Year One: Stroke Rehabilitation -
Throughout the course of this year long project, I learned the Human-Centered Design Process by conducting user research through interviews, clustering insights, creating low fidelity prototypes, and user testing.
Year Two: Homelessness on campus - Team Lead
As the project lead, I had the opportunity to select and scope the project topic, and guide a team of new members through the design process. I acquired local community partners, produced deliverables at each phase of the design process.
Year Three: Vice President
At the end of my second year, I was elected to the position of Vice President for the organization. I was in responsible for coordinating recruitment, assisting the team leads in their effort to scope their projects and attain community mentorship, and maintain a dialogue with our local design lab.
It is important to recruit dedicated students from a variety of backgrounds to create a diverse yet cohesive studio. I organized informational nights to get the word out about our projects for the year. I created promotional materials to hand out around campus, and made sure that we developed our social media presence to attract new students enrolling in the university.
I then created an application to get a sense of which students would remain committed to the projects throughout the year, and would be assets to the teams that they join. We received a record amount of applications, and created the largest studio Design for America at UCSD had to date.
I was able to help the team leads conduct group interviews, in order to create strong and efficient teams. We ask a variety of questions to determine commitment, availability, interest in the topic, and problem solving skills. '
Design Lab Liaison
The Design Lab on campus had shown an interest in collaborating with and sponsoring our organization, so I filled the role of Design Lab Liaison for the first time. I attended weekly meeting with the lab's Director of Outreach, and advocated for the needs of Design for America on campus. I was able to work with her to find community mentors for our projects, and encouraged our team members to participate in design sprints and workshops hosted by the lab.
Through this position, I was provided the opportunity to mentor students participating in the school wide design-a-thon centered on mobility and the development of the campus. I was able to utilize my leadership skills and knowledge of the human centered design process to guide groups with a variety of backgrounds through every stage of the design process.
Year Four: President
As the studio grew, we realized that we needed a leadership board larger than two people to run the organization. We decided to elect two members that remained in the organization into roles as an executive board. This was done to distribute the workload, and increase studio retention from year to year. I was in charge of selecting team leads and the internal branch of the executive board for the year.
Internal Board Director
My vision for the studio was to develop a sense of community, and to ensure that every meeting felt valuable for all of the members. To accomplish this, I created an internal board that consisted of VP of Design Education, VP of Finance, VP of Community Development, and an official Design Lab Liaison position.
I worked with the VP of Design Education to create a curriculum of hands on activities that would educate the studio about the Human Centered Design Process, and its uses in every day life. The VP of Finance worked with me to set up a procedure for requesting resources from the Design Lab, and brainstormed ideas for fundraisers to provide funding for studio events. The Design Lab Liaison was connected to our partners within the Design Lab, and communicated events and updates to me to integrate into the activities of the studio.
Team Lead Director
Leading a team through a year long design project is extremely challenging, so I implemented weekly check-ins and discussions with our team leads in order to ensure the continued success of their projects. We work through problems that the teams face like difficulties in communicating with community partners, or lack of commitment from team members. We discuss methods and tools that could be used to further their projects, and make ensure that each team is on track to complete their projects to the best of their ability.