What is the Design Thinking Challenge?

Design thinking is a process—applicable to all disciplines—of generating new and innovative ideas and developing solutions to problems.

The Design Thinking Challenge program brings together teams of six students from a range of majors to: 

  • Research a problem proposed by a local community partner

  • Identify a facet of the problem to investigate more deeply

  • Develop ideas that they can share with the community to gain a more complex understanding of possible solutions

  • Build and test models of their most promising ideas

Teams work closely with their community partner throughout the program and present their findings in a public forum at the end of the spring semester.

Challenge projects have open-ended goals, allowing teams the flexibility to come up with their own innovative solution to address any aspect of the problem they identify related to the challenge. Teams will ideally be highly interdisciplinary and passionate about delving deep into their challenge problem. Part of their work will include identifying the “grey areas” of challenges and proposing ideas that could potentially bring about a positive change in the existing system.

Program Timeline

Design Thinking Challenge teams will participate in an immersive development workshop during Interterm 2018, and will work on their projects for an average of four hours per week in Spring 2018. All team members must commit to full participation in this program in order to be considered.

Interterm schedule: 1-4pm, weekdays from January 8-19 (no meeting on Jan 15)

**Students will be compensated during the Spring semester at the rate of $12/hr for up to four hours per week.**

How To Apply

Complete the application formApplications for the 2018 Challenge are due at 11:59pm on Monday, October 23.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Monday, October 30. Accepted students must then confirm their participation by Monday, November 6.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Megan Lyster in the Center for Community Engagement.