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These two random gentlemen randomly beseeched me to take this random photograph. I randoml


Education as a sector is in dire need to evolve, to build a more sustainable and collaborate future. As the world is starting to recognize the importance of Design in Businesses, this project aims to understand what brings people to study and work at tertiary design organizations, and what their expectations are like.

Education, Worker Voice Gap, Organization Change/Design


After 15 weeks of thorough research, primary and secondary, my team and I identified quite a few challenges in the ecosystem today. Lack of Communication and Collaboration, and Poor Compensation, were key issues that are now blinding stakeholders across the board.

A key enabler for development and growth of the world, Tertiary Design Education is struggling. In 2022, 6 major universities in the United States were protesting, from students, to faculty unions, the issues each strike brought forward seemed to resonate across the country. My team and I will spend another 12 weeks in 2023, to explore the opportunity areas further. 

Here you can download the canvas_ http___solutioncanvas_edited.jpg
Proposed Intervention

Through questions within the team, we mapped a draft stakeholder map, trying to capture links, overlaps, and the greys..

For research purposes, our stakeholders have been directly or indirectly involved with The New School..

While universities across the world seem to talk about the most pressing issues, the VUCA world challenges, the problems seem to plague these very institutions, creating conflict in expectations and experiences for stakeholders so involved..

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“The communication of Parsons and the University as a whole is not great, if you are reading every single email in depth, you can miss out on world class speakers and events. It is hard to keep track of...My Fashion students last year, missed out on a few major designers that came and talked to the University, because they were given incorrect information about the event”

“What has stood out?
2 decades of UNI just zigging and zagging. Lack of unified vision of the university. In the absence of articulating what needs to go into an organizational vision. No president ever took that on. There was shifting identity of what we stood for. My GOD, within a 10 year period the University changed its name two times.”

"more fellowships, value-adds for Bipoc - greater access to education, that would make out community much better.. It’s a shame, I don’t see a lot of people from the bipoc community, from NY, etc.. I just feel there isn’t enough representation from low resource/income group, more people of color..

“[Competitor] has an official document of the school with everything in it - all information - 60 pager, where to live, what to eat, professor connections, and so on and so forth - like a bible for new school students. Information is staggered. Our website is very hard to navigate through. A go-to guide on what to do once you land is such a good resource to have.

Pillars of the Intervention

The intervention was designed to create an open, vulnerable and safe space, helping actors recognize power dynamics by sensitizing them with challenges of different actors, and instilling the 'designers mindset', helping each actor transform into an actors of change.

My Role


Asking questions to chalk out the research plan and the interview guides, conducting guerrilla interviews, shadowing workers

Workshop Facilitation

Working with teams to help them understand research and potential ideas, and better articulate what they present


Identifying that stakeholders as humans, need 'active voices' - the final presentation to the client was in the form of a voice-over, from Marie the Manager, Eric the Executive and Willy the Worker - our three key personas

Program Design

Co-designing a program that is engaging and promotes an attitude to learn, across  conscious and subconscious hierarchies, breaking down barriers between employees of the same and different organizations 

As the third intervention of four, submitted to the client, the fellowship enables collaboration within the ecosystem, builds empathy in organizations, and creates a ripple-effect to move forward with the designer's mindset, for teams.

L-R: Is
tem Akalp, Saniya Mittal, Ishaanee Pandey, Ido Lechner

Special Thanks:
Pam Roque, Clara Bunker, Aditya Rao, E Ouyang, Maria Garcia Morales, Vinay Pandu, Abbie Daniels, Brett Barndt and Miguel Padro

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