Noun: 1. a group of people united in making an impact on the world around them
Empathy, Impact, and Innovation
We are a group of people united by a common set of values that define our work. We look back at our projects remembering how we worked together, in addition to what we worked on.
Design for America is a nationwide network of student-led organizations that aims to create products and solutions that solve real world problems. Design for America at University of Illinois is one of the most inclusive clubs on campus, boasting students from dozens of majors, as well as one of the top performing DFA studios in the nation.
Tackling complex social challenges can be tricky. The Design for America design process is here to help! We form teams composed of all backgrounds and majors to design products and solutions that solve real world problems. These projects all follow a guided DFA process with the ultimate goal of implementing the solution into the market.
Where We Work
National Center for Supercomputing Applications
Our members have access to state of the art facilities at the NCSA building on campus. Within the building, we also have our own room for relaxing, studying, meeting, brainstorming, building, and more.
Armory Innovation Space
Members have access to the cutting-edge resources offered in the Innovation Space. Centrally located on campus, the space provides a meeting space for individual teams as well as a gathering location for developmental events as a Studio.
Lucas joined DFA in fall of 2016 and is now serving as the President the UIUC studio. In this position he guides the long term vision of the studio and works with studio mentors to ensure the organization runs smoothly. He is currently studying Material Science and Engineering. In addition to DFA, Lucas is an intern for the Siebel Center for Design and active member of Student Alumni Ambassadors.
Lucas is passionate about how human centered design can be leveraged to design more compassionate social services. He hopes to one day work for the City of Chicago, tackling issues in housing and education. When he’s not working on helping run the studio, you can find him listening to an episode of 99% Invisible or munching on a Chipotle burrito.
Kirtan joined DFA in Spring 2017. He is a senior studying in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Business. He is currently serving as Vice President of Operations at the UIUC studio. What initially drew Kirtan into design thinking was his passion for helping others and love for designing user-centered products. He plans to use his newfound skills in DFA at a consumer products company.
When not running the daily operations of DFA at UIUC, Kirtan is usually spending time either rooting for Chicago and Illini sports team, working out at the local gym or catching up on his favorite TV show. Fun fact: He broke his arm as a child by dropping a TV on it.
Jane joined DFA in Spring 2018 and is now serving as the Vice President of Marketing. She is a sophomore in Graphic Design with a minor in Informatics. By the end of her college career, she hopes to be with a design firm or a big corporation to do brand design or change her focus to work more in human-centered design. What initially drew her to DFA was the word design, but what made her stay was the amazing people and new experiences in design thinking/HCD. The new experiences have given her depth as a designer but more importantly, as a person. When not with DFA, she bakes and cooks while also either designing/collecting stickers.
Forest joined DFA in Fall 2017 as a sophomore studying Civil and Environmental Engineering with a primary in Construction Management and a secondary in Structural/Transportation. He currently serves as Vice President of Professional Outreach of the UIUC studio. He aims to leverage design-thinking throughout his career, working with innovative technologies in engineering our built environment. As a southern California native, he will be studying abroad next semester and intends to work internationally in the future.
Angela joined DFA right as she stepped foot on campus her freshman year and is now a sophomore studying Systems Engineering and Design. By retirement, she aspires to build something big and impactful on her community, and hopes to meet insanely cool people along the way. On campus, she’s secretary for Society of Women Engineer’s Team Tech and enjoys being a graphic designer for the Engineering Pathways program. Next year, she will be teaching design thinking as an ELA for the Siebel Center for Design.
A native northern Californian, Angela obsesses over good Asian, Mediterranean, and Latin food and will shut anyone down who calls boba “bubble tea.” She loves candid and landscape photography, reading thrillers or cute romance comics on Webtoons, and spending too much time trying to organize.
Aayushi joined DFA Spring 2017 and now serves as the VP of Membership for the organization. She is a junior in Molecular and Cellular Biology and aspires to be a surgeon one day. She joined DFA as she wanted to make a positive impact in her community as well as to quench her personal and professional goals. Few of the social challenges that she is passionate about are quality education, gender equality, and reduced inequalities(especially in healthcare).
As a Pre-med student, Aayushi believes that human-centered design is cross-sectional and can be applied to any field. When she is not busy studying or writing grants, you can find her baking and/or binge watching Netflix.
Some of the most passionate people you'll meet.
Pixo User Experience Designer
NCSA Education Coordinator
Emerging Technology Center at Synchrony Vice President
Leveraging human-centered design in business.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
The Product Manufactory
Our national network was founded at Northwestern in 2009. Explore more at designforamerica.com