Design & Prototyping

with Devika Patel and Natalie Griffen

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Design for America made this project a reality

Devika Patel

Co-founder of Orenda, Stanford Student, Product Designer

Natalie Griffen

Designer, Incessant Doodler, Coffee Lover

Lessons Learned

Many organizations tend to avoid local impact and focus on international.

DFA wants to use design thinking and technology to create local and social impact.

DFA creates a Pay it Forward methodology.


Lesson: Design & Prototyping with Devika Patel & Natalie Griffen

Step #5 DFA: Design for America made this project a reality

I got involved with Design for America because I really resonated with their mission because they wanted to use design thinking and technology to create local and social impact. A lot of organizations tend to skip the local part and go international, at least in my experience. And it was great to see that Design for America was trying to hone in on our own communities and our own respective areas to create social impact solutions that can affect people who are neighbors.

The role that DFA fulfilled in making this a reality is that it allowed for me to find like-minded teammates. The great thing about Design for America is that it attracts some of the most innovative minds here at Stanford and by being able to have this great pool of people to look at and see that they would be a good fit for my team was a great resource in the beginning.

And also the great thing about Design for America is that they facilitate a lot of learning opportunities for teams, so they'll have people who are really acknowledged in design thinking and know a lot about certain aspects of design thinking or certain aspects of starting a business, to come in and talk to us, and answer our questions, and teach us about different things such as business, fundraising, marketing efforts. All these things that aren't necessarily design thinking related or intimately tied with the creation of the product, but are very important for the sustainability of the product. These are all resources that Design for America brings into us so that we can use them.

Design for America helps us a lot, so we get a lot from them and what we give back to them is the fact that we are Design for America team and that we will always represent Design for America in all shape and form as we move forward. They're an integral part to the creation of this product and this startup, so of course, they will always get recognized for being part of our journey.

And I think what they really get out of it is the fact that they're able to teach their methodology and bring it forward. So now that we have used design thinking and human centered-design and the resources that Design for America provides we can now be a role model for other students and other budding entrepreneurs who want to use the same methodology. And since we've done it now, we can give our advice, tell them what works what doesn't work, and guide them through the process as well.

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