sushi.

Assorted vegetables arranged in three rows in neat lines. The background is an off-white color. Below this is a black icon of a small bowl. Next to the bowl in black text reads:


Food is always the last part of culture that immigrants retain. For second-generation Chinese Americans who ate Chinese dishes growing up, Chinese food is their comfort food. However, more than half of them have no confidence in cooking it. My project uses storytelling to share the origins of their favorite dish and encourage them to cook it, further influencing a their connection with their cultural identity.

A white rectangle with a graphic of a globe in a bird's nest. Underneath this in green text reads:

Green Nest

Impact investment is investing in businesses doing good such as manufacturing clean energy and creating affordable housing. You are able to do good and make money at the same time. However, existing impact investment information requires all kinds of “language” and “numbers” knowledge, and people don’t understand the existing information on websites. Green Nest is a platform that streamlines the investment research process and makes decisions straightforward and easy to understand. In the future, impact investment will become a competitive financial product, and Green Nest will ensure social value is generated from investment, can be measured and understandable.

A pink hexagon with white text inside of it that reads:


One in five women experience prenatal or postpartum depression, yet most new mothers aren’t prepared for it. Despite the government’s recent recommendation to screen all pregnant women and new mothers, the current way of screening isn’t effective due to its stigma and fear. To address that, mothers need a screening tool that is presented in the right context and helps her to be aware of her mental status continually. HeyMama helps mothers access and communicate their moods and specific needs frequently with a small circle of friends and family. Based on that, our experts guide them with the tailored advice and present Postpartum Depression symptoms in a personal and compassionate way. By doing so mothers learn what is normal and what isn’t, and to know when to ask for help. It also increases access to the treatment by providing concierge service to match and place a back-up counselor during the pregnancy.

A blue graphic of a dialogue box drawn in blue. Inside the dialogue box is a line segment marked by two points on either end. Outside and to the right of the dialogue box is blue text that reads


Hospital visits are unpleasant. Patients encounter emotional pressure by their physical health status. In addition, it is amplified when patients are unable to express their needs and be understood. MatchPret advances accessibility to on-site interpreters by minimizing coordination in order to adapt to the patient’s language and cultural preferences to facilitate more accurate communication that goes beyond literal translation and ultimately elevates their experience.

A graphic of a dark green puzzle piece. Below this in dark green text reads:

Piezas Faltantes (Missing Pieces)

Piezas Faltantes (Missing Pieces) is an intervention that brings to life the memory of people in Colombia who went missing due to the political armed conflict.

A black bar on a white background with rainbow text inside the bar. The text reads:

With few cultural cues for how to move forward after the loss of a sibling, bereaved brothers and sisters are susceptible to getting trapped in crippling isolated grief. Tapping into the natural urge to share stories from their lives helps them reconnect with their own sibling identities while serving the legacy of their lost brothers and sisters, celebrating their lives rather than drowning in the emptiness of their deaths. is a website and community space that collects examples from siblings around the world who have found ways to share their sibling’s stories in their everyday lives.

A large, light blue 'V' over a purple background. In the bottom left corner, white text reads:

The V Store

The V Store is a welcoming and comprehensive space where women and men can learn more about sexual and reproductive health through curated products, services, and experiences. Staffed with medical professionals and sex educators, it provides a sex-positive, holistic, and judgement free approach to health. It takes power out of providers, and puts it into the hands of the consumers.

A small graphic of a could with a smiley face. In blue text written above the clouds reads:


Because of guilty nagging feelings, NYC working professionals hardly take proper renewal breaks. The negative impact of skipped breaks culminates in increases in fatigue and decreases in productivity. Wonder eases into professionals’ daily routines by helping them take micro, renewal breaks. Approaching in a humane and personal way, Wonder allows professionals to embrace the work-rest cycle by enjoying the getaway activities, while taking breaks from the endless hours spent on the computer. In addition, professionals can share their experiences with colleagues by encouraging the culture of taking renewal breaks. Ultimately, Wonder provides impact metrics to enable users to visualize their progress and the salutary effects of their daily renewal breaks.

A red arrow icon connected to a half-circle that has the arrow pointing to white text. The text reads:

You Are Here

You Are Here is a roadmap for staff members in youth development organizations who are interested in more meaningful civic learning — in moving away from lessons about “civic duty” and “your vote matters”— towards helping students understand how they are connected to their community — and by extension local government. Staff members are provided with a set of principles and tools to facilitate student-centered discussions where students reflect on their own values, identify issues they care about, and think critically about their role in their communities.

Sign up for the latest news from
Design For Social Innovation
Email Signup
Back to Top