Design for America

MSU Chapter: Design For America (DFA)

“Design for America is a consortium of talented, renaissance-thinking, passionate students from the community who collaborate with community organizations and nonprofits to solve real world problems. The organization creates social impact by understanding the challenges of our communities, creating powerful solutions based on human-centered insights, and partnering with organizations to execute these transformative ideas.”

Spring Semester Project (January – April 2017)

Identity and address student-based perceptions of campus security concerns.

In order to better understand what is campus security we talked to several students, we had a presentaion from MSU Safe Place, and attended a town hall meeting. We came to the understanding that campus security varies student to student. Some examples include financial security, mental illness, sexual assault, and academics.

So what and how were we going to tackle campus security? We came up with several solutions.

  1. Create a box pamphlet with resources that can be found on campus.
  2. Create a large calendar that can be placed in dorms for students to see what is happening around campus.
  3. Create stickers to adocavte for the important of mental illness.

Box Pamphlet

We come up with the box pamphlet idea to provide resources for students. We knew there were lots of resources on campus and students get bombarded with informational papers during events like Sparticipation, but how many people actually keep them? We decided to create a box pamphlet that would be beautifully designed so it wouldn’t just be another pamplet. It could be placed on student’s desk in their dorms as decoration but also informational. We would pass them out during welcome week in the fall or possibly already have them in the dorms when they arrived.

The purpose of the box pamphlet is for students to have resource informations in their dorm, where they considerate it their safe place, in case of an emergency. The campus security concern we addressed with this solution is not having information when needed.

Large Calendar 

The idea of the large calendar stemmed from the idea of introvert and students not having information of when events and clubs were meeting. It would be placed at the entrance of the doorms so that when students are leaving or entering, they would have the calendar to look at to see what was going on around campus. Students living in those dorms would be able to post what events and clubs were going on.

In terms of the design of the large calendar we discussed having it as a white board or an electronic board. The electronic calendar would be expensive but would gaurantee the information to not be erased.

The purpose of calendar was to try to get students involved so they had a safe place to go to and people they could talk to. We focused the idea on introverted students but branched out to the general population. By having a safe place to go to and people we trust, we hoped to create stronger individuals and trustful communities within dorms and the overall campus.


The idea of creating stickers were to advocate and raise awareness for mental illness. We did go along with this idea and presented it at the final expo. The stickers would be used as a source of raising awareness about mental illness and for students and others to learn about the importance of educating ourselves about the topic. The stickers could be placed on laptops, bike rails, car bumper, and more.

Personal Experience 

What I enjoyed about DFA were the challenges we faced. Throughout the semester, we came up with several ideas to address campus security. I learned that there is not only one way to address campus security because of the different experiences that students go through. Some are more involved on campus and know about the resources MSU provides while others live off campus and has never needed to seek help.

Spring 2017: Campus Security Team

Fall Semester Project (September – present)

Preparedness and Resilience in Higher Education.

Sponsored by Sedexo, our project looked at resilience in higher education. Using the design process, we conducted our user experience design and research following these steps:

  1. Research (scholarly journals and interviews)
    1. Gathered insights from research.
    2. Developed “how can we” statement:


  2. Ideate
    1. Using our insights and HCW statement we came up with some ideas
      1. Interface platform
      2. Website that allows students to post projects that employers can view
      3. Career Mornings


  3. Prototype
    1. We prototyped our ideas and concluded that we wanted to test the interface platform and career mornings.
  4. Testing
    1. After designing and planning how the interface platform and career mornings we tested with students and community members.

  5. Redesign
    1. We received several positive feedback but also changes we could add.

Presentation presented to Sedexo on December 14th, 2017.