Design for America honored with national award


Source: Northwestern

Hannah Chung (McCormick ’12) (left) stands with former President Barack Obama and Aaron Horowitz (McCormick ’12). Chung, who worked with Design for America when she was at NU, founded the company Sproutel along with Horowitz.

Jonah Dylan, Campus Editor

Design for America, a national network of students, mentors and community leaders co-founded by McCormick Prof. Liz Gerber, has been honored with the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Award for corporate and institutional achievement.

The National Design Awards recognize public impact for American design. Previous winners include Apple, Etsy and TED. In a news release, Gerber said it was an honor to win the award.

“This is an incredible honor recognizing the value of DFA’s innovative approach to creating societal impact,” she said. “Students learn best through experimentation, and that is what DFA provides.”

Gerber founded DFA in 2009 along with three of her undergraduate students, according to the release. The organization now comprises 36 universities and has more than 1,200 members.

Some DFA students went on to found their own entrepreneurial businesses after learning from the organization. Hannah Chung (McCormick ’12) co-founded Sproutel, which collaborates with companies to develop products. In the release, Chung said she liked the fact that all students could participate in DFA, regardless of background.

“Participants in DFA can come from any background, and we learn human-centered design together,” she said. “We learn design by doing, and we encourage students to fail and iterate because that’s how you grow.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @thejonahdylan