Center for Socially Engaged Design


Select a consultant to the right, explore topics by category below, or scroll to the bottom for additional options.

Meet with C-SED to Get Started

Not sure how you utilize C-SED resources?  Just want to talk about your project or project idea?  Meet with a C-SED staff member to learn about resources available to you.

Meet with a C-SED staff member.



Socially Engaged Design Process & Methods

Our Socially Engaged Design Process & Methods Consultations can help you understand the design process and how it maps to your project’s needs. We want you to be thoughtful, rigorous, allow for creativity, and stick to studied and proven methods.

Our Consultants are available to guide you in:

  • Socially Engaged Design Thinking
  • Design Process Overview
  • Design Ethnography Skills and Techniques
  • Interviewing
  • Observations
  • Iterative Design Concepts
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Context Assessment

Every individual, community, or problem exists in a broader social, political, and environmental context. In the design process, analyzing context is important for thoroughly understanding the problem and possible approaches to it.

Our Consultants can offer guidance in:

  • Thinking more broadly about context
  • Identifying specific contextual factors related to your problem
  • Developing new questions based on contextual analysis


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Community Engagement

A community engagement consultation will help you successfully build, maintain, and exit with a respectful, effective, and meaningful partnership with a community.

Our Community Engagement Consultants can guide you in:

  • Cultural Awareness
  • Entering, Engaging in, and Exiting from Communities
  • Identity Mapping & Eliminating Assumptions
  • Identifying Stakeholders


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Book a communication consultation for help articulating your vision, describing your goals to the community you are working with, documenting and communicating about your design process, and presenting your work to others in a clear and concise way.

Consultants can guide you in communicating with partner communities through:

  • Oral, Written, and Digital Storytelling
  • Mission Statements & Describing your Purpose

And in communicating about your project outside the community:

  • Photography and Project Documentation
  • Presentation Development and Execution
  • Design Review Documentation & Grant Proposals Review
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Are you ready to travel and work directly with a community? Our consultants can point you to resources to plan your trip and make sure you and your team stay safe.

Our consultants can offer guidance with:

  • Fieldwork Planning
  • Health Safety and Security


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Design Teams

Collaboration can be challenging. Book a consultation as a team leader or as a full team to get help with strategies for working together, de-briefing, and moving forward as a group.

Our consultants can help in:

  • Project Management & Leadership
  • Building an effective team
  • Reflection and De-brief Strategies
  • Team Building and understanding group dynamics
  • Resolving Conflict


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Needs Assessment

As a designer, you will need a strategy for identifying the needs, priorities, and of your partner community to inform your project.

Our Consultants can offer guidance in:

  • Needs Finding
  • Needs Filtering
  • Needs Statements


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Interviews, Observations, & Other Qualitative Research Methods

Performing qualitative research will help you gain a deep understanding of a specific situation or problem in a direct, culturally specific, data driven way.

Our Consultants can guide you in:

  • Participant Observations
  • In-Depth Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Incorporating qualitative data analysis into design decisions


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Secondary Information Gathering

Need help gathering information for a project or research? Seek help from one of our consultants, who can point you toward the right resources on and off campus.
  • Literature Review
  • Benchmarking
  • Stakeholder Perspective Elicitation
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Requirements and Specifications

Our consultants can help you develop concise requirements and specifications to guide your project that are culturally appropriate and defined by the users.

Our Consultants can help you with:

  • Elicitating requirements
  • Translating requirement to engineering specifications
  • Performing usability testing on requirements/specifications
  • Determining sustainability of your project
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Idea Generation & Concept Development

After selecting a need or problem to focus on, it is time to figure out how to address it. A Concept Development Consultation can help you generate ideas and select potential directions for your project.

Our Consultants can help you with:

  • Idea Generation   
  • Concept Development        
  • Concept Selection
  • Creative Thinking and Strengthening Creativity
  • Strategies for Divergent Thinking
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Building & Prototyping

Do you need to build or refine your making skills? Our consultants have skills in a variety of design and production strategies.

Our Consultants can offer help with:

  • Using prototypes throughout the design process
  • 3D Printing
  • Electrical Design
  • Materials Selection
  • Mechanical Design
  • Computer Aided Design Software (AutoCAD, Solidworks)
  • Programming & Computation (MATLAB)
  • Physical Prototype Creation
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Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Whether preparing for small or large scale, local or regional manufacturing, C-SED experts can help you navigate this difficult terrain.

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Sustainability Assessment

Before beginning to design for technology sustainability, it’s important to develop a holistic view of sustainability and the ability to evaluate sustainability claims and perceptions.

Our Consultants can help you with:

  • Frameworks for discussing sustainability and sustainable design
  • Understanding social sustainability
  • Evaluating the sustainability of a technology system
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Social Venture Creation

Interested in building your project into a social venture, business, or organization? Our consultants can help you analyze markets, develop a business model, and review grant or funding applications.

Our consultants can speak with you about:

  • Business Model Development
  • Customer & Market Analysis
  • Identifying Opportunities
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Medical Device Design

If your design project focuses on medical devices or if you’re interested in the field, meet with one of our experienced consultants.

Our consultants have expertise in:

  • design in low resource settings
  • manufacture of medical devices
  • needs and requirements elicitation in clinical settings
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Other ways to use the C-SED Consultation Services

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