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2012 MiD Thesis Projects

Presenting the 2012 MiD thesis projects from our most recent cohort of degree candidates. Please explore this impressive work below and let us know what you think — we welcome feedback on our work in the program.

Designing Conversations: Frameworks for Collaboration & Empowerment
Matt Van Der Tuyn

Designing Conversations is an action research based project exploring how Design frameworks can lay the foundation for collaboration and empowerment within organizations and communities. We will demonstrate both how Design can be used as a tool to address ever-evolving problems and how Designers can transfer these tools to the organizations that will continuously benefit from their use. What I have tested in this work is how design can enhance and leverage the empowerment and collaboration of individuals and groups within both structures to produce lasting transformational change. In this thesis I have prototyped several frameworks and supporting materials to help guide the work being done in both of these environments toward a more collaborative and empowering approach. This has led to an understanding of strategies and guiding principles in working within these two contexts to build a capacity for more meaningful ways of working and learning.

Designing Health: Fostering the Growth of a Healthy Workforce within Corporate Culture 
Alaina Pineda & Sara Hall

Designing Health: Fostering the Growth of a Healthy Workforce within Corporate Culture describes our work in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Health System [UPHS] to design a work environment that promotes and values employee health. Through our discovery process, we also identified the need to affect the decision-making process of our client and the much larger health system in order to reach those impactful outcomes. To try to make a good thing even better at the health system, we developed and implemented a series of design interventions to address the current challenges within the UPHS environment. This design driven model for organizational learning can produce meaningful insights that will facilitate positive changes in less time and with fewer resources. Our process empowers change from within an organization. Ultimately, we provided our client with a series of tools and abilities to enable them to implement sustainable and successful initiatives for their employees.

SHIFT: Cycling as a catalyst for better communities
Nicolas Coia & Dominic Prestifilippo

Using the bicycle as a catalyst, SHIFT proposes a number of design interventions to help raise Philadelphia’s quality of life. To facilitate this proposed shift, this thesis leverages the Human Centered Design Process through ethnographic field studies, visual data synthesis and an iterative design approach. The meaning of “interested but concerned” was juxtaposed against the theories of latent demand to highlight and unpack the economic benefits that a 3% shift in ridership could afford this fair city. Finally, a semantic view on the role of politics and communities in Philadelphia is unraveled. Focusing on the wickedness of the encountered problem and expressing how design solutions are but a small piece of the puzzle.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 at 1:43 pm.