Daniel is a 1st year Learning Sciences PhD student at Northwestern University. He conducts design-based research on learning tools for novice innovators. His research interests include teaching key design process skills (particularly through analogy), design-based research methods, and tools for design critique. Daniel is currently working on implementing the Digital Loft with Design for America. He received an M.A. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Sussex University. Before starting his PhD at Northwestern, Daniel was the Learning Architect at Design for America in the Segal Institute of Design, and taught Intercultural Communications and English at a French engineering school in Bordeaux. He has also worked as an educator in Vietnam, Poland, and his native England.
Natalia is a doctoral student in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. She received her B.A. in American Culture and Media Arts from Temple University. In her current research, Natalia is exploring the relationship between collaborative media production and civic engagement, using participatory design-based methods. Before coming to Northwestern, Natalia taught youth media literacy and production in Philadelphia, and led the development of a public access/online news show called “POPPYN” that presents perspectives and contributions of youth missing from the mainstream media.
Spencer is a PhD student in the Learning Sciences program at Northwestern University. He is interested in using design-based research to develop better learning environments and technologies for learning design problem solving. Spencer’s current research projects address topics including: supporting peer coaching in design PBL; understanding how design experts coach novice designers in PBL; and understanding how students’ decision-making processes are central to whether and what they learn when participating in learning communities. Spencer has a Master’s in Learning Sciences at Northwestern. He began working in the Delta Lab while earning his BSEd in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern.
Emily is a PhD Student in the Technology and Social Behavior program at Northwestern University. Emily is interested in building tools to improve motivation, decision-making, innovation, and collaboration. She is currently looking at the effects of using crowdfunding to increase self-efficacy. Emily received her B.S. in Social Anthropology with a minor in Psychology from Harvard University. Prior to doctoral studies, Emily worked for Walt Disney Imagineering in the Disney Research behavioral sciences team.
My Nguyen has an M.S. in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and hopes to continue making a difference in people's lives.
Brantley Harris (Developer)
Brantley Harris is the tech lead for the Loft. He is a back end, front end developer who is also proficient in UX and graphic design. Brantley has worked on a number of innovative projects at Delta Lab, including Deck and Discourse. Before working with the Loft team he was the CTO at Shortlist. Brantley has also worked as a developer at The Chicago Reader, Leapfrog Online, and moocadvisor.com.
Andy Rench (Designer)
Andy Rench is a web and UX designer for the Loft. His primary focus is handling the UI design and branding of the Loft project. Before working with the Loft team, Andy designed experiences for national and global companies such as Office Depot, Microsoft and Bayer Aspirin working at agencies such as BBDO, Razorfish and Wunderman.
Dr. Liz Gerber (co-director)
Liz is the Breed Junior Chair of Design in the McCormick School of Engineering and School of Communication at Northwestern University. She has spent 11 years researching and designing award winning innovation programs for universities and S&P 500 companies nationally and internationally. She has been invited to speak nationally and internationally at non-profit and for-profit institutions, including Facebook, Hewlett-Packard, MIT, and Stanford. Her work has been featured in such venues as Oprah, NPR, ABC, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company, and is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
Dr. Haoqi Zhang (co-director)
Haoqi is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University in Computer Science and at the Segal Design Institute. He studies, designs, and builds social computing systems that promote desired behaviors and outcomes. His current work focuses on engaging crowds and communities in problem solving and collective action, and on advancing new data-driven design processes. He research spans the fields of social computing, crowdsourcing, human computer interaction, artificial intelligence, and decision science. He received his PhD in Computer Science and BA in Computer Science and Economics from Harvard University.
DFA leadership workshop
Design for America students use design to solve social problems
DFA Jerry the Bear project
Matthew W. Easterday School of Education and Social Policy Walter Annenberg Hall 335 2120 Campus Drive Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois 60208