One Student’s Journey to C-SED’s Front Door
As a first-generation college student Ally Sierra, C-SED’s Design Consultant, has found her own way through both her undergraduate and graduate experiences without the generational knowledge most other students are prepared with.
Aquaducks: One Year Later
Recently, I caught up with co-founder Vanessa Woolley almost a year after I first learned about the Aquaducks’ Quality Water & Contamination Control device (QWACC) aimed to treat wastewater and overflows.
Sea-Spider: The Future of Ocean Cleanup
Almost half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating island of trash twice the size of Texas, is made up of discarded fishing gear. This gear, called ghost fishing nets, strangle marine life and block sun from contributing to the underwater ecosystem - an ecosystem responsible for at least half of the world’s oxygen and all sea-life.
Designing Access: One Year Later
We recently sat down with the Designing Access team to talk about what they’ve been up to since participating in Innovation in Action (IiA) 2021.
Staff Spotlight: Ann Verhey-Henke
Ann is the Strategic Director for the Center for Socially Engaged Design.
The 2022 Final IiA Showcase
On Friday, April 8th, the C-SED community gathered to showcase and celebrate 19 student teams that made it to the end of the 9th annual design competition: Innovation in Action.
Staff Spotlight: Tallie Ritter
Tallie Ritter is the Program Manager of Data Analytics and Educational Technologies for the Center for Socially Engaged Design.
Looking Back at My Summer Studio Experience
Ally Sierra, C-SED's Design Consultant and superuser, speaks on her experience as a Summer Studio intern last summer.
BlueLab EASE: Socially Engaged Design in Practice
Sara Groenke, C-SED’s Program Assistant, also serves as the project lead for BlueLab EASE - an independent student project team that works closely with C-SED.
Innovation in Action’s Most Popular Challenges
Check out our students' most popular passion areas, from sustainability to social justice, and hear in their own words how they chose their challenge.
Staff Spotlight: Lawryn Fraley
Lawryn Fraley is the Student Affairs Program Coordinator for the Center for Socially Engaged Design.
Staff Spotlight: Charlie Michaels
Charlie Michaels is the Director for Experiential Learning at the Center for Socially Engaged Design and a Lecturer in Undergraduate Education.
Staff Spotlight: Robin Kocher
Robin Kocher is the Administrative Assistant for C-SED and a User Experience Research and Design Masters student in the University of Michigan School of Information.
Staff Spotlight: Erin Moore
Erin Moore is the Associate Director of Engagement Strategy for Center for Socially Engaged Design, leading outreach and engagement efforts with students across the center’s programs and initiatives.
Graduate Facilitator Spotlight: Robert Loweth
Robert Loweth has been a Graduate Facilitator with the Center for Socially Engaged Design since the program began in 2018.
Facilitator Spotlight: Kelley Dugan
Kelley Dugan is a Graduate Facilitator for the Center for Socially Engaged Design and Mechanical Engineering PhD Candidate.
Student Staff Spotlight: Ally Sierra
Student Staff Spotlight: Ally Sierra, Design Consultant, M.S.I. '22 in User Experience Design and Research and B.A. in Communication and Media
Affiliate Spotlight: Ryan Henyard
Ryan Henyard believes that a better world is possible, and he’s doing his best to make that belief a reality.
Innovation in Action – Frequently Asked Questions
Innovation in Action (IiA) at the University of Michigan is a campus-wide program giving groups the opportunity, the tools, the people, and the room to take on the world’s biggest challenges.
How the C-SED Lab is creating an inclusive makerspace
Nestled on the third floor of the GG Brown Building, the C-SED lab greets you with glass walls and a collection of various tools. It is open to anyone willing to learn, as the intention behind its design was to foster inclusivity.
FooDEI: Making Room for Equity at the Dinner Table
Dr. Helda Morales from El Colegio de la Frontera Sur believes that “every bite we take is a political act.” Ayana Curran-Howes, Catherine Lumanauw, Deena Etter, and Hannah Cary of team FooDEI could not agree more. Food and its history are tied to inequity, discrimination, and injustice. With this in mind, the act of eating is indeed political, though we might not realize it.
Brassi: Oatmeal with a Hidden Veggie
Growing up, people preached the importance of breakfast. Yet, most people’s worst eating habits revolve around breakfast. Many opt for skipping the meal altogether or grabbing over processed bars, mumbling the excuse that they don’t have time to make anything else.
Visionary Central: Where The Community Grows
In Ghana, 53% of the population is twenty-four years or younger. The majority of this demographic does’t have access to the opportunities they need to scale their businesses and participate in entrepreneurship. If productivity is to increase, it’s crucial that decent work and economic growth are supported.
Designing Access: A Toolkit for Inclusion
The Designing Access team-Sofie Aaron, Amy Belfer, Callie Torkelson, Hannah Lefton, and Flavio Di Stefano-used it to set the stage for their project: a toolkit for inclusion consisting of a website and printable pdf.
Aquaducks: Improving Water Quality, Together
When Vanessa Woolley asked her roommate Rosalia Otaduy-Ramirez if she wanted to work on a project focused on water quality and sustainability, Rosalia enthusiastically said yes.
ClassBop: Student to Teacher Feedback Made Simple
Underfunded public education and teachers who struggle to find the time needed to meet their students' needs. These are not new problems, and the virtual environment has only exacerbated them. It is harder to know how students are really doing from behind a screen. That’s why ClassBop was created by Roni, Raeed, Edward, and Cindy.
EquiHome: Sharing the Load and Sharing the Love
EquiHome, the First Place winner of 2021’s Innovation in Action Showcase, was born out of the urgency to make real change. Currently, 2.25 million families are without childcare and women are three times as likely as fathers to be responsible for household needs.
LifeLink: Making Aging More Accessible
What if all it took to create affordable housing, or a more united university community, was intergenerational living? Aunrika Tucker-Shabazz, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Michigan, believes it is the solution.
City Slickers: Mobilizing Resources
The City Slickers are flipping the script on accessibility and mobility. Emily Manetz, an undergraduate in the College of Engineering describes their mission as “bringing the resources to people instead of bringing people to resources.”
General Intelligences: Making Common Sense More Common for All
General Intelligences — created by Magda Wojtara, Gyanesh Mishra and Eric Moreno — is a non-profit, peer-to-peer based coalition that targets the "hidden curriculum" of adult life skills and social capital, fundamental means to success. The organization is focused on empowering those ages 17–26 from disadvantaged and marginalized backgrounds.
Plucky Comics: Introducing New Superheroes to the Classroom
Nathan Alston, Daniella Gennaro, and Onyekachi Ezirike all know what it’s like to not see themselves represented in traditional curriculum. Growing up, they experienced the impact of this lack of representation, and in response they created “Plucky Comics” to bring visibility to Black Queer stories in the classroom.
Facilitator Spotlight: Matt Pirone
Facilitator Spotlight: Matt Pirone, Project Development Coordinator and Facilitator, M.S. in Design Science and M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering
IiA 2021 & Envisioning an Anti-Racist World: Team Features
Student teams from across the University of Michigan worked for several months to imagine a future world--and a future campus-- that is anti-racist and developed solutions through C-SED's Innovation in Action program.
BLUElab India Project Helps with Giving Blue Day
Hi! We’re BLUElab India Project (BLIP), a multidisciplinary team of students dedicated to co-designing sustainable technology to address community identified needs centered on fostering social equity. Over the past couple years, we have worked closely with C-SED to develop our skills in socially engaged design in order to create strong community partnerships and empower the people that we work with.
Book Club’s Next Chapter: “All We Can Save”
I stumbled upon C-SED through book club. A short post in a newsletter caught my attention, “In what ways do design methodologies promote inequality? What are others in our field doing to address injustice? How might we leverage our own work toward justice?”
Innovation in Action…is Running Virtually!
We are excited to apply our own design process to this year’s program and re-design IiA to meet students where they are: online!
Introduction to Socially Engaged Design: C-SED Goes Virtual
19 students from five schools and colleges spent the week learning the basics of the socially engaged design process through the lens of the challenge question, “How might we support the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area to uncover needs and address challenges that the ripple effects of COVID-10 will have on small businesses?”
INNOVATION IN ACTION: 2020 Final Showcase
On the morning of a typical Innovation in Action Final Showcase, you can find a familiar scene: teams of students nervously checking their microphones and rehearsing their pitches; judges from all over the country readying their score sheets; and staff members double-checking each detail to make sure every team has the chance to showcase five months of hard work.
September Design Jams Recap
"Design a way to increase beachgoers’ awareness and understanding of the dangers of the Great Lakes while encouraging the safe enjoyment of their beaches and shoreline."
Innovation in Action Team Feature: Reproactive
ReproActive is focused on solving communication and education issues related to sexual and reproductive health for adolescents and young adults. Knowing this a highly stigmatized topic, ReproActive aims to deliver unique tools to relevant stakeholders, adolescents, young adults, healthcare providers, and parents.
Summer Studio 2019: Unraveling the Challenges of Public Sector Services in Southeast Michigan
Public sector services in Southeast Michigan, such as water, food, energy, and mobility, are inhibited from effectively providing services to their communities because of aging and siloed infrastructure, and are in need of innovative solutions. Could smart, distributed technologies be a part of sustainable and equitable solutions for public sector service’s most pressing problems?
ENGR X55: Finding Genuine Design Opportunities 2019
4 projects across 3 countries — working with partners to prioritize design challenges.