This May, 23 students graduated from our program becoming the second-ever class to have an MFA in Design for Social Innovation. The culmination of their learning at SVA was the thesis projects, presented at the Thesis Show.
The students, who are from countries all over the world, come to the program as committed, empathetic individuals that care deeply about one or more causes. During the two-year program they go through a rigorous experiential learning process that gives them the tools to become leaders and translate their passions into practical, innovative solutions poised for impact.
The class of 2015 did not shy away from complex problems; they addressed diverse topics such as: racial segregation in Alabama, abortion rights in China, hospital efficiency in India, student loans in the United States, homeless LGBTQ youth in shelters, and transit for people with disabilities in New York City. Watch the videos to see how DSI students propose solutions for issues such as: the healthcare system, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, latino economic empowerment, college student depression, and many more.
Thesis work begins in the spring of their first year when students take an Intro to Thesis class. They launch into research over the summer and then in their second year they begin developing the projects. Students are grouped into small teams and then assigned 1 of the 4 thesis faculty who coach them through the process and also conduct workshops with them throughout the year.
This year’s thesis projects raised the bar for future students and have already garnered interest from government agencies, corporations, and creative consultancies that want to work with select students to help push their ideas forward. We will be including updates in this newsletter about the (now) alumni’s progress with their thesis projects and beyond, so stay tuned.
We wish the class of 2015 well as they continue the hard work they started at SVA and we have no doubt they will go on to create significant change in New York City and around the globe.