Open Design Studio: Participatory Solutions for Human Flourishing (2022-2023)

As innovations change societies and complex problems become more interdisciplinary, having representation of all voices is essential for flourishing communities. Key contributors to human flourishing include health, education, economic development and community development. Despite aspirations that innovation within these areas will transform humanity, human stakeholders have often been left out of research and development processes. 

The Open Design Studio at Duke is a collective of educators, student 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.

This project team aimed to employ an equity-centered innovation approach to create solutions across social sectors, thereby elevating the voices of stakeholders who have traditionally been excluded from problem-solving and decision-making processes. Team members engaged open design through four phases — understand, create, evaluate and share — with stakeholder cocreators. The students worked in four subteams: 

  1. Education Subteam: This team co-created ethics-centered, project-based computer science curricula for high school students.
  2. Community Tech Subteam: This team co-created an undergraduate house course plan to provide a structured, easily-accessible method of interacting with tech volunteerism in Durham. 
  3. Necessity-Driven Entrepreneurship Subteam: This team co-created inclusive and easily accessible story maps for early-stage entrepreneurs in Durham.
  4. Climate Resilience Subteam: This team co-created resources to engage community members on climate change issues they might be facing.


Summer 2022 – Summer 2023

Team Outputs

Co-Creation for Human Flourishing (2023 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase)

Open Design Studio: Participatory Solutions for Human Flourishing (poster by Amanda Booth, Aria Chernik, Ariel Hekier, Ashwin Gadaraju, Diane Sanchez, Durga Sreenivasan, Ellen Zeng, Emilio Abelmann, Ishaan Mehotra, Jason Elliott, Kartik Chamarti, Kevin Hoch, Matthew Rui, Michael Gustafson, Rachael Granger, Rachel Gordon, Rebecca Simmons, Ritvik Janamsetty, Sara Diamond, Sophia Masciarelli, Tanya Manocha and Yuxuan Tian, presented at Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 19, 2023)

This Team in the News

Duke Students Design Solutions to Help Communities Flourish

Faculty Perspectives: Aria Chernik

See earlier related team, Open Design Studio: Participatory Solutions for Human Flourishing (2021-2022).


Image: Collaboration (one of the open design principles), courtesy of 2021-2022 project team

Collaborating group.

Team Leaders

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

/graduate Team Members

  • Amanda Booth, Masters of Public Policy
  • Yuxuan Tian, Grad Innovation & Entrprship
  • Diane Sanchez, Master of Environmental Management, Business and Environment
  • Sara Diamond, Master of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Science and Conservation
  • Rachel Gordon, Master of Environmental Management, Business and Environment
  • Rachael Grainger, Grad Innovation & Entrprship

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Ellen Zeng
  • Emilio Abelmann, Interdepartmental Major
  • Durga Sreenivasan, Program II (AB)
  • Matthew Rui, Computer Science (BS)
  • Ishaan Mehrotra, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Tanya Manocha, Economics (BS)
  • Ritvik Janamsetty, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Ariel Hekier, Sociology (AB)
  • Ashwin Gadiraju, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • Kartik Chamarti, Statistical Science (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Michael Gustafson, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Anna Masciarelli, Office of Sustainability
  • Jason Elliott, Duke Sustainability Program
  • Rebecca Simmons, Pratt School of Engineering-Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
  • Tavey Capps, Duke Sustainability Program

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Durham County Sustainability Office
  • Helius Foundation
  • Tang Institute at Andover