By: Kaelyn Griffiths

This process has taught me so much about open design and even more about myself. Coming into this program, I was skeptical that it would be a fulfilling experience because of the remote aspect, but I was quickly proved wrong. Within the first week, the leadership team and the other students created a comfortable environment that sustained throughout the remainder of the program. I can honestly say that I grew in so many skills, including graphic design, effective communication, working in a team, empathy, conducting interviews, and the list goes on. I had the pleasure of working with a team that always encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and speak up when I had an idea, whether it was articulated perfectly or not. Working alongside people who make you feel comfortable makes the world of a difference and this group has truly set the standard for future projects to come.

As far as my team’s specific project, it has been amazing to witness and lend a hand in such an exciting idea. I am hopeful that we expressed the need for our concept in a compelling enough manner that it inspires other people to collaborate on it and see the project through for the generations of Duke students to come. Moving forward, although I won’t be working as much on this particular project, I will take with me the relationships that I’ve built, the principles of design I’ve gained, and the passion I’ve shared. I can’t express enough how grateful I am for the opportunity to build such meaningful and authentic relationships with my peers and am looking forward to seeing how those relationships grow. In that same manner, the principles of design thinking that have been shared with me throughout this program have endless uses outside of these past 6 weeks and I’m hoping to incorporate this level of collaboration in everything I work on from this point on.