IDEO NY Hacks: Waste

Here is a wonderful opportunity to stretch your creative muscles in good company and get ready for the Hacker’s Kitchen workshops that Design Tinkering is planning in the fall. So if you’re in the city, just sign up and come back and let us know about the experience.

The Greenhouse team

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Hello, New Yorkers!

At IDEO, we want to make the world a more human-centered place to live, work, and play, and we especially love designing for our own city.  To that end, we’re hosting our first ever NYC hackathon, in collaboration with our friends at NYC BigApps, to tackle one of our city’s biggest problems—waste.

How might we tackle the challenge of waste in our city with the best thinkers, makers, and storytellers out there?

“IDEO NY Hacks: Waste” will convene 50 selected participants to design against three specific waste-related challenges. Participants will work with IDEO mentors, topic experts from across the city, and a panel of expert judges to deliver their best, most innovative and effective waste solutions in 24 hours.

We welcome UXers, visual designers, developers, architects, environmentalists, storytellers, policy wonks, hardware hackers, foam-core masters, city employees, and anyone else passionate about creating a green and sustainable city to join us on July 11 and 12 at our offices in downtown NYC.

To sign up, please visit:

See you there!


@ideohackathon  #nyhackswaste

Why is empathy essential in engineering?

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Are Women Too Empathetic to be Engineers?, asked Vicky May, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, in an article.

Reflecting on David Kelley, one of IDEO’s founders, advice to Darmouth 2014 engineers to “empathize“, May argues that while engineering is indeed about, it should also be about empathy.

“Why is empathy essential in engineering? Engineers design and build products, yes, but these products are for people! To design effective products and processes engineers must understand the people who will use them. And increasingly they must understand people from different cultures. Too often I see engineers develop technical solutions to problems in third world countries that go unused or are unwanted because the engineers failed to understand their users.”

Hence, engineering schools should teach engineering students to be more empathic. Not only, it will increase the chance of having better products and more impact on people’s lives, but also it will help attract more women – who tend to be more empathic – in engineering.

May mentioned a few schools like Stanford and Darmouth which offer human-centered courses and calls for more of such courses in engineering schools. The good news is  students at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering also have such opportunities: not only through a course, Design Thinking for Creative Problem Solving (design thinking is another term for human-centered design), but also through the  Design Tinkering Club, which “aims to bring the design thinking process to NYU students from all backgrounds and majors to work in interdisciplinary teams,  develop creative solutions, and find new perspectives to create social innovation.”

Check also the Greenhouse program in the Fall as at the core of our programming is core values of human-centered design such as empathy. In fact, this is because a group of students decided to empathize with all Polytechnic students and engage them in the process that the Greenhouse was born.

Enjoy the summer and don’t forget to empathize! :-)

See you in the Fall!

The Greenhouse team



A tale of two cities: Dialogue between NYU Design Tinkering club and Women for Human Rights in Kathmandu


Please check our new post on the reflective dialogue beween the NYU Design Tinkering Club and a Nepal-based NGO as they collaborate together on a winning idea shortlisted on the OpenIDEO Women Safety challenge. It is an inspiring story of distributed collaboration which illustrates how students can work with NGOs to develop new perspectives and ideas for social innovation.

To follow their collaboration, check Design Tinkering blog’s page for updates.

PS: the image above is the sketch used to create badge for the women becoming community concierges in Kathmandu. It was designed by Design Tinkering students with the input of women in the slums.

Where collaboration is born and ideas are nurtured.


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