Center for Socially Engaged Design
Look for Fall 2018 Socially Engaged Design Award Information by September!

Winter 2018 Design Expo

Special thanks to our wonderful judges who make the Socially Engaged Design Awards possible!  Jen Chizek, Aliya Jawad, Pauline Khan, Jeff Plott,  Matt Pirone, Caroline Soyars, Ann Verhey-Henke

First Place – MINT

In developing a novel securement device, MINT seeks to ensure the comfort and safety of the world’s newest and tiniest patients during a critical time in their lives.

Judges said:
These students “left the room” big time! Due to user testing, the group also showed awareness of where their product could use improvement in design and aesthetic, which is their next challenge to tackle.”

“the students … showed passion, awareness of the marketplace/needs, and a clear positioning of “user-first” design. This group had knowledge of the context their product is going into, user needs, and a humble but capable approach that allowed stakeholders voices to shape the product.”

Honorable Mention -Ichorvane Mosquito Patch

Hard to find veins are a universal healthcare problem, but our team’s overall focus is on creating a solution that will work on people of all skin colors. Our need was initially identified by our clients while working in a Ugandan hospital, so use in a low-resource setting is also a focus of our project.

Judges said:
“Great consideration of manufacturing in the target setting”

“Outstanding use of methods throughout entire design process! I was especially impressed by the impact of concept generation as well as the utilization of users as proxy testers.”
“Clearly a challenging problem and a unique solution prototype”

Honorable Mention -Mobility Device Improvements: Wheelchair for Soccer

Braden wants to be able to play soccer with his brother and friends while in his power wheelchair. Our project consists of the development of a system to “kick” a soccer ball on grassy terrain and block the ball from rolling under the chair so that Braden can participate in a typical soccer game.

Judges said:
“The team did a great job considering how the device would impact the child’s engagement with peers. In addition to taking the child’s other activities into account when designing the user interface, the team also considered other individuals with similar mobility challenges during their design, not just the one child (e.g. made device universal/interchangeable with other wheelchairs).”

Honorable Mention -From Waste to Wasted: Misadventures in Sustainable Vodka Production

Misadventure & Co, a start-up company in San Diego, CA, diverts expired baked goods from landfills and uses them as the feedstock to produce vodka. To investigate whether this production process is more sustainable, a life-cycle analysis (LCA) was performed comparing it to that at another small-scale vodka distillery than uses local virgin wheat as its feedstock, and a large-scale commercial vodka distillery that ships its wheat in over long distances.

Judges say:
Project resulted in high quality results that could educate producers and consumers as well as better the environment.”

“Excellent construction of problem analysis and solution design based on a deep contextual awareness and comprehensive comparison.”


Meet All of the Winter 2018 Teams

Gait-way to Therapy: Dynamic Standing Table for Parkinson’s Disease Research
Off-grid Electricity Generation for a Residential Community in Liberia
Team Aquador – Sustainable Water Treatment
Heartthrobs: Improved Tubing Connector for Extracorporeal Blood Transport
From Waste to Wasted: Misadventures in Sustainable Vodka Production
Ichorvane Mosquito Patch
Mobility Device Improvements: Wheelchair for Soccer
Process model for influencing sustainable design through Biomimicry
Project MESA
LCA of a Solar Powered Battery
Wipe or Wash (ME589)
Wall-E/Collector Tivan
Livingston Grand County Equestrian Therapeutic Riding Program

How it works:

  1. BEGINNING OF SEMESTER: Register for Design Expo and tell C-SED you want to participate in the Socially Engaged Design Awards.
  2. THROUGHOUT SEMESTER: Meet with a C-SED Consultant about your design project. Take advantage of C-SED opportunities throughout the semester to build skills, get feedback, and set your team up for success at Design Expo.
  3. ~1 month before Expo: Hear from C-SED whether your team was accepted into Round 2 to be evaluated at Design Expo.
  4. Design Expo Day: Present at Winter 2018 Design Expo.
  5. Day after Design Expo: Celebrate your great work and the winning teams at the Pizza Party Reception at C-SED.

Questions about Design Expo or the host, Multidisciplinary Design Program? Learn more.

Project Evaluation

Projects and presentations are evaluated on their attention to the broader context of design, engagement with and incorporation of stakeholder expertise, application of qualitative research methods, use of respectful and co-creative language, and product quality. (criteria subject to change)

Context: Consideration of the broader context of design (social, cultural, economic, environmental), including how the design interacts with context from materials selection through implementation and adoption through disposal and/or project sunsetting.
Stakeholder/Community Engagement: Direct and indirect engagement with stakeholders and/or community for information gathering and design. Incorporation of knowledge, skills, ideas, and perspectives of stakeholders/community.
Methods: Application of socially engaged design methods, including qualitative research methods (i.e. interviews, focus groups, observations) and use of prototyping to garner feedback.
Language: Use of respectful and co-creative language about stakeholders/users, needs, and design solutions.
Quality: Technical soundness of product, likelihood to address the need, consideration of user requirements & engineering specifications.

Teams seeking to incorporate a socially engaged design approach into their project work are strongly encouraged to meet with C-SED consultants in one or more 30-minute appointments throughout the semester and train in front-end design and other relevant skills using the Socially Engaged Design Academy and Deep Dives.

Check out past SED Award winners here:

Design Expo Fall 2017

Second-line Postpartum Hemorrhage Treatment Method for Low Resource Settings
This ME450 team demonstrated a thorough understanding of the need, they conveyed a strong understanding of their partners and users, and they presented a contextually relevant concept with a high-quality prototype and simulator.  This team also included three participants in the Global Health Design Initiative Academic Program – before coming into this ME450 course, they built socially engaged design skills throughout Winter 2017 semester and spend 8 weeks in the field in Ghana this past summer.  The team earned more than the 10 possible points by impressing the judges and earning the judge’s choice points.
We also recognized 3 runner-up teams who also exemplified socially engaged design work.  Each registered member of these teams went home with a C-SED t-shirt:
BLUElab India Project
SI618 Music Ensemble: A tool for musicians

Design Expo Winter 2017

Erik Thomas presents Project MESA – an M-HEAL team and Honors Capstone Design project at Winter 2017 Design Expo

Winter 2017 Socially Engaged Design Award for Established Team went to Project MESA (Erik Thomas accepting on behalf of M-HEAL and his capstone design project) for their co-design of a portable gynecological exam table with healthcare providers in Nicaragua

Adapt and Eden’s Team present a concept solution at Design Expo 2017

SED Award judges sample Exotein, a cricket protein-based chocolate beverage developed by a chemical engineering capstone design team. Winter 2017 Design Expo

Team Exotein presents their cricket protein-based chocolate beverage developed for their chemical engineering capstone design project at Winter 2017 Design Expo

Makeathon Winter 2017

“The Team, The Team, The Team” shows off their driverless bus after a 48 hour design sprint at Makeathon 2017. Their consideration of context like features to accommodate diverse users, alert pedestrians, and navigate this miniature city earned them a Socially Engaged Design Award