SAYA Young Women Visit Cooper Hewitt

During the Spring Semester, SAYA’s Desi Young Women’s Leadership Program took a trip to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. On this Saturday excursion, youth explored the By the People: Designing a Better America exhibition and chose which designs spoke to them. This exhibition demonstrated over 60 designs seeking to address issues of social and economic inequality within the country. Design ideas ranged from simple marketing techniques with the intention of making consumers think about everyday products in a different way, to entire community structures designed to specifically accommodate the demographics present in the area. After taking in this part of the museum and discussing the ideas that the group found interesting, SAYA youth had the opportunity to try their hand at designing their own solutions at the Process Lab. In the Process Lab, visitors to the museum choose values that are important to them, such as education or diversity, and combine these values with design tactics to create ideas that answer questions such as “how might we increase access to healthy food?” or “how might we encourage people to read?”After working on individual designs, creators can compare their combination of values, design tactics and question to be answered with ideas created by past museum-goers. Overall, the trip demonstrated the power of creative thinking and innovative design in tackling some of today's most pressing social issues.