ENGR X55: Finding Genuine Design Opportunities 2019
Students in ENGR X55: Finding Genuine Design Opportunities worked
in teams — 4 projects across 3 countries — working with partners
to prioritize design challenges.
In this experiential course offered by UM’s Center for Socially Engaged Design (C-SED), students learn the skills of socially engaged design during the winter semester and then spend 6–8 weeks during the spring/summer immersed in a field site working with a community partner to identify potential design opportunities. In 2019, students worked with four different partners in Ecuador, India, and the United States to identify assets and needs and understand priorities around design challenges in specific communities. The deliverables included a presentation of findings to their partner with an accompanying report that provides in-depth descriptions of the methods, captured data, recommendations, and design insights from their work.
SETCO Foundation, Gujarat, India
4 team members representing: School of Public Health, School of Social work, Ross School of Business, College of Engineering
The SETCO Foundation focuses on healthcare, nutrition, education and
empowerment of women and children in the Panchmahal district of Gujarat,
India. Four C-SED students worked with SETCO Foundation to broadly identify the highest priority challenges facing residents of 4 rural villages in Gujarat to inform a more holistic strategy and direction of the foundation’s future work in the district. The students facilitated mapping activities, focus groups and conducted interviews in several hamlets (neighborhoods) to uncover these insights with the SETCO Foundation.
Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID
3 team members representing: Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Chemical Engineering
Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is hosting the construction of several first-of-a-kind advanced nuclear reactors – which may serve as critical components in the fight against climate change. However, their adoption hinges on the success of community engagement efforts. A complex history around nuclearization in the United States and globally has led to polarizing views and perceptions on the energy source. A C-SED student team of three students engaged with local leaders, decision-makers, and community members in several regions across Idaho to better understand prevailing perceptions of INL and nuclear energy. The project results are being used to inform INL community engagement and communication strategies around common themes from the team’s insights.
Nido de Vida, La Bolivarense, Ecuador
4 team members representing: School of Information, School of Public Health, College of Engineering
Through a partnership with Nido de Vida, a family-run educational and agricultural association in rural Ecuador, this student team of four members worked to map out the water sources in the area, as well as identify challenges, barriers, and health risks around these sources in Nido de Vida’s home community. The resulting research is helping Nido de Vida and the La Bolivarense community increase their understanding of what water sources exist, how they are being used, what might threaten the health of the community. This data is informing possible paths forward to address local challenges related to water and deforestation.
City of Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovation,
Ann Arbor, MI
3 team members representing: School of Public Health, School of Information,
Stamps School of Art & Design, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Resilience Hubs are community-serving facilities designed to support residents and coordinate resource distribution and services before, during, or after climate related natural disasters. Students worked with the City of Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovation to understand what resilience means to Ann Arbor residents, how they prioritize challenges facing their neighborhoods, and perceptions around natural disaster preparedness and response. The results will inform the design and implementation of a resilience hub pilot in Southern Ann Arbor.