Educating the next generation to solve complex health problems through design thinking


Summer Summary: Week 1

Welcome to HDL’s opening intern blog post for summer 2019! This first week’s calendar was packed with fun and informative events.

Monday was an introduction to the summer’s different projects, including CoLab, partnerships with organizations, workshops about uncertainty in emergency medicine diagnosis, and a brief look into 3D printing. (For clarification, CoLab is a program designed to engage communities in Philadelphia, particularly Kensington, through different mediums; these include an airstream trailer, interviews with Kensington residents to share stories, and contributions to partner health curriculums.) The following day, we met with FK Productions here in Philadelphia to visit the airstream trailer for CoLab. This trailer serves multiple purposes: during the summer, it will be a site from which we can conduct interviews and collect data from residents of Kensington, and in October, it will stand as an exhibit at Design Philly. Later that day in the lab, guest speaker Chris Kim from Bresslergroup provided a lecture on the role of innovative thinking to design useful medical products.

On Wednesday, Chris Kim returned to facilitate an extension of this discussion; our interns identified problems and opportunities in areas like medicine and music; then, we worked together to workshop potential ideas on how to approach these scenarios. This same day, patient advocate Leilani Graham also visited to share her incredible story as a survivor of four cardiac arrests and open-heart surgeries; she described her experience with other cardiac medical treatments, and her present experience with a Pacemaker. Her story is remarkable and incredibly moving, and our interns are so thankful to have heard from such a bright and warm speaker like Leilani.

On Tuesday and Wednesday night, our interns volunteered for the first time at Sunday Suppers; during these volunteer sessions, our interns helped to prepare a dinner, package meal kits, and clean up post-dinner. We learned firsthand about what Sunday Suppers offers, and got to meet participating families!

The rest of the week was largely informed by guest speakers: Thursday morning, designer Nikita Arora described her innovative work at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre. On Friday, Ira Goldstein discussed his research rooted in mapping of specific neighborhoods: through the mapping process, Ira can document the establishments (i.e. shops, restaurants, etc.) in the respective region, in an effort to compile an updated list of the businesses available to residents. Later that day, Princeton anthropologist Sebastian Ramirez spoke with us about the nuances of interviews. He was followed by Mike Attie, who presented one of his short films and helped answer our questions about the art of filmmaking.

All in all, the week was a success in providing an overview of our distinct projects, while learning from experts who can offer insightful advice and guidance in these undertakings.