We work with the local community to create impact in problem spaces over the course of 1-2 semesters, using our design process to get to the root of the issue. We run 4-5 projects a semester with local and national community partners in problem spaces such as education, food security, disability and accessibility, and more!
Team Lead: Kimberly Jung | Designers: Chris Frey, Katie Musial, Sina Parsnejad
Community Partners: North Elementary
This summer we're reviving SuperConductors (née MAGLEV) a DFA MSU project that started four years ago with the How Can We statement "How Can We enable communities to initiate the move towards renewable energies?". This project quickly shifted when we partnered with North Elementary in Lansing and focused instead on hands-on teaching in classrooms. Our next focus is testing with more teachers and producing a second version of the maglev train developed in the first iteration of this project. Our new How Can We statement is "How can we assist elementary teachers who have few resources to educate their students through play?
CAMPUS SAFETY | Spring 2017
Team Leads: Chad Binder | Designers: Naomi Wang, Pa Vang, Nick Tomic, David Slimak, Kevin Stiles
This project broke down what "campus safety" meant to different groups of students, and worked to tackle those areas. The areas identified were financial security, mental illness, sexual assault, and academics.
Refugees | Spring 2017
Team Leads: Katie Musial, Cindy Ochoa | Designers: Gaby Abalo, Amrit Deol, Brad Fischer, Elizabeth Slifkin, Adam Sliwinski | Community Partners: Refugee Development Center, Tony Willis of LEAP, Shirin Kambin of the Immigrant and Refugee Resource Collaborative, and Andrea Batten, a Brody ICA
This project focused on immigrant and refugee populations at MSU and in the Lansing area. The How Can We statement for this project was "How can we provide career development opportunities and address legal issues facing Spartan international students?", and the team developed a professional development workshop for immigrant, refugee, and international students as their solution. The workshop included information about email etiquette, LinkedIn, and was concluded by a panel discussion with fellow international students who spoke on their Spartan experience and the challenges they faced throughout their college career.
In the future, DFAMSU is seeking to continue running this workshop with other student organizations here on campus. If you think you could help with this, feel free to use the contact form here to contact us!
International students | Spring 2017
Team Leads: Sina Parsnejad | Designers: Douglas Clements, Chris Frey, Ming Zhang | Community Partners: MSU OISS
This project focused on getting international students engaged in campus traditions and making them feel welcome their first year at MSU.
SUN CARDS | Spring 2014
SUN Cards also known as Students Understanding Nutrition cards was our very first project. Our broader goal was to challenge the issue of food insecurity in Lansing. We decided that to create a healthy community we needed to create healthy community members in their youth. We successfully created and tested a rewards program encouraging students to eat their fruits and vegetables at North Elementary.
MarkMe | Fall 2014
Team Leads: Ken Hunter, Evan Fried | Designers: Lauren Shields, Morgan Malloy, Abid Ahmad | Community Partners: Newell Rubbermaid
MarkMe was the result of a national DFA project sponsored by Newell Rubbermaid to reduce injuries and fatalities on the construction site. Four other studios worked on similar problem spaces and the project concluded with a presentation at Newell Rubbermaid's design headquarters in Kalamzoo, MI.
REFUGEE PROJECT | Fall 2014
Team Lead: Libby Hoffman | Designers: Leslie Welch, Dan Cyr, Mark Golbeck
Approximately 40 refugees arrive every month in the city of Lansing. The Refugee Project is currently designing a literacy program for young adult refugees in need of skill-development such as language and cultural immersion that will help them apply for jobs and college and support themselves .
ALS | Fall 2014 - Spring 2015
Team Lead (fall, spring): Ehan Gnanendran, Ken Hunter | Designers: Trevor Walker, Jaclyn Sudak, Jon Simons, Ryan Sanchez | Community Partners: ALS of Michigan, MIND
Members of the ALS project attended ALS support groups and had one on one interviews with patients and those affected by ALS. The team is currently hoping to design a product that will guide ALS patients through certain daily activity as well by providing them a sense of independence and strength.
Mag-Lev Train | Spring 2015
Team Lead: Evan Fried | Designers: Liz Martin, Hannah Hunter, Kimberly Jung, Kaushik Sridasyam | Community Partners: Impression 5
Members of this team designed magnetic levitation tracks. They spent a day at North School having 5th grade students design their own Mag-Lev trains and having them race them in a tournament. The two 16 foot long tracks were left at the school so any future classes can enjoy them.
Public Health | Spring 2015
Team Lead: Lauren Shields | Designers: Ehan Gnanendran, Morgan Malloy, Leslie Welch, Dan Cyr
Working alongside University of Illinois's Design for America studio, the public health team is seeking to increase public health awareness on MSU's campus.
Design for CP | Spring 2015
Team Lead: Libby Hoffman | Designers: Abby Furest, Prateek Gupta, Linda Lay, Sarah Polega | Community Partners: Peckham
The Design for CP team focuses specifically on redesigning the walker for those with Cerebral Pasly. The team's goals are to increase mobility, functionality and independence.