design for local and social impact

Get Involved

Who We Are


DFA Berkeley is an interdisciplinary group of students working together using human-centered design to create local and social impact. We design products, programs, experiences, and innovative ways to tackle community problems.

workshops and events

DFA Berkeley hopes to foster a community of design thinkers and social innovators. In addition to our project-based initiatives, we host workshops and events for our members as well as the general public. To learn more about our goals and what we do as a national organization, please see

What We Do

During and outside of studio time, project teams collaborate to work on problems through hands-on application of the human-centered design process. This process involves gaining insight into human needs, rapid prototyping, user testing, and interdisciplinary teamwork. With community partnerships and the help of our mentors, we first seek to dive deep and understand who our users are before working to create solutions that address their needs.

identify  ·  immerse  ·  reframe

ideate  ·  build  ·  test


Here are some of the projects and challenges DFA Berkeley has taken on.

employment for the disabled

Fall 2014

Employment for the Disabled

poverty in the Bay Area

Fall 2014

Poverty in the Bay Area


Spring 2014


food waste

Spring 2014

Reducing Food Waste

mental health, preventing self-injury in autism

Fall 2013

Mental Health (Preventing Self-Injury in Autism)

education, creative confidence

Fall 2013

Education (Creative Confidence)

combating bike theft

Spring 2013

Combating Bike Theft


Spring 2012


Get Involved

Sound fun? Join us! Because participation is largely hands-on, time-intensive, and project-based, our application gives you the chance to share with us a bit of your creativity, passion, and dedication. As we look to form interdisciplinary teams, students of all majors and backgrounds, undergraduate and graduate, are welcome to apply.

INFO SESSION | Cal Design Lab (494 Wurster Hall)
Wednesday, Sept 6th | 5-6 PM

App Opens 
Friday, Sep 1st

App Closes 
Friday, Sep 8th | 11:59 PM

Notification of Interview | Sunday, Sept 10th
Interview will take place Sept 14-15.

Interested in becoming a community partner or mentor? Questions or feedback? Drop us a line at

The Team


Emily Koagedal

Hi I’m Emily! I am currently a sophomore studying Computer Science. When I'm not at school, studying, working, or practicing my design/coding skills, I spend my time exploring my beautiful city of San Francisco, baking or cooking, or bungee jumping off of bridges lol. After attending my first hackathon ChimeHack2, which focused on different ways to make women feel safer in the world, I realized that technology could be used to solve social justice problems and combat the injustices in our world. I love DFA because it is a club that solves problems within our community! Looking forward to meeting some new DFAers!!!

Yana Slabakov

I'm Yana, and I am a senior environmental economics and policy major and English minor. I'm from a small town in Colorado and I really love exploring nature, hiking, and getting outdoors. I also really love art, music, and concerts, and I'm enjoying learning more about the design process and how to go from a mere idea to a tangible and real solution. I joined DFA several semesters ago and I love the collaborative atmosphere and focus on social good that DFA is known for. I'm excited for what this new semester of DFA has in store!

member 3

Divya Nekkanti

I'm Divya, and I am a 2nd year studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. I'm a golf-loving enthusiast of pink, positivity, poetry, and puzzles from San Jose, CA! I'm daily energized by the power of data-driven technologies and human-centered design to address persistent issues and broaden the doors of inclusion in the world! I love DFA because it enables me to address challenges through social innovation, and I am really excited to lead a project that explores the intersection of technology and healthcare!

member 4

Megan Lin

Hi, I'm Megan! I study Economics and Education. I love learning about how humans make decisions and how to improve the classroom experience. My time in DFA has been really meaningful because I get to tackle other complex community problems with passionate, fun and creative people!! Through DFA, I've even been able to spearhead and teach a class on campus. :P Fun Facts: I love baby goats and podcasts.