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  • Design for America at the University of Illinois

    First-year MBA student, Ankit Iyer, along with two other MBA students and two undergraduate students created this video as part of the application process to start a Design for America (DFA) chapter at the University of Illinois. Design For America is a national organization that looks at using design thinking to solve social problems. Currently there are chapters at Northwestern, Stanford, Brown, Columbia, UCLA, Cornell, etc. DFA was on the cover of Fast Company magazine in October and has been featured in Forbes, Inc. magazine, and Harvard Business Review. I asked Ankit share some information about the project and the video.

    The Project:

    Right now we have over 80 students signed up for DFA UIUC from all across campus. The students looked at a variety of issues and voted on which problem they'd like to address for a pilot project. “Walking home safely at night was picked” and we worked on coming up with a solution over a month-long time period as part of our application. The team went through DFA's design and problem solving process to try to come up with a solution.

    The Video:

    Mike Remolona, Jason Soderlund and I were the three MBA students that worked on the video. We wanted to spread the word about DFA@UIUC and share some of the work we've been doing over the past few months. The video explains the process that we followed, along with briefly explaining some of the interviews and prototypes we had considered. Working on the video was a lot of fun: I shot the video and Mike and Jason were the hand actors with Jason providing the voiceover.

    If selected, DFA@UIUC will need more talent and we'd love for more people to sign up. We're hoping to increase awareness of the work we're doing, and take on even more projects once we are integrated with the national organization.

    If you like design, innovation, or solving social problems, and want to be a part of DFA@UIUC, join their Facebook page at!/groups/dfauiuc/.