Meet Our Teams
Our studio members begin new projects every semester, working with topics from food deserts to older adults. We've had four teams move into implementation so far, with many more to come! Check out all of our members' projects below.
Tech Together is a technology hotline and weekly workshop for formerly incarcerated people on St. Louis run by WashU students. Tech Together began as a collaboration between WashU’s Design for America chapter and the Criminal Justice Ministry, a nonprofit in St. Louis that supports and empowers those impacted by incarceration.
Members: Rachel Hellman, Alice Liu, Bob Zhao
GLOBAL FARM PROJECT
Our project's goal is to help the Burundi Progressive Union acquire farm land so they can sustainably grow nutritious food and build community among their members. We plan to do this by creating a guide to help them through the grant process and build a stronger social media presence in St. Louis.
Members: Victoria Grace Assokom-Siakam, Daniel Barbakoff, Andrew Beukelman, Zoe Liu
TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS FOR DISABLED PEOPLE IN ST.LOUIS
Our group works closely with Steven Foelsch, a quadriplegic man who works closely with the Starkloff Disability Institute. When we began our project, our goal was to increase Steve’s control over his environment and, through several user interviews, we learned that Steve feels least in control when he has been put in bed for the night. Specifically, Steve articulated that he has trouble with temperature regulation when he is sleeping, as he has no way to alter the thermostat or turn a heater/fan on and off throughout the night. In order to remedy this, our team decided to prototype a retainer that would allow Steve to remotely control a temperature regulating device by using his tongue to press buttons on the retainer that would interact with an AC/heating unit through Bluetooth. After lots of research and several more user interviews, our team has decided that using voice control as a method to control temperature is a more feasible solution to Steve’s problem. This semester, we have been working with Steve to set up his Alexa device along with Smart Outlets that can communicate with the Alexa to turn different devices in his home on and off. So far, we have been able to connect his space heater to the Alexa and Steve reports that his sleep has already been much improved and that he feels much safer knowing he has more control over his environment. Moving forward our team plans to carry on working with Steve individually by continuing to set up his Alexa products, but we also hope to expand our project to help more disabled people in St. Louis. While still in its early phases, we are looking to work with organizations that assist people with disabilities in setting up technological devices that improve their quality of life. We are eager to learn more about what this process looks like and possibly work to improve or expand it.
Members: Hayden Reynolds, Laura Judd, Nick Armanino, Sara Mesiano, Michelle H Kim
Mentor: Nick Rogers