During the spring semester of 2014, I had the opportunity to participate in the FOX Design Challenge. Over 200 students from Temple University, the University of the Arts, and select universities and high schools, participated in this event, which was themed “Talking Trash.” Teams had to design and conceptualize innovative solutions that could be implemented to help with Philadelphia’s trash problem. Prior to the actual event, in order to help get a sense of the problem, we interviewed civic, business, and community leaders, and explored trashy parts of the city and spoke with residents in those areas on what they feel contribute to the trash.
My group developed a solution for an application in which you get points picking up and throwing trash off the streets, which can then be redeemed at local stores that partner with the developers. This way, the city would benefit from there being less trash, and the local stores that partner with the developers would benefit from the extra business.
Although my team didn’t win, this was an enjoyable and invaluable learning experience. This event enabled me to collaborate with strangers and brainstorm innovative and creative solutions given a short time constraint. To be able to manage all of these at once is a skill that would benefit anyone beyond this event.