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New Post! Welcoming Shawn Harris: Our Fall ’21 Designer in Residence

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Welcoming Shawn Harris: Our Fall ’21 Designer in Residence

Can you talk a bit about your professional experience? How did you get to where you are? While I’ve been guilty of romanticizing my journey as a progressive act of “swimming upstream” – from a rigid focus on technical implementation towards an open-ended sense of creative ideation – that now feels closer to hyperbole than…

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Returning to DSI for Fall 2021!

Last week, after nearly two years of virtual lectures, zoom town halls and talent shows, across  a wide array of time zones, we officially welcomed both our first and second year students into the physical DSI studio for the first time.  Despite some obstacles, including the remnants of Hurricane Ida hitting NYC mid-week, we kicked…

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Welcoming New Faculty: Fall 2021

This fall, we will be welcoming a number of new practitioners to the DSI team, and we’re excited to begin to introduce them! First, we welcome our two new first-year instructors:  Mai Kobori will be joining us as our new Disruptive Design instructor. Mai is a co-founder of Blank Plate, a creative culinary program in…

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Why DSI? Emily Herrick. That’s Why.

What is design for social innovation to you? I will break it down like we do the first three weeks of our Global Guest Lecture Series: Design: In its simplest form, design is an approach that results in an outcome. Core to an approach are the values we prioritize and the outcomes we desire (see…

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Net-Fishing with Karla Sofia Despradel (‘17)

Though Karla Sofia Despradel (‘17) has always been in love with design, she once struggled to find purpose in the work. Now, as the Design Director at Constructive, she and her diverse team of design practitioners influence the brand strategy of social-impact oriented clients. This often means taking on multiple projects at once, stemming from…

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Grace Kwon (‘20) on Finding Purpose in Design

Strategist and DSI faculty-at-large Grace Kwon (‘20) started out training in traditional visual communications design back home in South Korea. However, she’s always known that it wasn’t her true calling. Even in her undergraduate life, she packed in as many entrepreneurship classes as she could due to her desire to be closer to people and…

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Alisha Mahen on Activating Community Power at Acumen and Beyond

2020 alum Alisha Mahen identifies as a teacher-turned-designer. For six years before enrolling at DSI, she worked in a range of roles in the education sector in India–as a teacher, curriculum developer, and instructional designer. Most of these experiences involved working closely with underserved communities, through which she developed her passion for working with rather…

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Community Design for Leaders Wrap-Up

In June we wrapped up our first round of sessions of our Community Design for Leaders summer course. The two week collaboration between DSI, FLOX Studio, and Core77 was a huge success, and left attendees with a deep understanding of power, belonging, and independence within communities. In order to reach these understandings, the course defined,…

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Congratulations to our Paula Rhodes Award Recipients!

This year, DSI chair Miya Osaki has granted the 2021 Annual Paula Rhodes Memorial Award to ‘21 graduates Veda Borgave and Esther Jing Xin Yip for their exceptional work on their thesis projects–Hundred on 100 and Bersama-sama, respectively–both of which demonstrated massive effort and growth as social designers since beginning their DSI journeys.  Hundred on…

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Catching up with Amer Jandali (‘16)

Now the founder and CEO of evolving social design company Future Meets Present, Amer Jandali (‘16) has had quite the journey since his time as a nightclub DJ. For some time after earning his degree in International Business in 2010, Amer performed across the country and began his own radio show with a through line…

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