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 | Jacobs 10 C (Basement of Jacobs Hall)
Wednesday, Sept 5th | 6:30-7:30 PM

App Opens 
Saturday, Sep 1st

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

Notification of Interview | Monday, Sept 10th
Interview will take place Sept 10-12.

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 junior studying Data Science and 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!!!

Catherine Tran

Hey Wassup Hello! I’m Cat and I’m really excited to be a Design Lead for DFA this semester. When I’m not tackling different design projects you can catch me exploring San Francisco for quirky, affordable places to eat, romping through the makeup aisles of Target, or going ham on the karaoke machine. I’m SUPER EXCITED to collaborate with students from diverse educational backgrounds to solve community issues. Looking forward to a fun and educational semester with ya’ll. Cheers!

member 3

Yena Yang

Hi, I’m Yena! I’m currently a senior studying Business. I first became interested in Human-Centered Design after coming across IDEO’s publications about it, and finally decided to take on more leadership roles in DFA like marketing, where I get to think of creative campaigns and occasionally design content! I love DFA because it’s not just any old design club; it’s unique in that it really emphasizes impacting the community for social good! When I’m not doing school or work, I love to cook, read, find new music, and spend time with my friends. I’m excited to see where DFA is headed this semester (and excited to meet all of you!!)

member 4

Olivia Wright

Olivia is a fourth year studying Political Economy. She is a Berkeley native and knows all of the good spots to eat at. She has internship experience in Operations Management and Project Management that inspired her to become more involved in design-thinking, which is what brought her to DFA. She is very passionate about social justice problems and is also active in March of Dimes.