PhilaU Students Will Design Innovative Urban Solutions for Design Challenge 2013

PhilaU students will compete to design innovative products and solutions for the challenges of city life.

For the first time, PhilaU students will compete in the 2013 Design Challenge, an interdisciplinary, intercollegiate competition to come up with innovative solutions to the challenges of modern urban life.

For Design Challenge 2013: Broad Access, 10 PhilaU undergraduate and graduate students will compete with students at Temple University, the University of the Arts and Crossroads Academy high school to design innovative products and solutions for the challenges of city life in such areas as education, transportation and public health. Designs should be environmentally responsible, economically sustainable and satisfying to those they serve.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration with other institutions,” said Natalie Nixon, director of PhilaU’s Strategic Design MBA program, who is coordinating PhilaU’s participation in Design Challenge. “PhilaU students are regularly exposed to the design-thinking process and project-based learning as a means to innovation. Working on such an applied project with a focus on Philadelphia and pitching ideas to judges who are respected practitioners is a real treat and great exposure for our students.”

As an unofficial kick-off to the Feb. 19 challenge, participating students and faculty will have a chance to meet at a Feb. 8 event at PhilaU’s DEC Center, with remarks by Jeff Friedman and Story Bellows, co-directors of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics.

Friedman previously managed civic innovation and participation for the city, spearheading initiatives to make city government more transparent, entrepreneurial and open. Bellows previously served as director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and has worked on urban, education and environmental design initiatives.

At the end of the Feb. 19 design charrette, the student teams will present their concepts to a panel of judges and the top three teams will be recognized at Temple’s inciteXchange conference Feb. 22.

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