In the words of students...

What have you learned through the DfA application and trying out the design process?
DfA has allowed me to discover something I am truly very passionate about. I have learned the power of creativity and teamwork and gained real life problem solving skills that cannot be taught in the classroom. -Albert Yang, Engineering

Through the DfA process, I've learned the importance of creating an environment that fosters creativity and encourages wild ideas. It takes a lot of hard work and I need to be aware of how I interact with others. - Amanda Isaacson, Business

What excites you most about bringing DfA to UCLA in the fall?

I think DfA will instantaneously be a big hit at UCLA. Every student here wants to make a social impact, and DfA allows us to make a direct change in our local community. With a variety of students from mixed backgrounds and different academic disciplines, I think UCLA is a perfect place for bright minds to coalesce and create something groundbreaking! -Sanjeev Datta, Engineering

What was most surprising to you as you tried out the design process?
I was surprised at the amount of creativity and ideas that everybody had. It was surprisingly enjoyable to soak up other people’s ideas. We did a good job keeping the group in an open-minded mentality, positively accepting or building on each others' ideas. -Michael Wang, Engineering

Design for America is a unique organization that enables students to see the entire way a product is created from start to finish. For me, the most enjoyable part was coming up with potential solutions to the problems we came up with. I also was really surprised at the number of problems we were addressing after starting from something pretty simple (reducing waste at first). - Sanjeev Datta, Engineering

What did you learn about yourself?
DfA has allowed me to really discover my passions as an engineer. I have learned that engineering is more than just the difficult coursework, but also the design, research, and exploration of solving current real world issues. -Albert Yang, Engineering

How would you describe DfA or the design process to your classmates and professors?
Design for America is a diverse group composed of young, motivated, and talented students from a variety of backgrounds. The goal of the organization is to discover, explore and investigate social and local problems around UCLA.Once the problem is identified, student groups work together to discover possible design solutions and then go through the initial stages of product development to try and produce working prototypes with the eventual goal of bringing the product to market. -Albert Yang, Engineering

What was your favorite part of the past 2 weeks?
Feeling meaningful in two ways. One, doing a project on sustainability or just tackling social issues in general makes me feel like I’m doing something meaningful. Two, being in a harmonious group environment in which we embrace one another’s ideas gives me an idea of what group effort and social interaction in general can accomplish. Oh yeah, and the Oreo cookies. - Michael Wang, Engineering

Being time constrained was a challenge. I actually really enjoyed and embraced this challenge as it forced our small team to meet more frequently and with a greater sense of purpose. I preferred this setting as it kept the group focused and frequent meetings allowed the team to create stronger bonds as we explored the creative process. -Albert Yang, Engineering

What motivates you to be involved with DfA?
DfA is a chance to really make a difference. Instead of being focused and constrained in difficult coursework, DfA allows me to enjoy myself while also being involved in a great student organization. What could be more inspiring and motivating than making a difference and improving the community, all the while having a blast at the same time? -Albert Yang, Engineering