Professional and faculty mentors help develop your local network to support impactful projects and develop design leaders. Welcome mentors and set clear expectations to help them engage with your studio quickly. And always show thanks for their time and support!
Output: Next step and timeline for your mentor to work with your studio.
Matthew Wettergreen, a DFA Rice mentor who is a lecturer at Rice University School of Engineering, mentors the studio in project scoping, project progress and implementation, and strategic planning. With his support, DFA Rice aims to scope projects with feasible access to user groups for research and testing. He helped studio leads envision possible outcomes of the projects to help pitch their project to partners, users, and potential project members. Additionally, he pulled some of his contacts for potential community partners and train leaders in creating partnerships with users. Building relationships with users in the scoping process were especially important since the goal of the semester was to test regularly with users iterate their solutions and get better at the process by going through them often.
Phyllis Newbill, a Studio Associate at Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology, serves as a mentor for DFA Virginia Tech to foster the creative process and support community initiatives. One of the many things Phyllis has done for the studio includes helping them with strategic help to create on-campus partnerships and maintain them. While she was curating and planning a series of community showcases, Tech or Treat, which is an event for kids of all ages at the intersection of science, engineering, art, and design, stood out as an opportunity to get the DFA studio involved. In 2014, two DFA teams held a design sprint at Tech or Treat reaching over 300 kids! Phyllis was crucial in making these successful installations happen.