Warming up to Change

Your DFA representatives from Rice are getting to meet some amazing people over here at the Leadership Studio! Among the great speakers, one of the highlights was Veronika Scott, founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan. This non-profit organization started out in Detroit with a single university student (Veronika) on a mission to help her local homeless community. Over the course of two years, she went from trying to help keep individuals warm by sewing a coat together, to running an organization that builds a better life for those trapped by homelessness though providing jobs and hiring women in shelters to construct waterproof coats made of recycled material that also transform into sleeping bags for others who are homeless at no cost to them.

Veronika’s story and dedication is an amazing example of the potential impact that human-centered design can have. She serves as a great reminder to young students by proving through her own accomplishments that you can make a significant impact and turn your visions into reality with the right amount of dedication and perseverance.




We’re so proud to announce that after a year of hard work and dedication, Rice University has been accepted by Design for America (DFA) as an official studio! As one of the newest members of the DFAmily, we have been integrated into an amazing nationwide network that includes studios from universities like Yale, Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, UCLA, and Columbia, to name a few.

The founders of the Rice Studio are currently heading out to Chicago, IL to participate in a national DFA Leadership Studio Conference located in the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University. Throughout the week, they will undergo a series of training sessions regarding studio management and structure, participate in several design-intensive workshops, network with and listen to some of the greatest thinkers, doers, entrepreneurs, and idealists in the country, and actively engage in the design process by taking on a mini-project to combat urban flooding.

Stay tuned to find out how everything went, and get ready to have a spectacular Design for America studio at Rice this fall!