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Welcome to the DFA community


Welcome new members into the #DFAmily and start them off on the right foot! Introduce the new members to the rest of the studio and help new members learn about the studio resources and ways to get access to them.

Output: Members are excited to begin the year and know the resources available from their studio, campus, and DFA that can help them make an impact.

Effective ways to welcome members to the DFA community:

  1. Remember why you are in DFA and imagine where the studio will be at the end of this term!
    • As your new/old members start DFA this term, reiterate DFA’s mission and goals as a studio and align them with your members.
  2. Create a welcome packet for your DFA members! A welcome packet includes:
    • The Design for America Network and vision.
    • Overview of projects and timeline for the year.
    • Overview of the local studio leads and project leads, including their contact info.
    • Expected ways to stay in touch with the studio including Slack, facebook group etc.
    • Design resources including DFA Process Guide, Loft, 1-pagers, and IDEO HCD Toolkit. Include an overview of prototyping materials as well!
    • Campus resources including meeting spaces, makerspace/shop access information, and sources of funding. (Check out "Train Scrappy Teams" for tips on helping teams prototype quickly and scrappily!)
    • DFA resources like DFA facebook group - meet all the DFAers across the country!
  3. Let new members know they are part of the DFAmily.
    • Decorate their doors, give them a bag filled with DFA swag, etc.
  4. Introduce the studio to the members.
    • Help new members meet each other and past members. Introduce the new members at the first meeting so everyone knows who they are!
    • Give a brief overview presentation at your first meeting, including the resources in your welcome packet and an overview of the human-centered design process. Check out “Introduce HCD to members and leaders” for more information on providing an overview of the design process!
    • Kick off the projects to start your DFA studio and build leaders of innovation! Check out "Kick off projects" for tips on starting projects successfully!
  5. Hold a social event to bond as a studio and build your studio community.
    • After the first meeting, set a time to start the mingling and bonding right away! Go get ice cream, pizza, falafel, pho, etc.

Network Best Practices

Create a resourceful studio welcome packet like DFA MSU

DFA MSU welcomed their new members with a welcome pack. Each welcome packet included a welcome booklet, a poster signed by all studio leaders, and a studio structure overview. The welcome booklet included DFA’s mission and a quick overview of the process. Most importantly, it included the studio’s communication methods and contact information of the leaders. Check out their picture below! DFA MSU also shared their files here for studios who would like to create their own welcome packs!

Welcome new members with decorations and swag bags like DFA NU

DFA Northwestern held a kickoff event for all new teams. The teams consisted of both past members and new members. At the end of the event, each member received a DFA NU notebook and a box of DFA stickers, DFA pens, candies, and some playdough. Not only that, as the members went through a HCD overview and some warm-up exercises, some of the studio leads went around campus putting up a welcome poster on all new member’s doors made by the studio leads . It was their way of welcome new members! Click here to check out DFA NU’s kickoff slides.