DSI 2022 MFA graduates share their thesis work and collaborations with communities.
The class of 2022, aptly called the “Mighty 7”, shares projects responding to social design topics including: sustainable coffee consumption, biomaterials and composting, joy in educational spaces, community-centered design, healing spaces for women individually and across generations, and loneliness in the Asian immigrant community.
Thesis Show 2022 was live-streamed on May 9, 2022, with live captioning.
The best approaches are already designed by nature. This project aims to explore the natural power of biomaterials–especially mycelium–to heal our ecology broken by plastic waste.
NYC ECOFFEE is a collaborative guide that aims to increase the number and use of sustainable coffee shops in NYC by guiding customers and coffee shop owners to recognize the connection between coffee culture and nature.
Joy.edu is a space to center the joy, possibility and imagination in re-designing what classrooms and educational spaces across New York City could look like. This work is an altar to youth-led movements and freedom fighters across space and time, the young people who guide us as ancestors and the young people rising up today for the spaces they want and need, right now.
No one is an island
“No one is an island” is a Storytelling project centered on the Asian immigrant community to connect people facing similar challenges with one another.
Sonder: noun. The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. This thesis uplifts the shared experience of being in a women’s body and aims to hold space for the community and conversations that need to exist in order for individual healing to be done.
Sultana’s Dreamers are a creative healing collective co-created by Mala, Sumra, Sanobar, Ifrah and Zahra– all of whom are South Asian-American daughters of immigrants. Empowered by the short story, Sultana’s Dream by Begum Rokeya, we gathered in virtual community to reimagine a future inspired by the women in our past. In strengthening our creative, cultural intuition to gather, tell stories, and make, we began the work of intergenerational healing as daughters and as ancestors.
“Yes, And: A Personal Practice in Community-Centered Design” is an introspective examination of the designer’s role when working within traditional institutions of power, particularly city government. If designers are facilitators of process, how do their own practices of equity, justice, and liberation show up to ultimately shape or shift our systems (of oppression)? How can we ensure that our communities are thoughtfully approached, meaningfully engaged, and actually benefit from the work? By investigating the tensions between institutional and community-based practice, designers can use this reflective series of prompts to strengthen and shift their work to create more desirable processes, and thereby futures.