This year, our DSI graduates have once again developed ground-breaking projects that challenge and address social and systemic problems out in the world.

Their extensive work has begun to prepare them for rewarding careers as designers and creative leaders.


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Thesis Show Schedule

Hundred on 100

Veda Borgave

"Hundred on 100" reimagines community support for young adults with Type 1 Diabetes in India. It is a set of tools curated by the community, for the community along with a framework to provide smoother transitions and changes to their lives.

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Veda Borgave

A Product Designer with Research and strategy at the core of her work, Veda Borgave brings a lot of her culture and identity from her city, Pune, India. All the rich and diverse experiences she was exposed to helped her realize that her strengths lie in cross-disciplinary problem-solving approaches. At the heart of her practice lies her love for meaningful conversations, communities and the strength in humanity to build together, come what may. She is an illustrator, a cook and hopes to emerge as a sensible & responsible listener and an empathetic designer driven by her values through her journey ahead.

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Rural & Online Education

Zhiqiang Li
Annan Yang

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, online education has been greatly developed. Teachers have made a lot of interesting attempts on online education and have achieved remarkable teaching results. As a form of education that can transcend time and space constraints, online education can not only help some areas in China that lack high-quality educational resources to get out of trouble, but also reduce the stubborn problem of excellent teachers' volunteer teaching in rural areas.

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Zhiqiang Li

Coming Soon!

Annan Yang

Coming Soon!

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The Missing Ingredient

Nidhi Desai

"The Missing Ingredient" is a community space to support the work of New York Common Pantry. It aims to educate, persuade and facilitate conversations which are moderated by nutrition educators about local, seasonal and traditional foods with parents/caregivers to bring nutrition security for them and their families in order to prevent childhood obesity in the Bronx.

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Nidhi Desai

Nidhi Desai is a Design Strategist from India using a mix of wit, data and storytelling to explore and transform the voices of communities into visions for positive change. Her passion for health equity and sustainable environments intersects with her background in business and design to strengthen the work of local non-profits to fight food deserts and prevent childhood obesity in the South Bronx. She uses a participatory, community-centered approach to build capacity and create sustainable solutions.

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Bersama-sama: Healthy To(gather)

Esther Jingxin Yip

"Bersama-sama: Healthy To(gather)" is a collaborative field guide to grow relational care in Singapore's low-income rental neighborhoods, through community-centered gatherings around health and nutrition. Using meaningful dialogue and creative facilitation, we nurture equitable relationships with communities━ unveiling and appreciating personal stories, natural networks and collective wisdom.

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Esther Jingxin Yip

Esther Jingxin Yip is an experience designer from Singapore, building a more caring world through the lens of design. She believes that designing for equity is the only viable way forward in our increasingly complex world. With a varied background in social design, systems engineering and analytics, her design philosophy is grounded in humility, introspection and trust-building, and fuelled by a strategic understanding of the systems around us. Throughout her years in designing both digital and physical experiences, she takes a collaborative and participatory approach, while building the capacity of communities and organizations towards sustainable impact.

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Hey Lady

Sherrie Shao

"Hey Lady" is a project to help facilitate conversations on sexual and reproductive health among Chinese immigrant women.

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Sherrie Shao

Coming soon!

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Side by Side

Nishita Chheda
Alyson Diaz

"Side By Side" is a system of tools and resources that supports the healing process for survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. The goal of the project is to reimagine long-term support for people who have experienced sexual violence by strengthening interpersonal support.

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Nishita Chheda

Nishita is a researcher, strategist, and visual sense-maker from Mumbai, India, committed to working towards gender equity, environmental reclamation, and education. With a background in Sociology and Communication Design, and experience working with underserved communities in the global south, her work strives to center around care, compassion, and creativity. When not working, her weekends are spent pursuing patches of soil in this concrete city, trying out zero waste recipes, and exploring illustrations and the written word.

Alyson Diaz

Alyson is a design researcher, strategist, and visual artist working in the social impact sector. She combined her lifelong love of art and design with years of experience in the nonprofit sector to pursue a career in social design. Alyson has a diverse educational and professional background which has inspired her multifaceted perspective on how design can be used to create better outcomes. She approaches everything with humility and compassion which helps her to find common ground across difference. She is passionate about women’s issues and is currently part of an advocacy group that brings awareness to sexual assault and domestic violence. In addition to Alyson’s design practice, she loves reading dystopian novels, exploring film photography, and trying new coffee shops.

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Art Portal

Laura Ceron Melo

"Art Portal is an art-centered online platform by and for people with justice involvement that seeks to (a) elevate their voices and artwork, (b) raise awareness about the important role of art and community in the reentry and criminal legal fields, and (c) help change the narrative about people with justice involvement. In the process of building Art Portal itself, participants develop capabilities that can support them in building stable lives in the long term and thrive."

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Laura Ceron Melo

"Laura Ceron Melo is a queer designer from Colombia. Her professional practice sits at the intersection of design, art, and activism. She feels passionate about social justice, honest and vulnerable relationships, collaboration, and spiritual growth. Drawing from her learnings working as a graphic/visual designer and communications strategist in the non-profit sector, the publishing industry, and the startup arena, she affirms her belief in art as a life-giving act and expression and in design as a tool to bring about the common good. She's interested in the power of design to communicate social imperatives, challenge the status quo, and foster individual and collective healing. "

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Kind

Amwaj Alzahrani

"Kind", is a platform that celebrates the art of people with Down Syndrome, fosters their talents, spreads hope and positivity among families, and shows the local Saudi community how awesome and creative people with Down Syndrome can be.

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Amwaj Alzahrani

Coming Soon!

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Group 2 advvised by mari

Community Conservation: Creating Connection Through Closure

Leah Brown

Green spaces are important for thriving communities. This is particularly true in New York City, and evermore necessary in a time of COVID-19. By closing East River Park, a 57.5 acre waterfront park along the East River in Lower Manhattan for climate resiliency, the individuals and communities who rely on the park are losing an invaluable resource that is essential to their health and wellbeing. By connecting these communities through a park celebration event and creating a shared alternative green space map, park users will generate long term shared support for one another and strengthen community resiliency.

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Leah Brown

Leah Brown is a facilitator, scientist, writer, cocktail artist, and social designer, working to understand the relationships in all of the different spaces that we hold. Inspired by a values-driven approach to design, she’s an organizer, curator, and systems thinker, often drawing on the wisdom of nature in her work.

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The Crossover

Janvi Ghatalia
Mahima Jaju

"The Crossover" is an educational curriculum co-created with people with disabilities that addresses the misrepresentation of disability in Indian films. It equips filmmaking students with tools to check their biases, recognize ableism and understand how inauthentic narratives impact the disability community. By amplifying the voices of the disability community and making young filmmakers aware and responsible, the project aims to eventually shift the damaging perceptions that films have created.

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Janvi Ghatalia

Coming Soon!

Mahima Jaju

Coming Soon!

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___ Around: Connecting with Urban Wildlife

Jacqueline Bao

"___ Around" is a project that calls for heightened awareness of urban wildlife in NYC, aiming to create a relationship and foster healthy coexistence between wildlife and humans.

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Jacqueline Bao

Coming Soon!

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Autism in the Future

Yiran Guo

"Autism in the Future" aims to build a more inclusive environment for students on the Autism spectrum in China to help them build a better future by changing the perceptions and raising the awareness of autism in society.

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Yiran Guo

Coming Soon!

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Museum Unmuted

Shuyu Fang

"Museum Unmuted" aims to amplify museum BIPOC staff’s voices by connecting them with designers/artists to help them create visual stories. The goal by doing so is to stimulate conversation and an understanding of BIPOC staff's experiences among the public.

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Shuyu Fang

Coming Soon!

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Nihao(Hello), Friends

Sharon Qianwen Xing

"Nihao(Hello), Friends" aims to enrich senior Chinese immigrants' lives in New York City by building a community to reduce social isolation caused by the pandemic.

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Sharon Qianwen Xing

Sharon Qianwen Xing is a social designer and graphic designer. Her works focus on problems around under-represented groups and the uneven resource distribution with the human-centered design approach. She hopes to use creativity and design to bring positive social impact in these areas.

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Storied Lives

Sohoon Yi

"From Harm to Harmony" aims to build reformative mission principles by considering cultural diversity and reduce harm to their engaged population.

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Sohoon Yi

Coming Soon!

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More Than One

Hailey Feng

"More Than One" is creating an environment where Chinese young women can support each other and build a community to cope with body shaming.

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Hailey Feng

Hailey Feng is a social designer, researcher and data analyst who is passionate about using design for social changes. She has great interests in education, equality, culture and building communities. She believes social design can create more connections and communities where role-changing and solutions for social problems lie.

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Rooted Restaurants

Evan Ressegger
Qingyi Bridget Qian
Dasha Zlochesvky

"Rooted Restaurants" is reimagining restaurant resilience. The project focuses on local solutions and tools to co-create community restaurant resilience. The goal is to increase communications between restaurants on Avenue B in the East Village and their respective communities.

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Evan Ressegger

Evan Ressegger is a design researcher and strategist. She believes that communities are their own experts and uses a community design lens to turn design insights into an actionable plan for the future. Her background in the social sector continues to inform her understanding that good work takes time, patience, thought, and care.

Qingyi Bridget Qian

Qingyi Bridget Qian was born and raised in Beijing, China, and came to study in the U.S. at a young age. Growing up as multicultural and bilingual shaped me into a rigorous learner who is cautious when need to be, but also loves to explore new ideas. I truly believe in designing with not designing for. Working closely and learning the needs of my community is the number one priority to me as a social designer.

Dasha Zlochesvky

Dasha Zlochevsky (she/her) is a social impact designer and data feminist. Dasha has always been curious to understand the relationship between health and social systems. She is passionate about research, building relationships, facilitating dialogue, and building individual & community resilience.

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Coming soon!