DSI Why DSI? Mari Nakano. That’s Why.


A Tribute to Our Graduating Cohort, from Next Years Graduates

Today was thesis day, and at DSI, we have a tradition that first year students create a film to send the graduating class on their way out into the world with best wishes. We hope you enjoy this celebration, and a preview of next year’s graduating class.

Inside a Thesis Prototype: The V Store

Rarely in life do we get to have something we’ve been picturing in our heads for a long time come to life in the real world, so this has been an amazing and mind-bending experience. I came up with the concept for The V Store just over a year ago: a comprehensive, approachable concept store…

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The Power of a Thesis in Design for Social Innovation

In a matter of weeks, our third class will present their thesis projects on stage at the SVA Beatrice Theater. One of the unique aspects of DSI is the diversity of our students, in their interests, their experiences and the cultures from which they come. Twenty-four countries (and counting) have been represented, with interests as…

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The Legendary Paul Polak Speaks at DSI

Paul Polak has brought nineteen million people out of poverty, practiced human-centered design before anyone ever heard of it, and pioneered new techniques for market creation among rural farmers in Africa and Asia. He is also a dear friend and mentor to DSI, and on our Faculty at Large. A master at designing affordable technologies…

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DSI Chair and social impact innovator Cheryl Heller traveled to Austin to join moderator David Fukuzawa of the Kresge Foundation, and fellow speakers David van der Leer of Van Alen Institute, Joanna Frank of Center for Active Design, and Bon Ku, MD, Director of CWIC-Design, for SXSW’s SXgood Hub’s Stories, a series of talks from…

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Can Social Innovation Design Influence the Health of a Community? Reporting on DSI’s Harlem First Initiative

For the fall semester’s Mapping and Visualization Design class, first-year DSI students tackled the question: How can social innovation design influence the health of a community? And who should be part of the conversation? The community in question is East Harlem, where DSI is already partnering with the Poptech Institute, the Arnhold Global Health Institute, and…

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Save the Dates: Harlem First. Mapping the Health of a Community

MFA Design for Social Innovation, The Arnhold Institute for Global Health, and the PopTech Institute are partnering to create a new way to understand and address the health needs of a community.

MFA Design for Social Innovation: The Year in Review

Four years ago, DSI opened with an ambitious vision: to see our graduates leading positive change at every type of organization, from business to government and the social sector; and, to the be a leading source of learning on how to use design to solve the complex problems facing humanity. We don’t pretend to be…

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Life After DSI: Josh Treuhaft

One can well imagine that the typical DSI applicant is an idealist. We who are interested in what Daniel Pinchbeck once called the ‘brilliantly nebulous’ field of Design for Social Innovation are those who are imagining the world as a different and hopefully better place. But alumnae Josh Treuhaft explains that while our program might attract idealists, it eventually makes pragmatists out of them.

A Report from Open House No. Five; an Invitation for International Applicants

It wasn’t all that long ago that our first open house took place with a handful of faculty, in a temporary space, with no current students or student work to show. That was our first reception, before DSI opened, way back in 2012. This year, everything but the pioneering spirit and commitment to a career that benefits the world was different than that first gathering.

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