Week One

Not only was last week the first week of classes, it was Design for America Duke’s first week on campus as an official DFA studio! In order to establish credibility and clout at Duke, we met with a lot of administrators, professors and organizations to spread the word about DFA and create partnerships.

We met with Matt Nash from the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) who is working on bringing design and innovation to the curriculum and was so excited about DFA.  His support and insight are invaluable and we are thrilled to have him as an ally.

We also met with Peter Hollander, the Duke representative from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.  Peter has the shared goal of finding a space for design on campus.  We think it is so important for Duke students to have access to a place that encourages creativity and doesn’t double as an academic location. Hopefully we can work with Peter this year to find/create a space where DFA and other similar organizations can ideate and prototype most effectively.

Michael Faber is the IT Innovation Program Manager at Duke and he heads the Innovation Co-Lab which is an incubator for students interested in high tech.  We talked to Michael about possibly co-sponsoring an “Iconathon” for The Noun Project. The Innovation Co-Lab is like DFA for students focused on technology design and a partnership between our organizations has the potential to bring real impact to Duke/Durham.

In addition to these meetings we spoke with Dean Linda Franzoni (Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education at the Pratt School of Engineering), a psychology professor and a drawing professor.  It is evident that there is a wave of design coming to Duke and we are so excited to be on its forefront. Now, our main focus is to recruit new members who are as passionate about this mission as we are.  We’ve been visiting lectures and took the Student Activities Fair by storm with a walking poster advertisement in order to spread the word about Duke’s newest creative, innovative and proactive organization.

This week we have two information sessions where we invite everyone interested in DFA to come hear more about us!

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