Open Design Studio: Participatory Solutions for Human Flourishing (2021-2022)

As innovations change societies and complex problems become more interdisciplinary, having representation of all voices is essential for flourishing communities. Design thinking and human-centered design approaches are gaining traction as effective ways to understand stakeholders, but these approaches still turn humans into end users, not participants. Instead, we need an approach to innovation that foregrounds equity and co-creation in processes and solutions.

The Open Design Studio at Duke is a collective of educators, students and community partners interested in creating solutions to promote human flourishing across social sectors. Open design is an equity-focused research and development process inspired by open-source principles. In both its methodology and its solutions, the Open Design Studio is committed to cultivating a desired world: actively inclusive, transparent and collaborative.

Using open design practices, members of this project team listened to community members to inform their understanding of the communities' needs and desires. Rather than creating solutions in an isolated way, students co-designed and collaborated with stakeholders throughout each stage of the project. The team was divided into four subteams, each of which followed the four phases of design (understand, create, evaluate, share) to tackle a societal challenge. Subteams included:

  1. Education: This team co-created culturally relevant and project-based computer science curricula for K-12 students.
  2. Health: This team explored and improved healthcare experiences of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities in various healthcare settings.
  3. Necessity-driven entrepreneurship: This team conducted a landscape analysis and needs assessment of the necessity-driven entrepreneurship ecosystem in Durham.
  4. Community-based innovation: This team co-created solutions to community-identified challenges with local partners.

Learn more about this project team by viewing the team's video.


Summer 2021 – Spring 2022

Team Outputs

Innovation Through Open Design (2022 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase)

Participatory Solutions for Human Flourishing (poster by Anish Kottu, Arpita Dutta, Liza Rodler, Rachael Granger, Sami Meyers, Susanna Miesel, Jonathan Browning, Aasha Reddy, Krista Pipho, Jack Rickards, Gabe Dinette, Ritvik Janamsetty, Alyssa Zhao, Vinitha Sunkara, Olivia Fan, Hannah Zelinger, Danielle Kapustin, Cameron Love, Meera Gangasagi, Rashi Wadhwani, Riddhi Patel, Natalie Chou, Kara Wall and TJ Bryant, presented at Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 13, 2022)

This Team in the News

Duke Students Design Innovative Solutions to Wellness Challenges

Duke Students Design Solutions to Help Communities Flourish

NC Educators Create Inclusive Solutions in Open Design Academy

Meet the Members of the 2021-2022 Bass Connections Student Advisory Council

See related team, Open Design Studio: Participatory Solutions for Human Flourishing (2022-2023).

Open design.

Team Leaders

  • Aria Chernik, Social Science Research Institute|Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Kevin Hoch, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

/graduate Team Members

  • Todd Bryant, Doctor of Theology
  • Cameron Love, Masters of Public Policy
  • Nora Mayer, Bioethics and Sci Policy - AM
  • Rashi Wadhwani, Master of Engineering Mgmt-MEG
  • Riddhi Patel, Master of Engineering Mgmt-MEG
  • Arpita Dutta, Master of Egr Biomedical Egr
  • Krista Pipho, Genetics & Genomics Prgm - PHD
  • Liza Rodler, Masters of Public Policy
  • Aasha Reddy, Statistical Science - MS

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Anish Kottu, Computer Science (BS)
  • Alyssa Zhao, Computer Science (BS)
  • Samantha Meyers, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Susanna Miesel
  • Jackson Rickards, Computer Science (BS)
  • Elena Rivera, Visual and Media Studies (AB)
  • Joseph Robinson, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Sachin Shah, Economics (BS)
  • Wenzhuo Shi, Economics (BS)
  • Della Sihite, Economics (BS)
  • Vinitha Sunkara, Computer Science (BS)
  • Kara Wall, Program II (AB)
  • Kira Ward, Psychology (AB)
  • Hannah Zelinger, History (AB)
  • Jonathan Browning, Computer Science (BS)
  • Jun Woo Kang, Computer Science (BS)
  • Natalie Chou, Program II (AB)
  • Gabriel Dinette, Continuing Education
  • Kyle Duerr, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Zimeng Fan, Computer Science (BS)
  • Meera Gangasani, Biology (BS)
  • Danielle Kapustin, Philosophy (AB)
  • Ritvik Janamsetty, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Mary Jiang, IDM:VMS-CS Computational Media

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • David Ming, School of Medicine-Medicine: General Internal Medicine
  • Richard Chung, School of Medicine-Pediatrics: Primary Care Pediatrics
  • Josh Yates, Divinity School
  • Bruce Grady, Divinity School

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Oak Grove AME Zion Church
  • Helius Foundation
  • Family Resource Center South Atlantic
  • Exceptional Children's Assistance Center
  • Easterseals UCP
  • IBM
  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • Durham Public Schools
  • North Carolina School of Science and Math
  • Hinton Rural Center
  • BRIGHTspot Center