Innovation Through Open Design

Project Team

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.

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

Project poster.