9/22/2022 Fall ’22 Designer in Residence: Karen Proctor, Improv Lab

Monday May 1st, 2017

The annual DSI Thesis Show presentations will be held on Monday May 1st, from noon to 4pm at the SVA Beatrice Theater.

Please join us as the Class of 2017 presents their thesis projects on the critical topics of today including: health, climate change, education, elderly care, language and much more.

12:00 – Introduction: Cheryl Heller, Chair
12:20 – Jeffrey Franklin, Faculty
12:25 – Michael Raineri 8:56 →
12:35 – Marlyn Martinez Marrero, Andrea Cisneros, Karina Davila 19:49 →
12:45 – Siqi Liang 28:33 →
12:55 – Haoshi Jiang 39:04 →
1:05 – Archie Lee Coates IV, Faculty
1:10 – Irene Rojas, Carmen Lopez 51:30 →
1:20 – Kendall Murphy 1:00:16 →
1:30 – Linjie Deng 1:07:43 →


2:05 – Tina Park and Miya Osaki, Faculty
2:10 – Karla Despradel 2:02:25 →
2:20 – Genieve Ramrattan 2:10:55 →
2:30 – Jiajing Wu 2:19:20 →
2:40 – Wen Tang 2:29:58 →
2:50 – Jade Broomfield 2:39:16 →
3:00 – Megan Fath, Faculty
3:05 – Tanvi Kareer 2:50:40 →
3:15 – Mohammed Al-Thani 2:59:13 →
3:25 – Sara Al Kuwari 3:09:09 →
3:35 – Pragya Mahendru 3:19:25 →
3:45 – Closing Remarks: Cheryl Heller

Thesis Presentations 12:00 – 4:00PM
SVA Beatrice Theater
333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011

DSI Reception 4:30 – 6:00PM
136 W 21st St.
5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
To watch the presentations and learn more, visit the Projects section and download the DSI mobile app for iOS.


Karla Despradel

Duquesa is a small, extremely poor community in rural Dominican Republic. Their livelihood comes from diving into a landfill that is a few miles away to sort recyclable material. This practice doesn’t discriminate age, and from eleven, children go to work helping their families, which makes them vulnerable to dropping out of school. Trueque leverages insights from behavioral science, education and design to create favorable conditions for positive behavior change among children and ultimately the entire community.

Get To Know

Mohammed Al-Thani

Qatar is undergoing a huge transformation as the global oil industry declines. The hoped-for transition is into a Knowledge Based Economy, but it is far from over, and some sectors need help growing. How can we inspire high-school students in Qatar to view a career in Science and Research as viable? Get To Know delivers an experience to high-school students in Qatar to help them explore the world of opportunities.

Wealthier With Water

Pragya Mahendru

The further people live from a source of clean drinking water, the less likely they are to drink it. Spring Health, a clean water service, is addressing this issue by delivering to the doorstep of customers in rural India every morning. They have reached 250 villages, providing clean water to 146,000 people, but their growth has stopped. This modified subscription model, is designed to ensure an increase in daily use of clean water by reducing the amount of bad water consumed, while still being financially profitable to Spring Health.

Time In

Jade Broomfield

Time In is a superhero themed classroom program for Black Male Elementary students who have been suspended and show signs of repeated problematic behavior that make them likely to get suspended again. The program is a space for these students to address and express their emotions and high energy needs in order to increase their self confidence, motivation, and rigor in the classroom.

The Community Grounds Project

Michael Raineri

Every year approximately 8500 tons of spent coffee grounds are produced by New York City cafes. The Community Grounds Project addresses this organic waste problem by transforming these spent coffee grounds into a fertilizer product, the sale of which supports local community benefit organizations. Doing so empowers cafes to divert their organic waste from the landfill, allows small businesses to connect with and support their community, and increases conversation surrounding responsible waste management.

PEER UP for Cancer

Wen Tang

When people are diagnosed with cancer, and when they are undergoing treatment, it’s often a challenge for them to communicate openly about what they’re feeling and what they need. PEER UP for Cancer helps young adult cancer patients easily communicate their needs and feelings with friends and makes it easier for them to offer help.

Karaoke Club

Carmen Lopez, Irene Rojas

For immigrants, language is one of the main obstacles when arriving to a new country, and it is the main barrier for adapting and accessing opportunities. Many feel intimidated to practice and further their English skills because they do not feel comfortable, and it is very difficult for them to find a safe space in which they can practice. Music connects across cultures and can break down barriers. Without necessarily understanding the lyrics, many people feel connected to the American culture through music.

From Experience, With Love

Genieve Ramrattan

In partnership with Meals-on-Wheels, From Experience, With Love moves fluidly between digital and analog mediums to connect the digital natives of the world with homebound seniors in East Harlem who aren’t quite sure what the internet is about. Young people ask questions via online interfaces, seniors give answers via letters delivered by Meals-on-Wheels. Like a slower, lower tech, but infinitely more thoughtful search engine, this is advice about life from people who’ve literally been through it all.

Hi, Tide

Marlyn Martinez Marrero, Andrea Cisneros, Karina Davila

Over the past two decades, global sea levels have risen roughly twice as fast as they did during the 20th century, and it is only expected to keep rising. Hi, Tide is a short messaging service (SMS) that allows residents in Rockaway, NY to easily report problems in their neighborhood that are related to sea level rise and tidal flooding. The project allows residents to become more familiar with these issues by focusing on a problem that is close to them and they deal with every day.


Jiajing Wu

In China, elderly patients who take medications for more than one type of chronic disease often experience adverse drug reactions because different doctors prescribe similar medications, there is no medical record system and they themselves are confused. My intervention will help young family members work with elderly relatives with multiple chronic diseases to help them manage their medications. This will lower their risk of overmedication and drug reactions as well as making them feel cared for.

Redemption Food

Kendall Murphy

Every year the average American consumes approximately eight hundred pounds of animal products, with negative effects that include more global greenhouse gas emissions than all transportation combined, consumption of half of all fresh water in the US, and contribution to ocean dead zones. Redemption Food incentivizes the New York metal music community, which research shows is a concerned one with great potential, to change their consumption habits through a narrative that uses fast food data integrated with their cultural aesthetics.

Chinatown Connects

Siqi Liang

Chinatown Connects is a community newspaper created BY and FOR Chinese seniors to highlight their common interests and build lasting interaction opportunities among them. The goal is to connect isolated Chinese seniors in New York through their own stories.


Linjie Deng

Being gay is unaccepted in China, and men there have to fake it by marrying a woman, because they want to make their parents proud. This painful lie has continued from generation to generation. How can we stop making the same mistake?

Lugaty (My Language)

Sara Al Kuwari

Arab expat families temporarily residing in the U.S, unintentionally create disadvantages for their children, who lose their fundamental native language skills. This program helps children temporarily located in the U.S. maintain their fluency and avoid communication challenges in the future.

Hataat (In My Hand)

Tanvi Kareer

In a typical small village in western India, people’s income is completely dependent on agriculture. Most people work as laborers on land they don’t own, for a daily wage of less than two dollars. My hypothesis is that a new experience, which makes saving tangible, flexible, personalized (and fun) will motivate them to overcome the barriers to save for their goals (beginning with short term goals, like objects for the home, which will motivate saving as a long term activity.)

Works Art Center

Haoshi Jiang

In the city of Changsha, China, there are roughly 308,000 people with disabilities; or one in every five families. They are segregated from society, and for the most part, unemployed. How can their talents be encouraged and connected to jobs that will help make them part of society again?

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